Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos De Tucson (Tucson's Ugly Little Monkeys) was founded in the summer of 1964 by a talented musician priest, the late Father Charles Rourke, under the auspices of the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) of All Saints Parish in Tucson.

An early photograph of Los Changuitos Feos with their founder, Father Rourke.
The time is 1965, their costumes inexpensive sombreros from across the border.
Left to right: *Cosme Barcelo Jr., *George Norton, *Robert Bourland,
*Jerry Gay, Player Unknown, David Ruiz, *Keith Hungate, Frank Felix,
*Charlie Anthony, *Gilbert Velez, and Fr. Rourke.

Note: The original seven members are starred (*).

They started out playing for church functions and local events. Before long they were traveling throughout the United States and Mexico. In 1969, Father Rourke left Tucson, and the group was reorganized under a Board of Directors with a Music Director and a Chaplain in charge of their formation and performance scheduling.

 In 1970, Mayor Lew Davis proclaimed June 13th as "Los Changuitos Feos Day" in the City of Tucson. They have been recognized as "Ambassadors of Good Will" in Mexico and many cities in the United States. The group incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1981. The mission of this organization is to develop the students' artistic talent, express their pride through music and culture, promote the City of Tucson, entertain, bring joy of spirit to others, and contribute toward a mutual college scholarship fund. Performing Group members are eligible for a tuition scholarship upon completing the program and graduating from high school.

The group has traveled and participated in many mariachi conferences, winning several competitions at these events. They have been invited to Washington, DC several times, including the 1997 Inauguration Parade for President Clinton. Los Changuitos Feos De Tucson organization is proud of its many accomplishments and all the alumni that have come through its Mariachi program. Known as the first youth mariachi in the United States, it continues to be a part of Tucson history and tradition for years to come.

 Thanks to Robert Bourland, the first manager of the group, for identifying the players in this photograph and the original seven. We are told that Cosme now resides in San Antonio, Robert resides in Tucson, Jerry just recently retired and also resides in Tucson, Gilbert formed and directed "Mariachi América," and David's younger brother, Mackie, is a founding member of Mariachi Cobre. George Norton and Fr. Rourke have, sadly, passed away.

What's in a name - Los Changuitos Feos???

Interested in more history and photos? Click on the years below or visit our Photo Albums!

1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

If you have been a member, parent, music instructor, or board member of Los Changuitos Feos de Tucson and would like to contribute photographs or stories to add to these pages, please contact us!

Los Changuitos Feos Celebrates 47 Years Of Tradition And Culture!

Would you like Los Changuitos Feos to play for you? Please call
520-883-4246 or

Thank You!!!
Download pamphlet on Los Changuitos Feos here.

Los Changuitos Feos Celebrates 47 Years Of Tradition And Culture!
Would you like Los Changuitos Feos to play for you?
Please call (520) 883-4246 or email loschanguitos@yahoo.com

Download pamphlet on Los Changuitos Feos here.
Los Changuitos Feos de Tucson is a youth mariachi group whose multiple purposes are to provide creative and wholesome activity for its members; to develop members' artistic talent and social maturity; to instill in members self esteem and pride in music, language and culture; to develop a sense of community; to promote the City of Tucson; to entertain and bring joy of spirit to others; and to provide college scholarship support to graduating members.
All contents and logos Los Changuitos Feos de Tucson, Inc. except CD songs Albert Ranjel II