Mariachi Women Concert at the Mello Center May 28 + Watsonville Film Festival Free Film Program!


Concert series will visit San Jose, Tracy and Watsonville during Memorial Day weekend, May 26-May 28

Watsonville Film Festival to present an online film program delving into the untold stories of female mariachis May 16-25, leading up to the concert series


Making its debut in Northern California, the Mariachi Women’s Foundation proudly presents a three-day concert series featuring the dazzling sounds of an outstanding all-female mariachi band and trio.  Mariachi Women Warriors 2022 presents the musical talents of the two-time GRAMMY award winning Mariachi Divas and the all-female trio, ELLAS.  The series will begin at the Hammer Theater in San Jose on Thursday, May 26, continues to the Grand Theater Center for the Performing Arts in Tracy on Friday, May 27 and culminates at the Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts in Watsonville on Saturday, May 28.  

“I am delighted to bring these amazing musicians to Northern California not only to showcase their talent but to highlight the untold history and legacy of women in mariachi music,” said Dr. Leonor Xochitl Perez, executive and artistic director, Mariachi Women’s Foundation.  “The two bands performing represent a myriad of women who came before them, warriors who brought forth the sounds that have contributed to the richness of the male mariachi music genre. This concert series is sure to be a wonderful experience for all who attend.”

The Mariachi Women Warriors concert series will be an incredible evening of Mexican, American, traditional, and contemporary music performed by two dynamic bands. The first band is two-time GRAMMY award winning group Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea.  Formed in 1999 by Cindy Shea, a trumpeter who studied with Latin jazz and classical trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, the Divas are the official mariachi of the Disneyland Resort and Disney’s Adventure Theme Park.  They continue to perform at the Mariachi USA festival at the Hollywood Bowl and have been featured on television, film, and radio. 

Joining the Divas is the trio ELLAS who began their musical journey as mariachi musicians and evolved into versatile musicians with their unique blend of mariachi and contemporary music.  The trio members Suemy (violin), Nelly (Guitarron) and Melinda (guitar) have earned GRAMMY nominations and a GRAMMY award in their individual musical careers. 

Tickets and details on the Mariachi Women Warriors concert series can be found at the Mariachi Women’s Foundation website here

Preceding this three-night event, the Mariachi Women’s Foundation has partnered with the Watsonville Film Festival to present three films that tell the story of other gifted women musicians and bands.  

“The films are hidden gems. Mariachi music has been so dominated by men that people don’t know the amazing history and artistry of generations of women playing and interpreting this iconic Mexican genre,” said Consuelo Alba, co-founder and executive director of the Watsonville Film Festival. “We are proud to present this very special online film program lifting the stories, voices and legacy of Mariachi women.”

The three films are Compañeras, an intimate profile of the all-female mariachi band, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles; Mariachi Estrella, about an all-female mariachi band formed in Kansas in the ‘70s that enjoyed great success but ended in tragedy; and La Mariachi, a short documentary about Veronica Robles, a mariachi singer and founder of Boston’s first all-women mariachi band. The Mariachi Women Warriors Film program will be presented May 16 through May 25 and available free online via Watsonville Film Festival’s Virtual Cinema. Dr. Pérez will give a virtual talk on May 24 about the history of women in mariachi from 1903 to the present, placing the films in this program in a larger context. For details and link go to 

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