the members of Mariachi Herencia de Mexico

Mariachi Herencia de México
'Our Latin Thing'

7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 26, 2024 | Yardley Hall

Tickets start at $25.
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Fresh off a 2023 Latin Grammy nomination for Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album for "Herederos," Mariachi Herencia de México delves into the iconic sounds of New York's '60s and '70s Latin music explosion for the band's sixth studio release. It's a movement born abroad and nurtured by immigrant communities in the heart of Manhattan.

The percussive and horn-driven music combines Latin and Afro-Caribbean rhythms to create the first pan-Latin musical genre that reflects the people who performed, enjoyed, and danced to its beats. This was the era when legendary musicians like Tito Puente, Tito Rodríguez, and Johnny Pacheco led the most exciting orchestras of their time at dance halls like the Palladium Ballroom or Cheetah Nightclub.

In an explosion of colors and sounds, “Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa),” a clever homage to the groundbreaking salsa documentary released by Fania Records in 1972, includes 12 brilliantly mastered tracks that combine the band’s mariachi virtuosity with Spanish Harlem’s vibrant percussion line. Each song is an ode to Latin music legends like Héctor Lavoe, Cheo Feliciano, Benny Moré, Celia Cruz, and the three-guitar trio Los Panchos.

“Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa)” also features two jazz numbers: Erroll Garner’s “Misty,” in a captivating vocal performance by lead female singer, 20-year-old Melanie Juárez, and another brilliant mariachi nod to the late Astrud Gilberto with the bossa nova classic “The Girl from Ipanema.”

The band’s musical director, Marco A. Villela, 20, carefully crafts the musical arrangements, brilliantly fusing the band’s mariachi instruments with some New York City jazz swagger from two guest musicians: Noah Kellman on keys and Marlon Patton on drums. It is evident that Villela and his band are well aware of the groundbreaking jazz music playing down the street at joints like Birdland or The Blue Note with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, and Miles Davis, to name a few. For some authentic Latin flare, band creator and producer César Maldonado recruited legendary tres cubano maestro Nelson González and Latin percussion master Bobby Allende.

Mariachi Herencia de México pushes the boundaries of traditional mariachi music yet again, but this time, the band goes deeper. “Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa)” is a breath of fresh air, an epic homage to Latin music, and a sound defining album by this young, exciting mariachi band.

About Mariachi Herencia de México

The historic tradition of mariachi music has its origin in cities such as Guadalajara and Mexico City. As the ever-evolving genre's influence spread, it reached Chicago and birthed the Mariachi Herencia de México. The twice Latin Grammy-nominated group has issued chart-topping albums and performed across North America, paving the way for a new generation of mariachi musicians.

“Nuestra Herencia,” their 2017 debut album, topped the Latin streaming charts. 2018's “Herencia de la Tierra Mía” was produced by celebrated industry veteran, Javier Limón, and charted atop all major streaming services. 2019's “Esencia” topped industry charts, while 2020’s “Esencia, Vol. 2” performed similarly. In 2022, “Herederos” was released as the group was performing a wildly successful North American tour, and it received a 2023 Latin Grammy nomination for Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album. The young, virtuosic band is composed of 14 musicians, ages 18-32, representing a new bicultural generation in the U.S.