The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees will present an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters posthumously to Natividad "Nati" Cano, a pioneer of mariachi music in the United States, during Cal State L.A.'s commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 13. His wife, Andrea Cano, and two daughters, Alejandra and Natalia, will be accepting the degree.
A mariachi icon, Cano was the leader of the Grammy award-winning mariachi band, Los Camperos de Nati Cano, which played at venues including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Cano was recognized for his major role in bringing mariachi music from local cafes and cantinas in Mexico to concert stages all over the world.
His Los Angeles-based band conducted hundreds of workshops and taught thousands of young musicians the technique and art of mariachi music.
In 1989, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Cano the American government's highest award in the folk and traditional arts, the National Heritage Fellowship award. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, published three recordings of his group. The recordings received a Grammy award, a second Grammy nomination and several other awards.
Cano passed away in October, 2014, after battling colon cancer. He was 81.
From June 12-14, more than 6,000 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees will be conferred at Cal State L.A. during seven separate Commencement exercises. For Cal State L.A. Commencement info: http://www.calstatela.edu/commencement