José Mendoza, of Zopotíltic, was noted as a solo harper. He played harp with mariachi Vargas around 1933-1934 for about 6 months, when they moved to Mexico City. He returned to Zapotíltic shortly thereafter, and continued playing as a soloist. Though he was a respected harper in the region, he had his "terrenos" and never depended on harping for his living. Though his own father never encouraged him to learn harp, his own son, Arturo, joined mariachi Vargas in 1945, and played with them for fifty years.
Jose made several private release records of his harp playing, recorded in the patio of his house, and accompanied by the singing of the birds he kept in his patio. He can also be heard on the "Sones del Sur de Jalisco" records (CD's) released by the INAH in Mexico City.