This unique volume provides an accessible introduction to the social, cultural, and economic conditions surrounding mariachi music in the United States. Large immigrations of Mexicans to the U.S., the power of the international recording industry, and the fluid travel of mariachi musicians between the two countries have resulted in a strong base of musical continuity across the political border. Drawing on thirty-five years of personal performance experience and on interviews with leading mariachi musicians, author Daniel Sheehy offers first-hand perspectives on the music's stylistic cornerstones, aesthetic standards, social standing, and economic life. He explains how mariachi music is simultaneously a folk music rooted in more than 150 years of tradition, a commodity governed by market considerations, and a dynamic course of activity that has been shaped and expanded by musical innovation and social meaning. The book focuses on the rising popularity of mariachi music amongst Mexican Americans--over the last twenty-five years, numerous mariachi festivals have become annual events in the U.S., a multitude of workshops and school programs have been developed, and more women have become involved in public mariachi performances. Mariachi Music in America is a captivating study that will interest students, aspiring performers, teachers, and aficionados alike. Enhanced by vivid photos and illustrations and first-hand accounts of musicians, organizers, and audiences, Mariachi Music in America is packaged with a 50-minute CD containing examples of the music discussed in the book. It also features guided listening and hands-on activities that encourage readers to engage actively and critically with the music.