Las Reinas / The Queens

Collaboration with Jesus Benavente. Commissioned by the Queens Museum (NY – USA) for the Queens International, 2016.

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.