Skip to content
Posted: 3/02/20

TAMIU International Mariachi Festival to Honor Longtime Advocate Renato Ramírez


Renato Ramírez
Renato Ramírez  

Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) Sixth Annual International Mariachi Festival, scheduled April 23 - 25, 2020, will honor one of  Texas’ leading advocates for the preservation of cultural and historical treasures including  mariachi music,  businessman and banker Renato Ramírez.

Ramírez’  selection was announced at a press reception Tuesday in the Sue and  Radcliffe Killam Library’s Helen Richter Watson Gallery at TAMIU.

The Festival features the famed Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán and Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán Femenil, TAMIU Artists in Residence.  It includes two-days of Nuevo Tecalitlán-led workshops for some 600-plus high school-age mariachi musicians from across the state and culminates in a concert featuring the artists and students Saturday, April 25.  The concert is dubbed “El Sonido de México: Un Mundo de Diferencia,” and takes place at the TAMIU Center for the Fine & Performing Arts’ Recital Hall.

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz said Ramírez’ recognition is especially appropriate as he has been a longtime champion of Hispanic culture, history and traditions.

“In this, our 50th Anniversary year, we have a rare opportunity to honor those individuals whose advocacy  and leadership have helped distinguish our shared community. Renato Ramírez has done this through his statewide professional and philanthropic advocacy of our Hispanic culture, history and traditions. Here at TAMIU, his partnership has been a vital force in our Mariachi program. His generous provision of one of the University’s largest scholarship endowments has also been life-changing for our students.  We look forward to honoring him April 25,” Dr. Arenaz explained.

Ramírez, a proud native of Zapata, is the retired CEO/Chairman of the Board, International Bank of Commerce-Zapata IBC-Zapata, one of the most profitable banks in South Texas. A longtime business leader, his professional career and life have been hallmarked by community engagement and lifelong giving.  His advocacy of community groups ranging from Boys and Girls Clubs  and Crimestoppers  to LULAC and the Casa Hogar La Nueva Esperanza orphanage, among others, has inspired many.

Ramírez received the Bernard and Audre Rapaport Philanthropy Award for Human Rights from the Texas Civil Rights Project in 2005. He was awarded the 2011 Latino Leadership Award for his contribution to Texas History and Culture by the Mexican American Legislative Caucus in 2011.

He is perhaps best known for his legendary leadership that helped establish the Tejano Monument. He spearheaded the initiative to construct the Monument, sculpted by Laredo’s own Armando Hinojosa.  It celebrates the contribution of Hispanics to Texas history and is located on the grounds of the State Capitol.  Ramírez raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, donated  to its construction and shepherded its 12-year journey, including the passage of three State laws that made its completion possible.

He holds a  B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, where he was a three-year letterman in wrestling. His MBA was earned at the University of Texas at Austin and doctoral studies were completed in finance and economics at the University of Tennessee.

Registration for the 2020 International Mariachi Festival Workshops is ongoing. For more information, contact or 956-326-2273.

Concert tickets are available at the TAMIU Bursars Office and for  $45 and $50. They are also available online: at:

TAMIU is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and its 25th Anniversary at its north Laredo campus throughout 2020. A dedicated website shares the University’s remarkable transformation from a hybrid upper-level University to a full doctoral degree-granting University with over 29,000 graduates worldwide that enrolls over 8,400 students. Visit the calendar of Anniversary events, explore the University’s timeline, review alumni profiles and more at

For more on the University’s story, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email, click on or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

Group honoring Renato Ramirez
Members of TAMIU's Mariachi Internacional join TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz, administrators and Artists in Residence the Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán in congratulating longtime TAMIU advocate and partner Renato Ramírez.  This year's International Mariachi Festival concert April 25 honors Ramírez, a much-revered champion of Hispanic culture, history and tradition.