The Women Of Flor De Toloache

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This program was originally broadcast on April 17, 2015.

An all-female band takes mariachi to old places and new. We’ll talk with the women of Flor de Toloache.

The members of all-female mariachi band Flor de Toloache (Courtesy the Artist).
The members of all-female mariachi band Flor de Toloache (Courtesy the Artist).

When you hear the mariachi music, the visuals are right there too in our mind’s eye. The guys in their elaborate, silver-spangled outfits. The boots. The big sombreros. The machismo, Mexican-style. But when Flor de Toloache is playing, it’s a different picture. Mariachi, yes. But all women. Those great outfits, yes. But flowers in their hair. And Mexican is just the beginning. They’re from all over Latin America, beyond – and New York City. This hour On Point, the women of Flor de Toloache. -- Tom Ashbrook


Mireya Ramos, founder of Flor de Toloache. Violinist and vocalist for the group. (@mireyamusic)

Shae Fiol, co-director of Flor de Toloache. Vocalist and vihuela player for the group. (@shaefiol)

Flor de Toloache also includes Lisa Dowling, Luisa Bastidas,  Julie Acosta, Jacquelene Acevedo and Blanca Gonzales, among many others [not appearing on this program]. (@mariachinyc)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Flor de Toloache, a Mariachi Band With a Cosmopolitan Edge — "For Flor de Toloache, New York’s popular all-female mariachi band, there are a few reasons it has taken seven years to produce a debut album. For one thing, they are often gigging three nights a week—or more—in clubs, theaters, churches and events around the area. For another, many in the group were on something of a learning curve."

The Atlantic: The Power of an All-Women Mariachi Band — "Mariachi is 'passed on from generation to generation,' says Mireya Ramos, a musician who lives in New York City. 'It's very traditional and very macho.' Ramos tells filmmaker Jenny Schweitzer that she had 'negative experiences' with other bands—that is to say, with the men who performed in them—and decided to form Flor de Toloache, a seven-piece, all-women mariachi group. 'For people who are used to seeing men play, we're making a statement. We're breaking that concept,' says Shae Fiol, a band member."

Epoch Times: First Female Mariachi Band in New York Empowers More Than Women — "Mariachi, a type of folk music that originates from rural Mexico, is traditionally performed by Mexicans, particularly Mexican men. From the steel Botonadura buttons to the brilliant blows from trumpeters, a masculine mood pervades. Yet for the up-and-coming band Mariachi Flor de Toloache, the lead vocalists are diverse women with soulful, throaty voices. In fact, every member of the band is a woman."

Listen To Flor de Toloache's LIVE Tracks At Our Blog

This program aired on July 29, 2016.


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