Mariachi Ghost launches debut album on Day of the Dead

The Winnipeg band has been thrilling local audiences with their unique blend of Mexican folklore, prog rock and theatrical flare for five years, but are only now releasing their first full-length album.

Dramatic Winnipeg band will release their crowdfunded record on Día de Muertos, Nov. 2 at the WECC

Mariachi Ghost shows are highly theatrical - featuring dancers, horns, and full make-up. (Manitoba Music)

Mariachi Ghost is getting serious.

The Winnipeg band has been thrilling local audiences with its unique blend of Mexican folklore, prog-rock and theatrical flare for five years, but are only now releasing its first full-length album.

Mariachi Ghost founder and frontman Jorge Requena recently sat down with SCENE: On Air host Bruce Laden to talk about how far the company has come.

Five things you didn't know about Mariachi Ghost, according to Jorge Requena

1. Everything in Mariachi Ghost is based around the moon: the duality between dark and light, dead and alive - and it's presence as the light of the night.

2. The Mariachi ghost was started accidentally when I realized I was in Winnipeg and with so many good musicians it was stupid not to play shows. 

3. The day of the dead is our largest deadly celebration. It's an offering to my grandfather who taught me to love music.

4. We have always had a day of the dead altar on our day of the dead shows - It's an important part of Mexican culture.

5. Our make up is actually modelled after Mexican candy.

“We realized that it was time to get serious with it,” said Requena. “And we gave ourselves a deadline to release our first full-length album on the day of the dead.”

But the band quickly realized that releasing an album isn’t quite as easy as it sounds.

“We had no idea where we were going to record the album, where the money was going to come from, or how we were going to pull it off - nothing,” laughed Requena.

The group decided to turn to their fans, and launched a hugely successful IndieGogo campaign to finance the disc. Requena now says there are plans to release the album outside of Canada - including in Mexico.

“This has been a dream of everybody for a long time, we just didn’t know we could achieve it.”

In its signature dramatic style, the group will celebrate its self-titled debut with an album release party at the West End Cultural Centre on Saturday, Nov. 2. Promising a “magical, mystical” show, that will feature dance, projections and poetry, it’s the first chance local audiences will get to experience the resurgent band and their new music.

Hear Bruce’s full interview with Mariachi Ghost’s Jorge Requena on SCENE: On Air, Nov. 2 at 5:00 p.m. on CBC Radio One 89.3 FM/990 AM/97.9 FM in Brandon. Their release show is at the West End Cultural Centre the same evening, starting at 8:00 p.m.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.