BRANFORD >> A night of traditional mariachi and Mexican folk and popular music with Fiesta del Norte will kick off the Branford Folk Music Society’s 2016 concert calendar Saturday night at the First Congregational Church of Branford.
The show is at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the church, at 1009 Main St. on the Branford Green.
Admission is $15 for nonmembers, $12 for members and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, call 203-488-7715 or go to branfordfolk.org.
Fiesta del Norte’s repertoire includes the mariachi music of Jalisco, nortenas from the northern state of Chihuahua, the harp music of Vera Cruz and the marimba music of Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state.
Fiesta del Norte, led by Dave Giardina, for many years has taken its music and cultural message throughout Connecticut to schools, town greens, festivals, libraries and senior centers. The group dresses in customary charro outfits and juxtaposes songs, translations, storytelling, joyful gritos and cultural insights in its live performances.
Giardina, who has roots in the 1960s folk-rock culture, studied classical guitar with Sharon Isbin and Phillip de Fremery, jazz with Sal Salvador and Bob Kobus and flamenco with Mario Escudero and Paco Pena of Spain. He also played in master classes for noted guitarists John Williams, Manuel Barrueco, Ben Verdery, Abel Carlevaro and Oscar Ghiglia.
Giardina has taught for many years on the faculties of Trinity and St. Joseph colleges and Manchester Community College, as well as privately. His compositions are featured on two releases by the Connecticut Classical Guitar Society, of which he is a founding member.
His latest release, “Fiesta Grande,” features music of Mexico.
The Branford Folk Music Society, now in its 41st year, is an all-volunteer nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to preserving and encouraging the growth and appreciation of folk music, song and tradition. Its next concert will be on Feb. 13, featuring a return visit from the New England duo Notorious, which includes Eden MacAdam-Somer and Larry Unger.