Flor de Toloache
“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 Mariachi 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 and Shae Fiol. Reminiscent of the early days of Mariachi, the group started as a trio--harp, violin and vihuela—named for the delirium-inducing Mexican flower used as a love potion for generations. 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, AC/DC, and Erykah Badu. 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. They have played to sold out audiences in the UK, Germany, Holland, Italy, France, as well as performing at Coachella and at such legendary venues as First Avenue in Minneapolis, The Vic in Chicago, Terminal 5 in New York, DC’s 930 Club, and Nashville’s Ryman Theater (The Grand Ole Opry). In 2019, the group was invited to perform at the Grammy Museum’s Latin Music Gallery Exhibition ribbon-cutting. They were also invited to pay tribute to Linda Ronstadt at the 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors.
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. On their latest album, Indestructible, a 2021 Grammy nominee for “Best Latin Rock, Irban, or Alternative Album,” as well as again being a Latin Grammy nominee, they have collaborated with multi-platinum singer-songwriter John Legend. National Public Radio says the album “… pushes the boundaries of mariachi music and its instruments through reimagined pop covers, originals and original collaborations.”