From: Guadalajara, Mexico. LA Opera: performer in the After Hours recital Latina Composers (2021).
Jose Chuy Hernandez is a tenor and guitarist with a background in classical, mariachi, rondalla and trio. At the age of eight, he became a member of the Xochiquetzal Boys Choir, headed by Father Salvador Barba Adame in Guadalajara, Mexico. For five years, he was educated in and performed classical pieces by Mozart, Bach, Schubert, Beethoven and many others in operas and other dramatic performances.
Since 2009, Jose has been studying and performing mariachi music with Mariachi Azteca, Mariachi Tapatio, Mariachi Jaliscience and others.
In 2015, he revisited his classical roots by training in the genre of opera once again. He studied at the Carl Franzen Opera Studio in San Jose, California, with a focus on opera, bel canto and theater. He is a current student at the David Gustafson Opera Studio. In 2017, he was a part of an intensive opera workshop in Queretaro, Mexico, where he participated in individual and master classes with internationally renowned voice professor Carlos Aransay, from the Royal Opera House in London.
He has been a music instructor at the School of Arts and Culture (Mexican Heritage Plaza, on the east side of San Jose) since 2014. Has been a part of a network of teaching artists serving at-risk youth, mainly within the Mayfair neighborhood.
He currently directs a community choir program for children and adults, “Coro Folklorico CANTA,” serving East San Jose, Salinas and Hollister, with close to 100 students.
Since September 2017, he has taught at Salinas Valley State Prison (CDCR) under ACTA (Alliance for the California Traditional Arts), leading classes in mariachi and vocals class to inmates.
He dedicated the year 2019 to theater. He was honored to be a part of Teatro Vision’s production of Macario. He functioned as vocal director, in charge of training and directing the whole cast, and he also took on the roles of El Diablo, El Panadero and El Inquisidor.
In December of the same year, he participated in a community production of a traditional Christmas play in the city of Salinas, California, as vocal director, an actor in the cast and a pit orchestra musician.
Jose is a graduate of the Multi-Cultural Arts Leadership Institute (MALI) class 9. To further his education into music and theater, he began a new journey as a student at Gavilan College in Gilroy, California, in 2020.
He continues to develop his craft, with the constant goal of becoming a better performer and, ultimately, a better instructor to his students.