MARIACHI USA Festival at the Hollywood Bowl

Ever since I was a little girl my life has been filled with Mariachi music. It was part of every wedding reception and most holidays. I have a few relatives who partake in Mariachi bands and they would sometimes do impromptu sessions at my grandmother's house. There is nothing like having a Mariachi band play in front of you. The emotion that comes with every strum of the guitar. The horn yearning for it's owner. The accordion lulling your heart. The vocalist belting out the lyrics to a song everyone in the room knows and is singing along to. It's magic and creates an atmosphere of love and union.

I am very excited to attend the MARIACHI USA Festival which is taking place this Saturday, June 29th at the famous Hollywood Bowl. Tickets are still available. Founded and created by artist and producer Rodri J. Rodriguez,
the festival allows for generations to share in the tradition that is Mariachi music. It is for friends, family, and strangers to come together and celebrate the beautiful music.

This year’s festival will feature Mexico’s legendary Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan; Grammy nominee Mariachi Los Arrieros del Valle from Texas; the popular Mariachi Estrella de Jalisco; and Mariachi Los Reyes, both from Los Angeles.  Mi Tierra Ballet Folkl√≥rico, will be performing with their amazing choreography and beautiful costumes.

Also celebrating their debut at the festival is Grammy nominee, Trio Ellas. I had a chance to ask them a few questions:

How did you meet?  How long have you been working/playing together?
Suemy, Stephanie and Nelly met through working together in previous mariachi groups. Around 7 years ago, none of them had any commitments to any groups in particular. In need of money, Stephanie and Suemy called each other on a weeknight and decided to drive out to a restaurant in Pasadena and attempt to play table to table for tips. However, the guitarron (bass) was needed in addition to the guitar and violin, and since Nelly was a bass player in town that did not belong to any particular group, she was asked to come along.  We have been working/playing together for 7 years.

Where do you find your inspiration?
Suemy:  I like to listen to a violinist named Stephane Grappelli. Also, my parents are a great inspiration in my life since they were the ones that introduced me to music.
Stephanie: My home life is pretty inspiring since between my husband and I are both musicians and our taste cover a pretty large range. Cool chicks like Ann Wilson and Bonnie Raitt are inspiring and so are the super divas like Paulina Rubio. Musically, Venezuelan group Recoveco, Remedios Amaya and old Mariachi Vargas recordings.
Nelly: Great bass players such as Cachao, Charles Mingus and Ryan Cross are an inspiration. The different genres and styles of music they perform(ed) are motivating.

What is your favorite moment in your careers so far?
Being nominated for a Latin Grammy. Going to Las Vegas, walking down the "green" carpet and sitting in a section along with other grammy nominees such as Pepe Aguilar and Juanes.

What is one indulgence/hobby/self care you partake in when not working?
Suemy: If i'm very tired (from gigging) I like to lay on my bed and watch the Food Network or the Travel Channel. If i'm not doing that, then i'm practicing playing the electric guitar, or arranging trio ellas vocals.
Stephanie: I'm a super fan of classic ballet. Other than that I'm an extreme homebody. My motto is stage makeup or no makeup.
Nelly: I love being active and if that can include a workout then I'm super happy. I go for a run every other day and in between those days ill mix it up and go play catch with my son, bowling, or simply call it a deep cleaning day at home.

With whom would you like to do a duet?
We have always wanted Diego Cigala to either sing or record with us. We are big fans of his style of singing.

I cannot wait to watch them perform. I've always been a huge fan of women Mariachi bands. There are very few in this category, which is predominantly male. To see them perform at the Hollywood Bowl is a dream come true for me. I look forward to belting out tunes right along with them.

The MARIACHI USA Festival will feature a tribute to Mexico’s legendary composer and performer Jose Alfredo Jimenez. This will be topped off with a spectacular fireworks finale and 17,000 fans singing along to  “El Rey”, “Volver Volver”, “Viva Mexico” and “La Negra”.

Check out and like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and YouTube some of the previous performances, which are sure to warm your musical heart.

