The San Jose Mariachi and Mexican Heritage Festival, now in its 19th year, will be presenting musical, cultural and educational events for the rest of the week.

The bicentennial of Mexican Independence and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution were both celebrated last week. This year’s festival puts a special focus on the “Soldaderas,” female fighters who became a symbol of the revolution. The Herald de Paris has called Linda Ronstadt, artistic director of the festival since 2008, “a Solderada for a time such as this.”

Ronstadt and fellow organizers hope that the festival serves as an antidote to antipathy, repression, and cruelty.

As inspiration, the festival organizers paraphrase the words of the late Senator Robert Kennedy: “our bond of common faith, our bond of common goals, can begin to teach us something. Through culture surely we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men. And surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.”

The festival’s biggest concluding events are happening this weekend in and around downtown San Jose.

Friday, September 24
The Storm That Swept Mexico
Bay Area premiere film screening at the Tech Museum IMAX
“The Storm That Swept Mexico”, a new documentary from Bay Area filmmaker Raymond Telles, tells the story of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the first major political and social revolution of the 20th century. The conflict not only changed the course of Mexican history, but also profoundly impacted relationships between Mexico and the rest of the world. Mexico’s ability to claim its own natural resources, establish long-term democracy, and re-define its identity was at stake.

Saturday, September 25
Adelita! The Women of the Mexican Revolution
A musical adventure of Mexico at the San Jose State Event Center
The Noche de Serenata Gala is always a unique and special musical event at the San Jose Mariachi and Mexican Heritage Festival.  The concert brings the top mariachi stars of today to perform alongside the rising mariachi stars of tomorrow. Mexican diva Eugenia Leon, Mariachi Cobre, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Jose Ronstadt, and students from the Mariachi and Ballet Folklorico Workshops revive the spirit of the Mexican Revolution, including a celebrity tribute to a modern day revolutionary, Dolores Huerta.

Sunday, September 26
Concerts for the American Dream at the Outdoor Feria
Los Lobos, Intocable, Los Tex Maniacs, Ozomatli, Mariachi Azteca at Cesar Chavez
Celebrate the American Dream Latino style with a full day of food and music by Los Lobos, Intocable, Los Tex Maniacs, Ozomatli, Mariachi Azteca and more. The all-day concert fittingly takes place in downtown San Jose’s Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Kids 12 and under get in free. Stop by Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph at 80 S. Market Street before the concert for a special Mariachi Mass at 10am.