Cultural bands, or bands that play music that is deeply rooted in a particular culture and history, are a great source of performance art and entertainment for all kinds of events. Rather than hiring the usual DJ or a contemporary band, these bands stir people’s curiosity and encourage multiculturalism by bringing cultures into the foreground in front of mixed audiences. If you’re looking for a cultural band to hire for your next event, these are a few things that you should keep in mind.
We live in a world where cultural appropriation is a big no-no, and for good reason. Hiring a band that is clearly formed to mock a culture or portray it in a distilled, harmful, stereotypical way would be a nightmare not only for you, but for every attendee who had to suffer from witnessing such a thing. Telling the difference between authentic musicians and inauthentic ones should be obvious (and no, it doesn’t fall along racial lines, but rather, lines of respect and appreciation. To delve into a specific example, let’s examine Mariachi Bands for the remainder of the article.
Mariachi and Authenticity
Mariachi has deep roots in Mexican culture. The style dates back to the 18th-century Mexican countryside and spread into metropolitan areas in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some techniques and styles that fall within the genre include rancheras, corridos, cumbias, and boleros. Contemporary mariachi groups usually include up to eight violins, two trumpets, one guitar, a harp, a vihuela, a guitarrón, and the expectation that every member of the band can sing. The number of band members varies from group to group. There are companies dedicated solely to creating and selling clothing in the Mariachi style, and do so at a range of prices. Part of the effort of respecting Mariachi and Latinx culture is paying attention to the sartorial side of things and embodying them with grace and respect.
Finding a Mariachi Band – Search Locally & Online
Once you’ve established all the parameters for the kind of cultural band you are looking for, you have a few options for seeking out appropriate acts. If you’re looking to engage in a more organic approach and will consider up and coming acts, one of the best things you can do is go see some local shows. Maybe you will discover a great opening act out in the wild, even if you don’t come across a headliner. In the case of Mariachi bands, they can be found at cultural centers, Mexican restaurants, and Latinx festivals.
The more conventional option in modern times is to look on the internet. While your search can be as simple as using a search engine like Google or Bing, you can also use alternative search methods. These would include scanning social media hashtags, looking on youtube, and looking into entertainment hiring apps. Mariachi bands like Mariachis Miami list themselves on apps like this, and hiring becomes streamlined for both the entertainer and the talent booker.