Las Reinas / The Queens

Collaboration with Jesus Benavente. Commissioned by the Queens Museum (NY – USA) for the Queens International, 2016. Simultaneous performances in Bogota and New York between two Mariachi bands collaborating over distance.

For Las Reinas, Benavente and Castelblanco collaborated with two Mariachi bands, one in Queens and the other based in Bogotá, Colombia, to write a new song in real-time via online video chat. Working across cultural, social, and economic borders, the collaborating bands and artists revealed the pervasiveness of the Mariachi genre, a Mexican musical tradition that is steeped in poverty, pride, protest, and community, but has been widely adapted to the needs of a globalized tourist economy.

Las Reinas, 2016, original score and lyrics sheet. Courtesy the artists, Mariachi Real de Mexico, and Mariachi Clásico Femenino de Bogotá, Colombia.