Multi Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winner Pepe Aguilar brings his Jaripeo sin Fronteras to Bert Ogden Arena on Saturday. He described the event as a “Mexican circus” and an ode his heritage and his father’s shows where the prolific entertainer got his start.
Aguilar is the son of famed Mexican singers and actors Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre.
“It’s a family tradition,” Aguilar said in a phone interview.
The “huge production” which he said spans three-and-a-half hours, featuring musicians like his brother Antonio Aguilar and kids Angela and Leonardo Aguilar, but also bucking bulls, bullfighting, trick horse riding and more.
“It’s more like a spectacle than a music show,” Aguilar said. “It’s like a Mexican circus.
“As a Mexican-American, I truly believe in the Mexican culture — the food, the clothing, the music, the colors and the history. That’s why we do with we do.”
Aguilar was a champion in charreria, or Mexican rodeo, and reminisced about waking up at 5 a.m. to tend to cows on the ranch in Zacatecas, Mexico. He used to criticize charros, or Mexican cowboys, who only competed versus actually working with animals.
“I used to go out and wrangle. I used to be a cowboy,” he laughed. “When my father let me be a part of his show when I was very young, … I knew how to ride already because I started riding very young.”
He said his father didn’t invent the events, but “adopted” them.
“He believed in culture, folklore and Mexican values,” Aguilar said, which is something he passed on to his children.
Aguilar said he didn’t force a path into entertainment onto them, but did want his children to share the appreciation for the art.
“We wanted them to get to know the music and get them familiar with the culture,” he said. “And we did that ever since they were born.”
Reflecting on his upbringing, he said he was fortunate to perform with his family. Normally, touring performers are away from their loved ones.
“That wasn’t the case,” he said. “Even though we weren’t in a specific city or one place only, I always felt at home.
“I was always surrounded by love.”
Aguilar said bringing family event to the Rio Grande Valley made since because the area is predominantly Hispanic. But he also called Bert Odgen Arena a “very beautiful new arena … that holds enough people for this type of show.”