Ensemble Iberica Awarded $10,440.00 Grant for Sin Fronteras Project

Kansas City, MO – July 10, 2024 – Ensemble Iberica is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded a grant of $10,440.00 for their Sin Fronteras project, in collaboration with Mireya Ramos and Los Texmaniacs, from the Spring 2024 USArtists International (USAI) program round. These artists will proudly represent the United States at 42 different festivals and venues worldwide, with engagements spanning five continents, including Africa, Asia, Europe, North America (Canada and Mexico), and South America.

One of the highlights of this project will be a performance at El Palacio de la Música (date TBD) in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico. Founded in 2018, The Palace of Mexican Music is a noteworthy destination dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Mexico’s diverse heritage within both traditional and popular Mexican music. From intimate performances to massive concerts, El Palacio de la Música has cemented its position as the preferred destination to experience a wide range of musical styles and entertainment.

The USAI program is a collaboration of Mid Atlantic Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the Mellon Foundation. It is the only program of its kind in the United States, providing critical funding for artists to engage with international audiences and foster cultural exchange.

Project Highlights Include:

  • Full-Length Concert: Ensemble Iberica and their artistic partners will perform full-length concert at El Palacio de la Música in Mérida, Mexico, featuring music from their newly released recording, Sin Fronteras.
  • Documentary Film: Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Dan White and a film crew will document the entire creative process, including interviews with exceptional musicians deeply entrenched in these musical traditions, such as Verónica Valerio.
  • Educational Outreach: Integral to their mission, Ensemble Iberica plans to visit at least one school or community center in the region. This follows their impactful 2019 tour in Buenos Aires, where they performed at the Community Center of Villa 31 with local artists for an audience of approximately 40.

About Sin Fronteras: For centuries, the U.S.-Mexico border has been a significant focal point for cultural and political dynamics, serving as an intersection where these multifaceted forces converge and interact. Sin Fronteras represents a substantial musical initiative that delves into the diverse tapestry of musical styles and traditions originating from both sides of the extensive 5,525-mile border, highlighting the shared elements that exist among these apparently distinct musical genres, including Texas Conjunto, Ranchera, Jarocho, Bluegrass, Jazz and Country.

Our primary objective is to illustrate that the U.S.-Mexico border is not solely a fixed and impermeable divide, but rather a dynamic and vibrant space where ideas and culture flow freely, transcending physical barriers. Indeed, it is precisely within this dynamic environment that numerous vibrant musical traditions have thrived, spurred on by the challenges and struggles inherent to this unique geographical and sociopolitical context–a profound and resilient interplay that often remains less known to broader audiences.

Ensemble Ibérica, Los Texmaniacs, and Mireya Ramos are uniquely suited to explore this terrain, spanning genres, generations, and cultures as they engage in this ranchera-country conversation. Through its extensive exploration of the musical heritage along the border, Sin Fronteras shines a light on this realm of creativity and resilience, and the enduring spirit of cross-border collaboration, adaptation, and innovation that continues to shape the cultural landscape of this exceptional region.

About Ensemble Iberica: Ensemble Iberica is dedicated to the performance of music from the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. Through their diverse programming and collaborations, they aim to explore and share the rich musical traditions of these regions with audiences worldwide.

About Mireya Ramos and Los Texmaniacs: Mireya Ramos is a Grammy-winning vocalist and violinist known for her work with the all-female mariachi band, Flor de Toloache. Los Texmaniacs are a Grammy-winning Tejano conjunto band renowned for their fusion of Tex-Mex music with various other genres.

About El Palacio de la Música Mexicana: El Palacio de la Música Mexicana in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, is a premier venue dedicated to the celebration and preservation of Mexico’s musical heritage. It hosts a wide range of performances, from intimate gatherings to large-scale concerts, showcasing both traditional and contemporary Mexican music.

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