By | Robert Brown
From playing in the subway to performing at mariachi festivals, the all-female band has been nominated for a Latin Grammy for Best Ranchera album. Their style is infused with salsa, pop, jazz, hip-hop and rhythm and blues, reinterpreting classic Latin and English language songs.
Mariachi is a type of folk music that originates from rural Mexico, traditionally performed by Mexican men. Mariachi is passed from generation to generation, and is historically very macho. Feeling a cultural and generational divide, Flor de Toloache set out to create a new type of musical group that represents and empowers women.
Based in New York City, Flor de Toloache is often gigging three nights a week or more in clubs, theaters, churches and events around the area. The band’s name comes from the toloache flower, which is a moonflower that opens up at night and has been used in love potions since ancient Aztec times in Mexico.
Shae Fiol, founding member of Flor de Toloache, was born into a culturally mixed family of Cuban and American heritage. Shae is known for her incredible vocal talent and songwriting skills.
Mireya I. Ramos is of Dominican and Mexican descent, and is a violinist, vocalist, composer and arranger. She founded Flor de Toloache in 2008. Her inspiration is her dad, who was a mariachi and would take her to watch him sing at his gigs and at restaurants when she was growing up.
Julie “Jewls” Acosta is Dominican, and was trained as a classical trumpeter. She is able to play many different trumpet styles from latin, mariachi, soul, jazz, rock and pop.
Eunice “Lilo” Aparicio has been playing the guitarron since the age of seven, and provides more than 25 percent of the sound and melody of Flor de Toloache.
The group played in Humboldt State University’s Van Duzer Theater on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, as part of their Day Of The Dead Tour.