South Philadelphia: Mariachi Flores

Mariachi Flores, a local mariachi band, took the stage this weekend at Penn’s Landing’s Great Plaza for the Mexican Independence Fiesta. Clad in matching, white, traditional mariachi uniforms complete with sombreros, the six-brother ensemble lifted the crowd with their energetic song and dancing.

Ernesto Flores, pictured second from right, performs with his brothers at Penn's Landing.

Ernesto Flores, the youngest of the six, has been playing music for the last 34 years. The other five brothers are Sergio, Jose, Porfirio, Hector and Salvador. The brothers began their musical venture in their hometown of Michoacán, Mexico, during their early childhood.  At 19 Ernesto came to Philadelphia where he and his brothers ran restaurants and a night club, the last restaurant closing four years ago. However, their hearts were into performing.

“I love it when you stand in front of 5,000 people and you sing,” Ernesto said.

Mariachi Flores plays at most of the Latin Festivals in Philadelphia as well as in New Jersey, Harrisburg and as far west as Pittsburgh. The Flores brothers are an example of the new lives Hispanics begin in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.

“I just think, in general, the Latin culture [in Philadelphia] is so rich in history, in music, in just so many ways you can think of. I just wish it was bigger,” Ernesto said. The Hispanic population continues to grow and influence neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

Mariachi Flores played for a crowd of thousands at Sunday’s festival, involving the entire crowd. After their performance they posed for photos with anyone who had a camera.

For information on the band’s performance dates and music samples go to www.myspace.com/elmariachiflores.

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