In the Mix: Mariachi musician builds a community during the pandemic

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Lisa Anglada has never been one to chase the spotlight, but her deep love of music is what keeps her there. She grew up playing Spanish music with mariachi groups but recently had the opportunity to make a solo album of her own.


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Anglada was born and raised in Taos and has played in mariachi groups since high school. She began playing mariachi music with a group at a local restaurant every Sunday. Now, she plays whatever catches her interest, be it classic rock, oldies, Spanish, and country music. This led her to eventually release her first solo album, a culmination of all of these things.

When the pandemic hit, Anglada found herself without opportunities to perform. It was then that Anglada’s partner and unofficial manager, Rhiannon Lujan, had the idea for Anglada to perform via Facebook Live.

Lujan manages Anglada’s social media accounts and noticed that her fans were wanting to hear her play, even if it was in video form. “She hates the attention, she hates being on stage. It was a way to be comfortable at home,” Lujan said.

Anglada has been performing every Saturday evening since May of last year. She says she usually plays for a total of four hours and starts off with a setlist of songs she’s going to play. As comments and song requests come in, Lujan monitors those comments and communicates them to Anglada. “Something unique about Lisa that some people might not know is that she doesn’t read music. All she has in front of her are lyrics and she puts her sound behind the song,” Lujan said.

Both, she and Lujan said they were feeling isolated during the initial stages of the pandemic, and realized her fans were also feeling that way. “We’ve asked people if they wanted us to continue, even though things are opening up, the answer has been that they want these shows. It’s become a part of their weekly routine, as it has for us as well,” Lujan said.

Though unexpected, Anglada said she has grown close with viewers who watch and comment on her weekly Facebook Live concerts. “We’ve become friends with a lot of people, even though we haven’t been able to meet face to face, I feel like I know most of them. It just brings joy to people. For people to ask, ‘Please don’t end, please come back next Saturday, that helps us.’ That just makes my heart so happy,” Anglada said.

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