Women advance in once male-dominated mariachi scene – preserving tradition with unique style

CIUDAD JUAREZ — When Stephanie Cramer started playing mariachi music in Ciudad Juárez 24 years ago, she didn’t know any other women mariachi musicians in the city. Now a violinist and singer for Mariachi Trio México de Noche, Cramer said she had to earn acceptance from the men because she was breaking a long-standing tradition. “They would make me cry, not only the guys in my group but the clients. They see a girl, and it was something new,” she said. Cramer’s experience is common according to Leonor Xóchitl Pérez, founder and executive director of the Mariachi Women’s Foundation.