Maria Rita

The Legacy of Talent Continues

Everyone who hears the name of Maria Rita instantly recalls her as one of Brazil’s pioneer singers, with so much to her credit, including 7 Latin Grammys. However, this legendary singer almost didn’t realize that music was what she was meant to do! A rebel by nature; she refused to be associated with music.

The rebel within

The story is quite interesting, though. Her rebellious ideas developed as she was the daughter of Brazilian pop legend Elis Regina. After her mother’s death in 1982, people sympathized with her but subtly made it apparent that she would have to sing, which didn’t go down very well as Rita felt she was being forced to fill a void that appeared post her mother’s passing. She decided to go to the U.S. and started attending New York University. Free from the constant hounding, she learned to embrace her mother’s music in a much better way.

The sensational rise

This was the wakeup call she needed, and Rita finally realized that music was her forte. Her professional career began in Brazil that led to the release of Maria Rita in 2003, her very first album, named after herself. Even so, she was determined not to live in the shadow of her mother and wanted to carve a separate niche. She adamantly refused TV shows that included pre-decided conditions that she would have to cover her mother’s songs if she performed. However, she did pay a tribute to Regina in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, which became a collection of songs in the album, Redescobrir or Rediscover, in 2013.

Feeling connected

Rita feels she has dabbled in music that the audience can relate to on a deeper level. She wants people to actually understand what she sings rather than just shaking their heads and snapping fingers. Her love for music prompts her to make music that others can identify with, regardless of the language. It is not necessary to designate a term to what you feel when you listen to her – she says that the presence of emotion is more important rather than finding out what is being felt.

Her mother died when she was just 4, so she missed her a lot, but has dealt with the pain and sorrow over the years, which she has channeled into music. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear her live – click here to book tickets.


El Guero

Lose Yourself in Duranguense Music

One of the reasons why duranguense music has gained popularity outside the Mexican-American community in the United States is because of Jorge Hernández, more famously known as El Guero, and the leader of the band Guero y Su Banda Centenario. The Grammy award winner has been instrumental in familiarizing people with the duranguense genre.

A star rises

El Guero’s parents were Mexican immigrants from the state of Jalisco, and even though he came from humble beginnings, his talent clearly shone through via guitar, piano, drums, and percussion apart from singing. He shifted base to San Antonio in 2004, and signed up with A.R.C. Discos for a full-fledged recording career. His debut album, Para Mis Compás, performed quite well, which spurned subsequent releases such as El Amigo de Tus Penas, Una Vez Mas, Cumbias y Polkas, and Antes y Despues under the same label.


The band and its music

El Guero won a Grammy for best banda album a few years back, for Enamórate de Mi.  Duranguense music has been described as a faster, more electric variant of brass-driven banda, though, he prefers to designate it as circus music as it feels refreshingly real. His music has synth samples of tuba and French horn or charchata in place of electric bass and guitar or bajo sexton, along with a conventional drummer amplified by marching bass drum and hand-held hi-hat cymbals, which are played by Rogelio, who is El Guero’s brother. The setup is intentional to emphasize in a better way. He has stated that it has more of a low-end tuning on it that helps to make dynamic, powerful music, and the tuba and French horn provide the perfect foundation for that purpose.

True meaning of banda

He explains that the term “banda” is largely misinterpreted as a tribal group or something similar, but it indicates a group of people to collaborate and do stuff; one of those is to create music. He draws inspiration from Alicia Keys, Chicago’s duranguense scene and Dominican Republic bachataas. Other members in his band include drummer Javier Gomez, melody keyboardist Jesus Garza and keyboardist Daniel Zapata, who handles tuba bass lines and charchata.

Catching a performance of El Guero shouldn’t be missed out on! He is riding high on the success of his first single Si Me Dices Que No. To book tickets simply click here. Don’t waste too much time, as they will sell like hot cakes!

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