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Whatever Happened to David Marez?

Photo and story by Roberto Álvarez

This crooner has not disappeared, there’s just less airplay plus fewer and fewer Tejano music venues.

When David Marez sings, his smooth yet raspy voice glides effortlessly through each song as though his throat was naturally coated with honey. Lyrically, he dissects and hones each song to perfection.

His romantic vocal delivery is as flawless as Dyango, Emmanuel and Roberto Carlos. However international fame has eluded him because the quality of his voice is lost with cumbia and ranchera musical arrangements which mask and take away from his vocal prowess.

Now twelve vinyl albums, five cassettes and almost a dozen compact discs later, Marez is back with more of the same excellence.

“My latest release, on Joe Posada’s Baby Dude Records, is ‘Eclipse Total,’ a duet with Leslie Lugo,” Marez said during a recent interview.

“Then there’s ‘Quisiera Ser,’ a straight up love song about the joy of being in love with my woman. Going down the line, the next tune is ‘Confieso.’ This one deals about any situation when you tell your woman that you don’t want to be with her anymore,” Marez continued.

Then he went on to describe ‘En Privado’ (‘In Private’) as a tune that describes a how a girl’s shyness can be misunderstood as being stuck up, reserved, cold and unfeeling, yet behind closed doors, the lyrics go on to describe her as a tigress in sexy graphic detail.

“Before I was into flash,” the Mathis, Texas-native admitted in regard to his earlier works. “When I begin singing, I was too immature. Then, as I got older, I finally understood what I could say and what I could do with my voice.

“Now the written words to me are important because these are the lyrics that reach out to me and I think I’m finally getting it right. Lyrics say something and it’s more than singing in tune and carrying a tune. Anyone can do that. To give a song life, to inject the true feeling intended by the songwriter is important; and that somebody is truly listening to me, that is beyond applause.

“I love ‘Anemia’ by José Alfredo Jiménez because the lyrics are a part of my life as they say, ‘You remember me, right? I’m sorry, but I don’t remember because you hurt me so bad.’ People pretend they don’t remember that person. They get back on their feet, but inside they still hurt.”

As a songwriter, Marez himself has only written about twenty songs because he’s more into the interpretation. They may be few, but they are strong numbers that dig deep into his inner most feelings.

“A very important point besides the message is to have a catchy hook. Then, even thought you can do your best in the studio. Following a vocal guide, the original straight vocal performance does not always carry the emotion. You realize this more and more you perform it. The more you sing it at gigs, the more the tune opens up to you. When you find out what the lyrics really mean you start to reflect those feeling in your delivery and you improve your vocal phrasing and gestures as you hone the tune to perfection. That’s why I’m more demonstrative in live performances.

As a result, Marez does not like to record new songs too quickly because he feels that the rendition won’t be as warm and that the process is very mechanical at that stage.

His advice to new recording artists is: “First you have to learn the tune, than you break it down into measures, bars, cue, and etcetera. But after you learn it, it’s engraved in your mind. However, it won’t have the same intensity and feeling that you can put into it a year later – that’s what’s difficult to do in a studio.

“I let the song come first and the rest second because the mind and energy shouldn’t split. One should put all his heart and soul into each song. The performer should feel emotionally drained at the end of a performance because he has live every emotion,” the Burbank High School graduate said in closing.

Yes, the 61-year-old singer-songwriter has come a long way since recording “Jack and Jill” in duet with Joe Jama as a member of the Eptones for Epstein Records in 1965. Since then, he has received numerous awards. His voice can be heard in about a dozen radio and television commercials, he has performed in over eight states and has appeared in virtually every Tejano television program in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and Mexico, D.F.

If you haven’t seen Marez in action, he will be performing at the Henry B. González Convention Center on Friday, Dec. 17 at the San Antonio Housing Authority Christmas Party. The next day, on Saturday, he is headlining at South Dallas in McAllen, Texas.

To listen to all of his CD, to see more pictures or for booking information, go to