On September 17, Ravinia celebrates Mexican Independence day with Los Tigres del Norte and Natalia Jiménez. The day-long celebration starts at 2 p.m. and features many different activities and vendors throughout the park.
Tonight's Artist Bios
Los Tigres del Norte
Decamping from Mexico for sunny San Jose, CA, when he was barely a teenager, Jorge Hernández, together with three of his younger brothers—Hernán, Eduardo, and Raúl—and cousin Oscar Lara, initially traveled north in search of jobs to support their family back home. However, in forming the band Los Tigres del Norte, they found much more than steady work as musicians, quickly earning a voracious following with their original songs emphasizing contemporary social issues and other themes that spoke to the experience of Mexican-Americans. The band began playing in parks and on local radio broadcasts once the quintet arrived in California in the late 1960s, but they were soon given the opportunity to record their corridos and quickly tapped into a massive audience with “Contrabando y Traición,” a ballad about a woman who shoots her drug-running lover and takes off with the money. Always socially conscious, Los Tigres set themselves apart from other corrido performers by never glorifying the criminals in their ballads. Los Tigres’ ascent to fame turned their genre of norteño music, previously localized to the Mexican-American border, into an international sensation, with Los Tigres as its foremost icon. The band has also since been named one of the 15 most influential Latin artists of all time by Billboard, have won several Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards across their vast discography, and recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Los Tigres del Norte first played Ravinia in 2008 and returned last summer to headline Fiesta Ravinia.
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Singer-songwriter Natalia Jiménez took to the subway and streets of her native Madrid with her guitar at age 15, then solidifying her goal of making music for a living. She got her first big break as the lead singer of the group La Quinta Estación, performing the theme song (“Dónde Irán”) to the telenovela Clase 406 and then scoring a number-one hit in Mexico with her song “Algo Más” off the group’s 2004 sophomore album, Flores de Alquiler. Jiménez would continue to have a hand in writing over half of the tracks on the group’s next two albums, the Latin Grammy–winning El Mundo Se Equivoca (2006) and the Grammy-winning Sin Frenos (2010), scoring further hits with her songs “Me Muero,” a number-one hit in Mexico and Spain, and “Recuérdame,” which featured Marc Anthony on the recording. Jiménez announced that she was embarking on a solo project in 2010, following her guest appearance on the Spanish version of Ricky Martin’s song “The Best Thing About Me Is You,” and she delivered her first single, “Por Ser Tu Mujer,” the following spring, with her eponymous solo-debut album appearing two months later. She began work on a follow-up album in 2013, releasing what would become the title track, “Creo en Mi” the following year. Around the same time, she joined Telemundo’s La Voz Kids TV series as a coach, remaining with the series for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, coaching the winning singer both years. Creo en Mi was released in early 2o15 and featured “Quédate Con Ella,” which joined the title track as a top-five Latin Airplay hit. Last winter, Jiménez released an album in tribute to Jenni Rivera, Homenaje a La Gran Señora. Natalia Jiménez is making her Ravinia debut.
Comedian Patti Vasquez
Patti Vasquez is the host of The Patti Vasquez Show on Chicago’s WGN Radio, a standup comedian, and co-creator of the upcoming series Patti Happens.
Vasquez was born and raised in Chicago and is an internationally performing comedian. As a host, she quickly claimed the number-one spot for late night radio. She has appeared as a commentator on WGN-TV Morning News and Fox’s Good Day Chicago. She also served as a fill-in host for WCIU’s You & Me This Morning. She was recently honored by the National Museum of Mexican Art and the University of Illinois for her contributions to art and advocacy work.
While still hosting her eclectic and wildly successful radio show, Vasquez began working with ABC to develop a sitcom based on Patti’s life. She graduated from the University of Illinois–Champaign-Urbana with a degree in history. She later disappointed her parents—so she says—by dropping out of Northwestern’s PhD program to become a standup comic. It all worked out in the end—or at least, so far so good.
