Rafael Mendez

Rafael Mendez


Rafael Mendez
Music: North side of the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born March 26, 1906 in Jiquilpan, Michoacan, Mexico
Died Sept. 15, 1981 in Encino, Calif.

Rafael Mendez was a trumpet virtuoso who began his career as a child with Mexican Revolution Gen. Pancho Villa.

Mendez, who played with all the leading orchestras in the United States, began his professional career at the age of 10, when he was Villa’s favorite trumpeter and bugler. Mendez, his father and six sisters made up a brass band that attracted Villa’s attention as he marched through their village. He promptly drafted them into the army, permitting them to go home a year later when he went into battle.

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