Currently, Yvonne and
Grupo Fuego (as she and her husband call their Tejano group) are
putting the finishing touches on their first nationally released
CD, which will come out this fall.
But what really has Yvonne
excited is the upcoming Selena Tribute that she and the
band will perform during the 2014 MidWest LatinoFest on
August 30, in Toledo’s downtown Promenade Park.
“I’m very nervous about
this,” Ramos admits as she arrives to a recent weekend band
rehearsal. “Nobody can be Selena or take her place. But I hope
to do her justice.”
Yvonne and Grupo Fuego
will perform two sets during the festival. The first set, which
is tentatively scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., will include
music from their upcoming music. The second set, which is
expected to begin at about 9:30 or 10:00 p.m., will feature the
Selena Tribute—it is the 20th year when Selena
[Quintanilla Pérez] was tragically gunned down in Corpus
To make the tribute
complete, Saginaw, Michigan’s own Luis García, will be
filling the role of Pete Astudillo, who sang numerous
duets with Selena, including Amame, Quiereme and
Siempre Estoy Pensando en Ti. Astudillo, who was a member of
Selena y Los Dinos, also co-wrote some of Selena’s Tejano
hits. Her brother, Abe Quintanilla Jr., also wrote many.
“We want to take people
back to that first time that they saw her concert,” said Yvonne.
“For me, it was listening to Selena Live – the first one,
with everybody chanting – you could feel that energy.”
Although Selena’s life was
cut tragically short, the festival tribute is meant to celebrate
Selena’s life, said La Prensa Editor Rico Neller.
The “Queen of Tejano
Music” was murdered by the founder of her fan club in Corpus
Christi, Texas on March 31, 1995.She would have turned 44 on
April 16, 2015 if she had lived, said Neller.
Like many Latinos, Yvonne
grew up listening to Selena’s music and being inspired by the
way she carried herself.
“Everything she embodied,
we’ve tried to embody,” said Yvonne. “She symbolized hope,
family, and respect. Nobody had ever gone as far she did [in
Tejano music] at that time.”
Many people in the music
industry credit Selena for not only the popularity of
Tejano music, but for also leading the way for other
Spanish-language singers to cross-over into the English-language
pop market, as she did after her death in 1995, when Dreaming
of You was released.
Her 1990 album, Ven
Conmigo, was the first Tejano record to sell more than
500,000 copies, earning the release gold record status.
English-language album, Dreaming of You, was released
after her death and debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard
200 sales chart, making her the first Latina to ever accomplish
this feat. The album has since sold more than 35 million copies,
according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Yvonne declined to reveal
the list of songs that the band will perform, but acknowledged
“you have to do Como la Flor,” one of Selena’s most
The most important part of
the tribute is to make sure everyone enjoys the event, including
herself, diva Ramos-Ybarra said.
“Nobody is ever going to
sing or duplicate her, so I’ll do just like little girls who
grow up playing Barbie’s do; except I get to go play Selena.
“The important thing is
keeping Selena’s memory alive and we’re pulling out all the
stops; we’re leaving it all on the stage.”