Flor de Toloache wants to redefine the role of women in mariachi music

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Flor de Toloache wants to redefine the role of women in mariachi music Photograph courtesy of Carly Zavala where some of the members of the female band Flor de Toloache appear, who will give a concert this Friday in Houston (Texas). EFE / Courtesy Carly Zavala / ONLY EDITORIAL USE / NO SALES

 Houston (TX), .- The female band Flor de Toloache, who will give a concert in Houston (Texas) this Friday, has proposed to redefine the role of women in mariachi music by showing that they can be “so brave, powerful and expressive “like men.

“I think we redefined the role of women in Mariachi music, by showing that women can be as capable, brave, powerful and expressive as men,” said one of the creators of Flor Toloache, the singer, in an interview with Efe. Cuban-born Shae Fiol, who also plays the vihuela.

The band, which has twelve members and is the only female mariachi group in New York, is directed by the singer and violinist Mireya Ramos, who together with Fiol created this group in 2008.

“In New York, I had the opportunity to sing in a mariachi band for seven years and in other circles of hip-hop, R & B, salsa, Brazilian music and Cuban music, but I had the desire to create a female mariachi group that was a platform for other women, where we could compose our own music and make new arrangements, “recalls Ramos, daughter of a Dominican mother and a Mexican father.

Flor de Toloache has the singularity of being a group with a range of roots from Puerto Rico, Australia, Germany, Colombia and Italy, exclusively female within a genre dominated by men.

According to Ramos, they have suffered obstacles because they are women, “because the macho mentality remains attached to this musical genre”.
“In a certain way,” Fiol pointed out, “we add a branch to this great tree that is the mariachi genus, we do not necessarily change it, we share the desire to preserve it, but it is important that people do what is authentic for them.”

They have learned to cope with the criticisms that have been exposed by traditional musicians of this genre, including the fact that they chose to wear pants and not skirt when they are on stage.

“For us, it was more practical to dress like that, we never thought it would be such an important issue, I think it’s a decision, it should not be something imposed,” said Ramos.

“But we’ve already done it as our brand, we’ve seen more mariachi women daring to put on their pants,” he added.
In a moment like the one that is now lived where the issue of equality between women and men is so present, Fiol recognizes that they are fortunate to be “models of women who can work together, capable of overcoming obstacles and getting ahead, especially , in an industry with a majority of men. “

Now they arrive in Houston where they perform this Friday at the Miller Theater, invited by the Houston Performing Arts Society (SPA).

“We are very excited to perform in Houston, we really enjoyed being in Texas where we played with Café Tacvba and we know that it has an incredible audience that loves mariachi music,” said Ramos.

They received a Latin Grammy in the category of best ranchero album for their album “Las caras lindas” (2017), with lyrics in English and Spanish, and a fusion of rhythms like jazz, cumbia, salsa, folk, rock, country, hip -hop and the guapango, which meant according to its creator the “most memorable moment” of their careers.

“We were the first female group to win that category,” says Ramos, “that shows that the industry is changing now with everything that is happening, I hope that the doors are opened and that women have more opportunities, not only in the industry. music but also in the mariachi genre “.

They have shared the stage with great performers of the genre such as Pepe Aguilar and Aida Cuevas, and other well-known artists such as Natalia Lafourcade and La Santa Cecilia, among others.

His international tours have taken them through Spain, India and other countries in Asia, as well as through Colombia and Mexico, where they performed for the first time this year.

Accompanied the American Dan Auerbach, singer of “The Black Keys” in his project “The Arcs” during a tour of Paris, London, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany.

“We hope for next year to make new tours in Europe and return to Latin America,” said Ramos. (EFEUSA)

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