The Mariachi Ghost-- Canadian Band Profile

Updated on July 25, 2017
The Mariachi Ghost
The Mariachi Ghost

I called up Rafael Reyes and Jorge Requena of The Mariachi Ghost to talk to them about the band. They tell me that The Mariachi Ghost started out as a fun project for them but it has since become something bigger and deeper. The band started by playing at an open mic night at a bar and received a positive reception. After that, Jorge (a professional filmmaker) began working on a show for the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.

Jorge continues, “I created a really theatrical show and the response was great so we decided that was the direction we wanted the band to take. We started working on more theatrical gigs that allowed our dancer to fully use her skills and little by little we added the makeup and the mariachi suits.”

Much of the band’s material comes from Mexican folkloric sources but they try to add their own unique sound by using non-traditional instruments like Rhodes keyboards and electric guitars in order to bring new life to the music.

Emotional fidelity is the goal in The Mariachi Ghost’s music. Jorge points out, “Our music finds the balance between tradition and modernity. The two things can feel good together even if it doesn’t make sense on paper. The goal is to make it work emotionally.”

Many aspects of the band’s music are accentuated by their dancer, Alexandra Garrido, who has worked hard to incorporate dance into the act. Jorge says, “Alex embodies all of the feelings in the music and the stories in the lyrics. She’s a contemporary dancer but she’s also trained in traditional Mexican dance. These are both places where she can find a way to express the feelings in the music. She uses the whole stage and captures the audience in a way that the music alone can’t.”

Rafael adds, “Alex isn’t there for purely aesthetic reasons. We really want to convey the message that the dance is there for the art itself. There’s meaning and intention behind the dancing. Alex spends quite a lot of time developing her persona on stage.”

Research is important for the band. Jorge explains, “Tradition has it’s own aesthetic, so we need to put a lot of work into learning those styles and understanding them. For example, Gabriel spends a lot of time listening to field recordings of old groups in Mexico and we try to incorporate those sounds into our music.”

At the same time, the band is also influenced by the ‘traditions’ of prog rock. Jorge points out, “We’re trying to push the boundaries of both genres to create something new.”

Rafael adds, “Sometimes we have an idea that we want to start working on but we aren’t sure how it will even work. We’ll go into the basement and just start jamming until things start falling into place. Our goals are there but they’re not very precise.”

The Mariachi Ghost’s size creates some unique challenges for the band. They act more like a family than a band in Jorge’s view. He says, “Schedules are going to be complicated, emotions are going to be complicated and you’re going to grind each other’s gears eventually. We’ve learned how to deal with each other, how to be mad at each other and get over it.”

Another challenge for the band is the fact that they’ve had to do everything on their own. Rafael points out, “We work hard to cultivate the business side of the band. Some of us take care of the bookings, some of us take care of merchandising and others take care of the finances. There’s nobody that does this for us so we’ve learned how to keep the band going financially.”

On the positive side, Rafael adds, “We have really good relationships with the industry here in Winnipeg and across Canada. So far we’ve been lucky that audiences have been very open to us!”

People in the music industry didn’t understand what the band was trying to do at first. Jorge explains, “They said, ‘When you told me you wanted to do makeup, I thought that was so stupid and when you had the mariachi suits, I thought you were clowns but when I heard you play I was completely convinced that your show was the best thing that I’d ever seen.’ It is a leap of faith when people come to see our act. Until you see us and hear us it’s kind of indescribable.”

He continues, “For the longest time, we remained very mysterious. We didn’t really do many interviews because we wanted the act to be something to see and experience. In a way, we still remain mysterious.”

In the future, Jorge wants to see the band play some big stages. He says, “We know we can put together a huge, amazing, even life-changing show. We’d love to do a European tour, a Latin American tour and an American tour. Doing these things is going to take a lot of planning so we’re being strategic for now.”

One of the band’s less tangible goals is outlined by Rafael who says, “We want to help break down those barriers of difference that are foundation of the discord in the world. Jorge and I grew up listening to bands like Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and Greenday just like kids in North America did.”

Inspiration comes from many sources for the band. Jorge says, “I’m inspired by meeting new people with all of their different personalities and emotional makeups. There are also a lot of things in real life that are surreal, strange and beautiful. We want to find those moments in real life and share them with others.”

Rafael adds, “We inspire each other and keep each other motivated. I’m inspired by the fact that I’m able to express my ideas freely without any fear here. There are a lot of people in the world who don’t have the ability to say what they want to say without fear. Let’s say I’m very lucky to be alive and making music.”


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)