World Cafe

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Mariachi El Bronx

Mariachi El Bronx Ashley Maile

Mariachi El Bronx is not exactly what one might expect from a cross between innovative LA based punk rockers The Bronx and a beloved form of Mexican folk music. Frankly, The Bronx probably didn’t expect it either when this side project was started in an attempt to avoid playing an acoustic set on TV.

The group fell in love with the music and explored this newfound style under the name Mariachi El Bronx. The group hasn’t slowed on either project; two eponymous Mariachi El Bronx albums have been released and a third is in the works.

The Bronx are on a busy schedule; between working on their two projects they have a busy tour schedule and depart on a European tour towards the end of this November. On today’s episode of World Cafe, host David Dye asks The Bronx which of their personas is harder work. They respond that the punk music is very tough physically and that the Mariachi arrangements have a really great playing feel. The Bronx express their happy surprise to the success of their mariachi music, and how it stands as a testament to the translatability of traditional folk genres. The big test for Mariachi El Bronx is in Mexico, the birthplace of Mariachi, where they have never played either as punks or mariachi men. To learn more about mariachi music and its history, be sure to check out this week’s episode of Latin Roots, hosted by Catalina Maria Johnson that explores the genre.


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