Maria the Mexican performs at Jayhawk Theatre

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TOPEKA (KSNT) -Maria The Mexican performed their classic Mariachi music in the Jayhawk Theatre Tuesday evening.

Maria and Tess Cuevas learned Mariachi and other traditional Mexican music from their grandmother and performed with her in Mariachi Estrella Band as youngsters.

The concert was held as a fundraiser for the Jayhawk Theatre and to fund the Downtown Topeka Foundation to create a pocket park in Topeka, honoring the late Teresa Cuevas, known for her Mariachi Estrella de Topeka.

“During the pandemic, we weren’t able to get together. We have a very large band. It was hard for us to gather and practice. We didn’t see the guys for many months and it was really hard,” Maria Cuevas said.

“Our grandmother loved what she did, she loved music. She didn’t let the Hyatt stop her and that was the most important thing,” Teresa Cuevas said.

The band is actually named for Maria and sister Teresa (Tess) Cuevas’ grandmother, Maria Teresa Alonzo Cuevas, a pioneer in Mariachi who in the 70s founded Mariachi Estrella, one of the first all-female Mariachi bands in the US. The band eventually performed for more than 30 years but tragedy struck Mariachi Estrella in 1981 when seven members were killed in the Hyatt Skywalk collapse in Kansas City. 

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