Among the acts scheduled to appear are world-renowned Ramón Ayala y Sus Bravos del Norte and the Michigan-based Grupo Pressencia. Doors will open at 4 p.m. The show will begin at 5:00 p.m.
Ayala is a Grammy Award-winning musician, composer, and songwriter of norteño and conjunto music, who has been dubbed the “King of the Accordion.” The 68-year old musician, composer, and songwriter was born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México and has recorded more than 100 albums and has been featured in 13 movies during a career that spans more than 40 years.
Ayala first picked up and played the accordion at age 6. As a teen, he teamed up with the late bajo sexto guitarist/vocalist Cornelio Reyna to form Los Relámpagos del Norte. The duo is credited with livening up their traditional music and lyrics in the 1960s to appeal to more people. They recorded 20 albums together, forging a distinctive sound and roster of songs that have since been covered by many artists of contemporary Latin music.
After the pair parted ways in 1971, Ayala formed his legendary band Ramón Ayala y Sus Bravos del Norte. Over the years, the band has used five lead singers, including legends Antonio Sauceda and Eliseo Robles. Current lead singer Mario Marichalar first joined the band in 1993. His band’s music remains popular on both sides of the Rio Grande.
Over the past four decades, Ayala has been nominated for several Grammy awards. In 2002, he won a Grammy award for the album En Vivo… El Hombre Y Su Música. Ayala has also been awarded with two Latin Grammies for the albums “Quémame Los Ojos” and “El Numero Cien”.
Ayala and his band last made a Toledo appearance during LatinoFest in 2010. SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Parish hopes to raise $40,000 for programs that meet the unique needs of its congregation, many of whom are Spanish-speaking families in need of immigration related services.
“You could call us the only Hispanic Catholic parish in Toledo. Our Mass is done in Spanish and normally numbers more than 400,” said Mary Torres, church administrative assistant. “We do CCD catechism classes twice each month for the children and we have 167 students. We help with immigration documents and stuff like that.”
According to Ms. Torres, the popularity of Ayala and is band is proving to be quite a regional draw for the parish fundraiser.
“I’m getting from Adrian. I’m hearing from Detroit,” said Ms. Torres. “I’m getting people from Fremont. I know people from Archbold have called. So we’re getting different regions. He’s well-known and he brings them in. It helps everybody know that we’re here and we’ve been here a long time. It gets the word out that we’re still here and we’re still supporting the Hispanic community.”
This is not the first time the parish has brought in a headliner for a fundraiser concert and dance. The last big-name act to appear was Tejano singer/accordionist Michael Salgado, who will make an appearance in Toledo on May 2nd at the East Side Cantina and in Mt. Pleasant on May 3rd at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort (with Siggno and Lansing native Ricky Valenz).
Parishioners and local restaurants have pledged traditional Mexican food and beverage donations, which will be available for purchase at the event to help raise extra money.
“Hopefully, everyone can come and support this cause. We’re in dire need of funds,” said Ms. Torres.
VIP tables of 8 near the stage, priced at $300, have already sold out. The parish printed 1,500 and already have sold more than 800 seats. Presale tickets are $30 apiece and can be reserved by calling Ms. Torres at 419.241.5822. Tickets sold at the door are priced at $35 each.