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Genre Bending Mariachi Group Flor de Toloache Perform at Swarthmore

Founding members Mireya I. Ramos and Shae Fiol of Flor de Toloache

Flor de Toloache, a Latin Grammy®-winning, all-female mariachi group will be showcasing their unique take on traditional Latin American music this semester at Swarthmore. Their performance will be on Friday, September 29th at 8 PM in the Lang Concert Hall. 

Based in New York City, Flor de Toloache was founded in 2008 by Mireya I. Ramos and Shae Fiol who currently serve as bandleaders for the quartet. The group take their name from the Toloache flower, used by Mexican shamans in divination rituals to assist in producing visions. The flower has also been used in love potions, but can be poisonous if taken in large quantities.  Flor de Toloache’s sound seamlessly blends traditional mariachi and Latin American music with innovation inspired by jazz, rock, and more to create a fresh take on the genre that entrances audiences. The group’s fifth and most recent album Motherflower, is perhaps most representative of their style. Composed of all original music, Flor de Toloache describes their latest work as “a mind-bending, mariachi inspired mosaic of genres … with a feminist power like you’ve never felt before” (instagram: @flordetoloache).

Flor de Toloache brings more than mere musical innovation to the table – there are also profound cultural impacts to their sound. The group’s members are a melting pot, with diverse cultural backgrounds from Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Germany, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Italy, and the United States. It is this unique composition that allows them to push the boundaries of traditional mariachi music. “[Music’s] power brings people together,” says cofounder Mireya Ramos in the group’s TEDx talk, “it’s a therapy for me.” Cofounder Shae Fiol comments on the empowerment the group brings to female perspectives in mariachi, “[Flor de Toloache] brings the female perspective to [a] male tradition … women continue to create space for other women.” 

Flor de Toloache has been met with global acclaim. They’ve toured in Japan, Latin America, and the United States, and were invited to perform at the White House. They’ve been featured by the New York Times, and made appearances on NPR Tiny Desk and KEXP. The group even opened for Black Keys’ singer Dan Auerbach’s side project, The Arcs, during their European and US tour. 

Flor de Toloache will be performing during National Hispanic Heritage Month on Friday, September 29th at 8 PM in the Lang Concert Hall. Don’t miss this exciting performance from a genre bending group who manage to honor tradition while at the same time turning convention on its head