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Las Estrellas de Vancouver learns that almost everyone loves a mariachi band and even more at djBJoRN.com

Las Estrellas de Vancouver learns that almost everyone loves a mariachi band

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Las Estrellas de Vancouver learns that almost everyone loves a mariachi band

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Las Estrellas de Vancouver learns that almost everyone loves a mariachi band

by Mike Usinger on November 13th, 2019 at 6:11 PM

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Michelle Cormier has gotten used to being a supply of amusement amongst her friends when she’s hanging out in Mexico and discuss turns to music.
“It’s actually kind of a joke among my Mexican friends who are not mariachi fans,” Cormier says with a snigger, on the cellphone from her East Van house. “They tell me, ‘You’re the only mariachi friend that I have—and you’re Canadian.’ It’s become something that I find pretty funny. Most people don’t even know what the vihuela is in Mexico. It’s like, ‘How can you not even know what the mariachi instruments are?’ ”
A love for mariachi led the classically skilled guitarist to start out the all-female group Las Estrellas de Vancouver again in 2014. Since then, she’s discovered that there’s no scarcity of enthusiasm for the style in Lotusland.
“Once you have a mariachi band that’s out there, people are always calling,” she says. “They want you for parties and weddings and so on. We’ve even played a funeral. The gentleman, who was not a Mexican person, had muscular dystrophy and he had this wish, for quite some time, that he wanted a mariachi band playing Pink Floyd songs for his funeral. It was beautiful.”
Before forming Las Estrellas de Vancouver—which has a rotating forged of gamers—Cormier studied classical guitar at VCC, immersing herself in world music. In the previous, she’s performed with the Balinese-music collective Gamelan Gita Asmara and developed a deep affection for artists falling underneath the expansive umbrella of Afro-Cuban.
Her fascination with mariachi began in some methods with a choice to place her daughter in violin classes. When she ended up in a youngsters’ mariachi band, Cormier began studying songs so they might practise collectively, and then later started directing the group.
“That’s where it began,” she recollects. “And then I started coming across this repertoire where I’d be like, ‘Man, that’s so beautiful.’ And that’s happened more and more, because mariachi is so broad, so rich and diverse.”
Mariachi has not solely stored Cormier busy on the town with Las Estrellas de Vancouver, however had her enjoying dwell and main workshops throughout Canada and Mexico. That’s given her a thorough grounding within the historical past of the style, which doesn’t at all times get the respect that it deserves down south.
“In general—particularly the mariachis you see in the plazas or playing in the streets or playing in restaurants—they’re artisans in that traditional sense where something has been passed down from one generation to the next,” she says. “That means it’s often all family—the uncles and the fathers teach the kids and the cousins. That also means that they often don’t finish school. They start working at the age of 12 or 13 or 14, with their dads and their uncles in the band, so they tend to be less educated.”
Cormier continues: “So they’re seen as this slightly uneducated group of people. And they can be seen as a bit of a nuisance—they are there in the plazas and the streets trying to get people to pay them to play songs.”
But at the identical time, mariachi is deeply intertwined within the social material of the nation, which is why you’ll discover it performed at weddings, funerals, birthday events, and elsewhere.
“It’s a funny dichotomy—the mariachis don’t seem to have a really high level on the social ladder in Mexico. But they’re kind of present for all the things that are most important. They’re sort of necessary.”
So whereas typically derided, mariachi music can be revered.
“In Mexico City and other places, like festivals where I’ve taught and played, I’ll be alongside the best in the world—the best mariachis that you can find anywhere. They’re so incredible that they don’t really have that problem of people not liking them.”
And she’s discovered that nobody objects to her demonstrating her love for mariachi in Mexico, the place kinds differ from area to area.
“In Guanajuato, Mexico, for instance, I’ve had the funniest experiences where I end up with people around me paying the mariachis to play with me.”
Folks are equally enthusiastic when she leads younger Canadian mariachi disciples to Mexico.
“They’re just delighted,” Cormier says. “I’ll go down there with a group of Canadian students, and they’ll be like, ‘What the hell—what is this?’ We may not be the best at mariachi, because we didn’t grow up with it. We play with a little bit of a different style, and we interpret it a little differently. But they’re really delighted that we’re there and honouring their music. They just think it’s the best.”
Las Estrellas de Vancouver is in more methods than one a part of a custom that dates again to the start of the final century.
“The first woman playing professionally with men was back in 1903,” she says. “Her name was Rosa Quirino—she’d be wearing her sandals while carrying a pistol. Seriously badass and cool. Then in the ’40s you had women playing in groups in Mexico City, but because of the gender difference they’d start their band, have a wonderful group, and then get married and have babies, at which point the group would no longer exist.”
Las Estrellas de Vancouver, then again, continues to roll proper alongside. The band’s upcoming efficiency for ¡Viva México! (produced by the Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre) is not going to solely discover mariachi’s wealthy previous, but in addition reconfigure songs by such Canadian icons as Joni Mitchell, Feist, Nelly Furtado, and Sarah McLachlan.
“The show is meant to be a celebration of women in the world of mariachi,” Cormier says. “So it’s about women in mariachi, but it’s also about history. People will be getting a great taste of as many of the different styles of mariachi as I can squeeze into the show, as well as stories and anecdotes of the contributions that women have made throughout time.”
Las Estrellas de Vancouver play the Vancouver Playhouse on Friday (November 15) as a part of ¡Viva México!. Video of Las Estrellas de Vancouver (dwell) @ Carnaval del Sol 2016 Vancouver More

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