Mariachis Los Arcoiris de Los Angeles is here to serenade you mariachi style.
We can’t thank Billboard.com enough for introducing us to the first ever LGBT Mariachi Band. The music company gave us the 411 on the talented group of singers and musicians in one of their recent articles promoting the band.
Fed up with discrimination in the LGBTQ community, two passionate musicians formed the first-ever LGBTQ mariachi group in Los Angeles as a safe space for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. What began as a gig at a club flourished into an empowering musical movement that is known today as Mariachis Los Arcoiris de Los Angeles, founded by Carlos Samaniego and Natalia Melendez, who is known as the first transgender female in the history of mariachis.
We were so intrigued by the unique and prideful mariachi band that we did our own research on the group. While doing so we stumbled across a great video interview of the two band creators Carlos Samaniego and Natalia Melendez.
The well-produced video, Rainbow Mariachi, by Fusion TV lets viewers hear Samaneigo and Melendez talk about why theY started the band and what performing the folk music means to them. The two bandmates also talk about the struggle they endured to be able to continue to enjoy what they love to do.
To learn that the traditional Mexican roots of mariachi is strongly influenced by male machismo, which unfortunately leads to a demoralizing atmosphere for openly gay mariachi members was disheartening to hear.
But to see the strength and courage of Samaneigo and Melendez behind their bold rainbow bowties is truly invigoring. They kept the fortitude for what they love and have built a safe place for those who take joy in their passion too.
To read a one-on-one interview between Billboard.com and Melendez click here to continue to the article How Discrimination & Passion for Music Gave Life to Mariachi Arcoiris, the First LGBTQ Mariachi Group.