Disclosure: I am being provided complimentary tickets to this year’s Mariachi Festival.


Embrace the Light

Like a moth drawn to light, I strive to be. Especially during pregnancy. It's important to choose the positive, the optimism, the good while pregnant. Having a healthy experience consist of proper body, mind, and spirit. Embrace the light, and allow it to transform you, your baby, and your world.
Transform and open your heart to the new role which is occurring. Don't expect anything, or have preconceived notions about what will occur, simply flow with life. Let it unfold naturally. As it should be.


Soar, like a Bird

Pregnancy had so many facets, stages, and evolutions. One thing I'm certain of is allowing my heart to soar, like the birds. To spread my wings and fly with gratitude, abundance, and love. To rise above the land, the clouds, the details, and just fly. On your pregnancy journey, do not fear flying, but rather embrace all the emotions, expansion, and awakening. It's a dream come true.

Meditation: Close your eyes. Visualize your heart as a bird, flying and expanding out and up. High into the sky. Going above all limits and rules of this plain. Slowly allow this feeling to engulf you as it flies back into its center. Open your eyes when ready.


Our Path is Unique.

Every single pregnancy is unique. No matter how many pregnancies you have, they each have a distinct mark. This is also true for the labor and delivery of each child. They will have a general path, but the details will vary. It is important to acknowledge this and honor this. We should keep an open mind about pregnancy and adjust accordingly. We are, after all, new in every moment. Every day.

Meditation: Take a deep breath, and say I embrace this pregnancy, and this path. We have never traveled this, but we are together in mind, body, soul.


Loving Embrace

It's important for my baby to know I am waiting for her/him with open arms, heart, and soul. I do so with love, unconditionally. This will also help me in the delivery room. I have an open and accepting attitude which will follow me into the dance of delivering this baby. Having an open and accepting attitude about birth will allow my body to do what is needed for the best delivery possible, in which both baby and I will have the sweetest experience for the highest good of all. 
Attitude is a choice, and I have chosen one of expansion, love, and acceptance.

Meditation: Close your eyes. Visualize yourself holding your baby close to your heart. Visualize yourself cradling your baby in your arms, feeling the warmth in your heart. Breath in that baby smell, and offer a thank you to your baby and let baby know you are waiting for him/her. Open your eyes when ready.


Baby is happy

One of the most important things we can control during pregnancy are the thoughts we have. It is crucial to always stay positive. This includes thoughts about the baby. Stay focused on positivity, in radiating and being the light, and encourage your baby to grow and expand.



Life After Delivery

I found this on Facebook and wanted to share. 

" In a mother's womb were two babies. One asked the other: "Do you believe in life after delivery?" The other replies, "why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later. "Nonsense," says the other. "There is no life after delivery. What would that life be?" "I don't know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths." The other says "This is absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat with our mouths? Ridiculous. The umbilical cord supplies nutrition. Life after delivery is to be excluded. The umbilical cord is too short." "I think there is something and maybe it's different than it is here." the other replies, "No one has ever come back from there. Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery it is nothing but darkness and anxiety and it takes us nowhere." "Well, I don't know," says the other, "but certainly we will see mother and she will take care of us." "Mother??" You believe in mother? Where is she now? "She is all around us. It is in her that we live. Without her there would not be this world." "I don't see her, so it's only logical that she doesn't exist." To which the other replied, "sometimes when you're in silence you can hear her, you can perceive her." I believe there is a reality after delivery and we are here to prepare ourselves for that reality...."



Womb of Love

My womb is holy. It is love. It houses love. It holds my baby, safely and securely. My womb provides a home for my child, and I feed it love and light, so it may in turn feed my child love and light. We don't often speak of how important the womb is, but we should.
We should focus on how it requires nourishment, both physically and spiritually. We should acknowledge how important it is to give thanks to our womb, for doing it's purpose, properly. For housing the love we have for self, and child.
Today, I give thanks for my womb that holds all the love for my child and I.

Meditation: Visualize green light surrounding your womb. Send it loving vibrations. Place your hands on your belly and give thanks.