This album is a companion to the documentary film 'Que Caramba Es La Vida' which follows the lives of women that play mariachi in Mexico City. Las Pioneras de Mexico are a group of venerable women musicians who have been playing mariachi and ranchera since the 1950's. Maria del Carmen has spent her life living on the edge of the iconic Plaza Garibaldi and has been singing in the plaza since childhood, one of the few woman to perform in the very macho environment of mariachi in Mexico City.
In 2013 Germany's premier female film director, Doris Dorrie, camped out with her crew for eight weeks at Plaza Garibaldi, the heart of mariachi in Mexico City. Intrigued by the women playing in the square, she filmed 'Que Caramba Es La Vida', dedicated to these artists who persevere, playing and singing mariachi and ranchera, despite all odds.
Soon after the film was completed Rachel Faro went to Mexico City and, along with famed mariachi scholar/musician, the late Laura Sobrino Garciacano, produced this album with the women who appear in the film. For Maria del Carmen it was her very first recording sessions and she immediately took to the studio like an experienced pro. For Las Pioneras de Mexico it was a return to the professional lives they had had since the 1950's. Some of Mexico City's best violin and trumpet players helped round out the sound, along with award-winning engineer Alejandro Colinas behind the board.
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THE ARTISTS LAS PIONERAS DE MEXICO Mariachi Las Pioneras de Mexico is a group of venerable divas of mariachi and ranchera who been actively playing music since the 1950's and '60'a. Their primary members are: Magdalena 'Malena' Berrones Berrones, director, violin, vocals; San Juana 'Juanita' Lara Medina, violin & vocals; Maria 'Chuy' de Jesus Lara Media, violin & vocals; Guadalupe 'Lupita' Hernandez, guitar & vocals; Rosa Lopez, guitar, violin & vocals. Their US debut was, along with the film, at the 2014 SXSW Festival.
MARIA DEL CARMEN
Maria Del Carmen is a ranchera singer, one of the very few women who consistently braves the tough street life of ‘pay-per-play’ in Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi. Raised in a family of musicians, she lives right off the square and has spent her entire life singing and living around Plaza Garibaldi.
TRAILER FOR 'QUE CARAMBA ES LA VIDA' A film featuring Las Pioneras de Mexico & Maria Del Carmen Directed by Doris Dorrie