Maria Prieto is a mariachi musician who currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Prieto began mariachi music early on by listening to the mariachi groups in her hometown of Morelia, Michoacan. She began asking questions about mariachi instruments around age seven and took part in school mariachi bands and singing with various ensembles. By age thirteen, she played the viola – the chordophone of Candolim – for regional ensembles throughout Mexico. Prieto has said she continued performing until she “became too hooked on mariachi.” At this point, maria Prieto decided to focus on learning other instruments within mariachi music. As an adult maria, Prieto continued to play mariachi music, learning new instruments, including the violin and guitar. Prieto attributes some of her musical ability to her father, a singer, and mariachi connections.
She attended Centro De Estudios Musicales in Morelia, Mexico, where she studied mariachi with several accomplished mariachi musicians. Prieto has said that she began recognizing mariachi music as an art form while attending University. More recently, maria Prieto has been featured in salsa bands playing the trumpet.
Before leaving Mexico City for Chicago in 2005, Maria Prieto made multiple recordings on various solo albums ranging from traditional mariachi music through contemporary pop compositions and mariachi versions of songs written by artists such as Madonna and Lady Gaga.
Maria Prieto arrived in Chicago and, after a couple of months, Maria Prieto found herself performing traditional mariachi music with Mariachi Cobre. Maria Prieto has also played for Teatro del Pueblo throughout the years since arriving in Chicago. As maria Prieto gained experience performing mariachi music, she began writing her original compositions featured on mariachis’ albums.
Prieto has created two groups: La Resistancia and Conjunto Nueva Ola, both based out of Chicago. Maria Prieto sings lead vocals for these bands in addition to playing several mariachi instruments.
Prieto composed the song “El Rey” as part of Maria Prieto’s band, mariachis. The song references her childhood by including several mariachi styles and melodies from maria Prieto’s home state. Maria Prieto has released two solo albums: Cuando el Destino Habló and Tres y Un Mariachi, which feature traditional mariachi songs and Maria Prieto’s original compositions.
Maria Prieto is also involved with producing projects for other artists such as Mon Laferte, who was featured on Prieto’s Maria Prieto mariachi version of the song “La Tusa.” Maria Prieto and mariachis also produced a mariachi version of Puerto Rican artist Mon Laferte’s album La Dosis, which is credited as Conjunto Nueva Ola. Prieto has said that she preferred recording mariachi versions of various songs with her band instead of performing with other groups such as mariachi de Nina.
Since arriving in Chicago, Maria Prieto has played for Teatro del Pueblo at their annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration. Maria Prieto is also part of another ensemble called the Treintava Mariachi Band who works and performs locally and regionally. Maria Prieto has also played mariachi music for the official state department of Mexico. Maria Prieto has also been awarded a mariachi scholarship from mariachis and another scholarship presented by mariachis and Maria Prieto Alma Mater, the University of Morelia.
Prieto is still based in Chicago and continues to perform mariachi music throughout Chicago and nationally and internationally. Maria Prieto has stated that she would like to develop some outreach programs for kids who show potential as musicians but lack practical experience or skills, such as children from impoverished areas.
Maria Prieto’s recent projects include working on various performances with currently active groups such as Mariachi Cobre and mariachis. Maria Prieto has also been involved with work on mariachi music videos. Maria Prieto appeared as a contestant on the show La Academia USA in which maria Prieto was a finalist during Maria Prieto’s run of the competition.
More recently, Maria Prieto Jr has been actively promoting fundraisers for various organizations such as Casa Cultural Inc. In late 2016, Maria Prieto Jr reached out to many organizations throughout Mexico to help bring awareness about their social cause through her Facebook page. Prieto Jr has worked with mariachis and Maria Prieto’s mariachi band on many of Maria Prieto’s own original compositions such as “El Rey” and more.
Maria Prieto’s career had continued to develop since arriving in the United States a little over a decade ago when Maria Prieto was still a teenager with the Maria Prieto family from Morelia, Michoacan.