Sonorama is a Chicago-based DJ collective fronted by Charly Garcia, Eddy Baca, and Marlowe Baca, created with the objective of promoting world roots music through an obsessive love of vinyl music culture. More than just DJs, they collect, scavenge, and are ever in search of new sonic and rhythmic delights both new, old, or sometimes forgotten, but with the purpose to share the discoveries with the rest of the internet community. Through podcasts and other various media, Sonorama criss-crosses geographic borders and genres with ease, and together with the trio’s different musical tastes and backgrounds, sets out to showcase an eclectic program of rare grooves, musical curios, and Afro-influenced dance music, along with any other surprises that are dug up along the way. Read more about Sonorama in the Chicago Tribune.
Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago
Founded in 1982, the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago is dedicated to showcasing Mexican art and culture through diverse folkloric dance works that range from indigenous, pre-Columbian times forward through the Spanish colonial period, independence, and the 1910 revolution. Throughout its history, the company has provided free dance education and training to children and young adults in Chicago’s Mexican communities, and today it supports two performing ensembles that have appeared at such events as the 1987 Pan Am Games, 1994 World Cup, and numerous official visits to Chicago. It was also recently chosen to perform at the Mariachi Festival at Disney World, for the inauguration of Chicago’s Harris Theater, and at the 10th annual Latin Grammy Awards ceremony.
Galli Lucha Libre
Galli Lucha Libre brings you the best combination of traditional “Lucha Libre” (Mexican wrestling) and combines it with American wrestling, creating a hybrid style only seen in Galli.
Chicago Mariachi Project
The award-winning Chicago Mariachi Project (CMP) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to elevate the art of mariachi and promote excellence in musicianship through education, coordination, and support. Through the long-standing efforts of its founders, CMP has been credited with having formally kicked off the mariachi education movement in Chicago. CMP currently runs after-school and in-school programs in Chicago Public Schools, which include a musical bridge program and a weekend Mariachi Academy with students from the greater Chicago area. Through its extensive relationships locally, nationally, and in Mexico, CMP has built a comprehensive network of resources which enables it to provide programs and services of the highest quality. Students from CMP's Mariachi Academy recently won first place in the high school category and third place overall at the national 27th Annual Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque. For more information on CMP, visit is Facebook page at facebook.com/chicagomariachiproject.
Ravinia Sistema Orchestra
A signature REACH*TEACH*PLAY education program, Sistema Ravinia is an intensive orchestral music education program that fosters social change through exceptional music training for over 250 3rd-8th grade students in under resourced Chicago and Lake County public schools. Sistema Ravinia is inspired by the influential El Sistema model of music education, which has produced some of the world’s top classical musicians and conductors, and has been adopted by music-education institutions around the globe. Launched in 2012 at Catalyst Circle Rock in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, the not-for-profit Ravinia Festival expanded Sistema Ravinia to Lake County in 2015. Ravinia has hired over 40 teachers to give more elementary-school students small-group instruction in their schools as well as full orchestra rehearsals in Bennett Gordon Hall on the festival’s grounds.
“Sistema Ravinia is truly changing children’s lives through music,” said Christine Taylor, Ravinia’s Reach*Teach*Play director. “Not only are we providing instrumental instruction to these kids, but we are doing so with an intensity of time, purpose, and passion. The program has dual missions of musical excellence and positive social change for kids and their families. Alumni of Sistema Ravinia in Chicago are now in the top orchestras of their selected high schools, including ChiArts. We are thrilled to bring this successful initiative to Lake County schools and to give them full access to Ravinia’s learning campus.”
Sistema Ravinia meets daily after school for two hours with students from North, Glen Flora, and Lyon Magnet Elementary Schools and Abbott, Jefferson, Juarez and Webster Middle Schools in Waukegan; The Cove School (which serves special-needs students in both Lake and Cook Counties) in Northbrook; and Catalyst Circle Rock Charter school in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. Ravinia’s Reach*Teach*Play programs provide equitable access to music for 85,000 people in the Chicago region each year.