WENATCHEE — Mexican superstar Joan Sebastian will ride one of his dancing horses into the Town Toyota Center arena Friday to the thrill of his legion of Spanish-speaking devotees.
But even English speakers who’ve never heard of him will marvel at this show, the TTC’s biggest yet, with its combination of Mexican-style rodeo and songs that range from rousing ranchera and pop to ballads of virility, romantic love, longing and regret.
It’s a performance on stage and horesback, delivered with a kick — by the singer’s traveling herd of bucking bulls.
“This is an absolute legend coming to Wenatchee,” TTC General Manager Mark Miller. “He’ll be singing on horseback. He travels with the horses, bulls and the whole shooting match.”
The musical career of this Guerrero-born singer/songwriter spans more than three decades and has yielded six Grammys, seven Latin Grammys, more than 1,000 songs and about 60 albums.
The 62-year-old also produced records for Mexican musical icons, including the great Vicente Fernández, whose Sebastian-produced album “Para siempre” (Forever) was the best-selling of his career.
Wenatchee caps Sebastian’s “13 Celebrando 13” tour through California, Kansas and Texas to promote his latest album, a collection of his own versions of 13 songs he’s written for other singers.
Half of the Town Toyota Center floor will be converted into a rodeo-style dirt ring, with pens on one side for the bulls and a stage, where the singer and his band will also perform. On-floor seating will fill the other half of the arena.
Bull riders who also tour with Sebastian will ride the bulls, Mexican style, Miller said.
Wenatchee High School’s student band Mariachi Huenachi will perform before the show.
Born José Manuel Figueroa, the entertainer has written poetry and composed music since grade school. He got his first introduction to music when a friend of his father’s let him borrow a kid-sized guitar for an evening.
That led to a guitar of his own, fame and a name change to Joan (shzo-AHN) Sebastian, a last name written without the accented second “a” that would add enphasis to the last syllable, but often pronounced Sebastián by his Spanish-speaking fans.
International fame and a songbook that enjoys multi-generational appeal has been tempered by family tragedy.
His two adult sons were both killed by gun shot wounds, one while he worked as head of security at his father’s concerts and the other as a bouncer at a night club in Mexico, according to Internet reports.
Sebastian’s publicists didn’t respond to multiple requests for an interview with the star. He’ll let his music and horsemanship do the talking Friday.
Christine Pratt: 665-1173
If you go
What: Mariachi Huenachi, Joan Sebastian
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Town Toyota Center
Information: 667-7847, towntoyotacenter.com