The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast; Episode #30: Cindy Shea

Episode #30 — Cindy Shea

Cindy Shea Episode 30 The Other Side of the Bell Trumpet Podcast

Welcome to the show notes for Episode #30 of The Other Side of the Bell – A Trumpet Podcast. This episode features Cindy Shea, grammy award winning leader of the Mariachi Divas.

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About Cindy Shea

Cindy Shea holding the Grammy Award she won with the Mariachi Divas.
Cindy Shea holding the Grammy Award she won with the Mariachi Divas.

When the Divas take the stage, eyebrows usually rise and behind the whispers you hear, “What is the blonde girl doing playing Mariachi music?” Cindy was eight years old and wanted to play the trumpet. Her parents provided once-a-week lessons for their daughter, but Cindy wanted more, so the entrepreneur started giving private lessons of her own to pay for her own advancements in music so that she could study with the best studio musicians LA had to offer including: Ron Stout, Wayne Bergeron, Bobby Shew, Bill Bing, Kevin Brown, and Kevin Mayse. While studying music education at Cal State University at Fullerton, Cindy came upon an opportunity to play for Arturo Sandoval, an icon in the Latin Jazz arena. Impressed by her musical knowledge and raw talent, he offered Cindy a full paid scholarship to study Jazz at Florida International University where he would be her mentor and teacher.

When Cindy returned to Los Angeles, she joined the band of Yari More and with his help Cindy soon became a regular in the LA Salsa scene. It was also through an invitation from Yari More that Cindy would perform at various venues including the House of Blues, LA & San Francisco Sports Arena, and the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl accompanying the legendary “Queen of Salsa,” Celia Cruz. As Cindy made her name known in music circles another new challenge was waiting around the corner. Mariachi Las Alondras, an all-female band, was looking for a trumpet player, and new it was, for she was forced to rely mostly on her ear, throw away her music stand, and transpose music on the spot. When Mariachi Las Alondras broke up in 1999, a core group of girls wanted to stay together and Mariachi Divas was born.

Besides working to promote Mariachi Divas, Cindy has continued to expand her own personal knowledge of Latin music. She has had the opportunity to tour throughout the United States and Mexico with the brass section of “El Rey del Jaripeo,” Joan Sebastian and his son, Jose Manuel Figueroa. She has also appeared with artists such as Alejandro Sanz, Charlie Zaa, Paulina Rubio, Jaci Velasquez, Son By Four, Melina Leon, Chayanne, Pedro Fernandez, Marco Antonio Solis, Jenni Rivera, Graciela Beltran, Cachao, Rogelio Martinez, Nestor Torrez, Paquito de Rivera and Peabo Bryson, and recently was invited to serenade Luis Miguel for his birthday along with the Divas. Cindy has also had TV appearances including: The Ritmo Latino Awards, Premio Lo Nuestro Awards, Orto Rollo, Ally McBeal and Desperate Housewives. Her trumpet can be heard on various television shows, jingles, commercials, and CD’s including her latest recordings on novelas and soundtracks: Amigos Por Siempre, Complices Al Rescate, Reto Burundis, Codigo Fama, Banda Boom Vol. 7, Andy Vargas, and Marco Antonio Muniz’s latest album, a production by Armando Manzanero.

Cindy’s experience with different genres of music has allowed her to create her own style in the mariachi music scene that stands out from the rest. Cindy has seen her group through many changes after nine years of existence, and is very proud of its multicultural, eclectic, and innovative style and sound. As the director of Mariachi Divas, she will continue to prove that music has no boundaries and is not dictated by age, race or gender.

About The Mariachi Divas

The Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea
The Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea

Directed and founded in 1999 by trumpet player Cindy Shea, the Mariachi Divas continue to lead the way in the mariachi genre. A two-time GRAMMY Award winner, with a total of six GRAMMY nominations and two Latin GRAMMY nominations, the Mariachi Divas are a multicultural, all-female ensemble imbued with the unique musical flavor of Los Angeles.  The Divas discography includes 10 albums released through Shea Records and East Side Records.   The following are accolades received during their musical trajectory:

  • 2015 – 15 Aniversario, nominated for Best Regional Mexican Album of the Year (including Tejano), GRAMMY Awards.
  • 2014 – “Mirando Hacia Arriba” in the 15 Aniversarioalbum, nominated for Best Regional Song of the Year, Latin GRAMMY Awards.
  • 2014 – Premios Fox Music USA 2013 Awards for Best Mariachi, Mariachi Divas.
  • 2014 – A Mi Manera, GRAMMY Award for Best Regional Mexican Album (including Tejano).
  • 2013 – Oye, nominated for Best Regional Mexican Album of the Year (including Tejano), GRAMMY Awards.
  • 2012  – “Ay Mi Mexico” in the Oye album, nominated for Best Regional Mexican Song of the Year, Latin GRAMMY Awards.
  • 2012 – Orale, nominated for Best Regional Mexican Album of the Year, GRAMMY Awards.
  • 2010 – 10 Aniversario, nominated for Best Regional Mexican Album of the Year, GRAMMY Awards.
  • 2009 –  Canciones de Amor, GRAMMY Award for Best Regional Mexican Album; marked the first time in the history of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences that an all-female mariachi group had been a nominee and a winner.

In addition, the Divas have appeared in independent films including Dead Man’s Shoe, Ren and La Dentista, in which their music is featured in the movie’s soundtrack.  The Divas’ rendition of the Ricky Martin hit, “La Bomba” was used in the 2008 film, Julia.  Their music is also included in the movie, Mariachi Gringo, and two of their Christmas songs are featured on Hallmark cards.

Since 2003, the Mariachi Divas can be seen performing weekly at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California

Order the latest release of The Mariachi Divas ”

Cindy Shea Trumpet Links

Other Links Discussed in this Podcast

Trumpet Podcast Credits

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