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Three Trail Music Series: All-female Mariachi band Flor de Toloache
September 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
“Mariachi [music] is passed on from generation to generation. It’s very traditional and very macho…. For people who are used to seeing men play, we’re making a statement. We’re breaking that concept.”
– Mireya Ramos and Shae Fiol, founding members of Flor de Toloache
Latin Grammy winners Flor de Toloache, New York City’s first and only all-women Mariachi group, was founded in 2008 and is lead by singers Mireya Ramos (founder) & Shae Fiol (original member). Reminiscent of the early days of Mariachi, the group started as a trio–harp, violin and vihuela. Today, Flor De Toloache performs as a full Mariachi ensemble. Its’ members hail from such diverse cultural backgrounds as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Australia, Colombia, Germany, Italy and the United States. This variety of influences helps to explain their unique flavor and sound, a cultural bouquet that gives an edgy, versatile and fresh take on traditional Mexican music. Their original songs and new arrangements reflect the influences of salsa, bactata, cumbia, gypsy music, and Latin jazz as well as pop, hip-hop and soul music. Their eclectic selection of covers can include songs by artists such as Adele and Erykah Badu. Despite their varying backgrounds and influences, they coalesce as would a band of sisters, with a grace and vibrant beauty that casts a spell over their audiences not unlike the legendary Toloache flower still being used in Mexico as a love potion. While working to preserve centuries old traditions of Mariachi, their melange of the traditional and the modern pushes the boundaries of the genre and brings Mariachi music to new audiences.
Over the course of the last few years, Flor de Toloache’s performances have illuminated world renowned stages in Europe and India. In November 2015, the group embarked on an extensive European and U.S tour as the opening act of Black Keys’ singer Dan Auerbach’s new band, The Arcs. After performances to sold out audiences in the UK, Germany, Holland, Italy, France, they continued to captivate crowds in the U.S. at legendary venues such as First Avenue in Minneapolis, The Vic in Chicago, Terminal 5 in New York, DC 930 Club and Nashville’s Ryman Theater (The Grand Ole Opry).
Flor De Toloache’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut album received a Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album” of 2015, and their 2017 release, Las Caras Lindas, won that award. The group’s live performances have been praised by Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, The New Yorker, GQ Magazine, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Following a highly praised NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert”, their collaboration with rock supergroup The Arcs landed them on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and BBC 2’s Later with Jools Holland.