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CHICAGO — A group of Chicago-area women are transforming traditional Mexican music.  They call themselves Mariachi Sirenas, the only all-female mariachi group in Chicago.

They started three years ago and have built a huge following with performances all over the Midwest. 

Ibet Herrera co-founded the group after dreaming up the idea at the age of 17.  It started with just a few members and is now up to 11 players and singers.

Herrera says it hasn’t always been easy to convince the public and peers that a female-led mariachi group has what it takes to put on top performances. 

“I would get a lot of, ‘But you guys are just women. Why are you charging that much?’ when they heard about our fees,” she said

Mariachi Sirenas follows the Mexican tradition but with a few adjustments to the tone.  

“It’s hard, especially for the trumpets,” Guitarron player Jeanette Nevarez said. “You can only go so high once you change it to the female key.  It’s fun though.”

As Mariachi Sirenas continues to thrive, they dream of one day performing at Chicago’s Millenium Park.