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Mariachi Imperial de Kansas adds a contemporary twist to Mexican folk music

We stuffed an entire mariachi band into one of our recording studios. Hear what happens next...

The city of Wichita is broadening its music scene with a lively new band. Mariachi Imperial de Kansas is known for adding a contemporary touch to their music even taking classic songs and interpreting them in Spanish and English.

It's obvious that the band loves singing and having fun. The six men — Misael Martinez, Ignacio Rodriguez, Irvin Alba, Ricardo De Santos, Angel Martinez, and Juan Alba — crowded into one of the KMUW studios all while laughing, dancing and even whistling in the small space.

The six-month-old band, mostly in their late teens and 20s, is getting noticed for their sound and continues to add modern songs into the mix.

Misael Martinez says becoming successful is not the main reason they play.

"We express ourselves through the music together, you know, and see where we make other people see or listen through us," he says. "That feels something special."

The band has played at parties, funerals, weddings and several venues — including Exploration Place and The Boathouse.

Mariachi.mov

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for News and Engagement at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.