Flor De Toloache: New York's first and only all-female mariachi band

JERSEY CITY (WABC) -- In a townhouse basement, surrounded by instruments and recording equipment, a violin, a guitar, and two hauntingly beautiful voices sing a serenade. The song, Indestructíble, Spanish for indestructible, couldn't be a more apt description for the women singing it, Shae Fiol and Mireya Ramos, co-founders of Flor De Toloache, New York's first and only all-female mariachi band.

Ramos comes by her mariachi obsession honestly - her father was a singer of this traditional Mexican music style when she was growing up. But Ramos felt that, when she joined male mariachi bands, her ideas were stifled due to her gender.

"I had the desire to create a safe space to collaborate with other women and do mariachi our own way," she says.

They certainly have. Ramos joined forces with Fiol, who is of Cuban descent, in 2008 to create Flor De Toloache. The name is Spanish for nightshade, a flower thought to have mystical powers.

In just 10 years, the band has gone from busking in the subway to winning a Latin Grammy. The group's three core members, Fiol, Ramos, and trumpeter Julia Acosta, are joined by a rotating cast of talented female musicians on their albums and on tour.

The band's new album features a collaboration with John Legend, Quisiera. The future has never been brighter, but these Flores still haven't forgotten their roots.

"Hispanic Heritage Month is very meaningful for me and our group because we all come from different backgrounds in Latin America," Fiol says.

Ramos adds, "It's definitely a big part of our music and our message."

To hear more amazing stories of community leaders in our area, join ABC7 in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
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