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Yvonne y Grupo Fuego finalists for two Tejano Music Awards
By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent


Yvonne y Grupo Fuego will be traveling to San Antonio later this month, one step closer to earning their first Tejano Music Awards. The Toledo-based musical group learned Saturday night that fan voting made them among the top five finalists for the two categories in which they are nominated.


The band celebrated with family and friends, hosting a ‘70s party while listening to the top five nominations live on the radio. Just before the announcement, lead singer Yvonne Ramos-Ybarra and husband Michael Ybarra each thanked fans via Facebook for their continued support. The group’s official Facebook page now boasts 6,000 ‘likes’ from across the country.


“My butterflies have turned into full sized pigeons at this point!!!” Ms. Ramos-Ybarra posted. “To everyone who voted for us, we truly thank you. For those who kept us in your prayers, we truly thank you as well. A whirlwind of feelings and memories are flooding me today-- mostly of those that have passed on, our angels.”

“Many thoughts are passing through my mind and the only one that stands out is that how blessed we are to be able to do what we love and most importantly to share this experience,” wrote keyboardist and band leader Michael Ybarra. “I want to thank everyone for all the support that we have received from our home town to across the country and, of course, the blessings that we have received from our God All Mighty.”


Ms. Ramos-Ybarra was nominated as Best New Artist-Female and Grupo Fuego received a nomination for Best New Artist-Group at the upcoming Tejano Music Awards to be held Oct. 24 in San Antonio. The nominations resulted from the release early in 2015 of the band’s 11-track debut Tejano CD “Nosotros.” Yvonne y Grupo Fuego just released the latest single “Mi Todo” from the CD on Friday, which is now available for download on CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon. An accompanying “Mi Todo” video was released on the band’s YouTube channel on Sept. 22.


The band will make several appearances during the San Antonio trip. Whether or not they will perform at the awards ceremony is still up in the air. But the group plans to celebrate win or lose.


The seven-member band mainly hails from the Toledo area, but does include some musicians from Michigan as well. They've been together for four years now. Yvonne's husband Michael Ybarra serves as musical director and plays keyboards, while his son Mikey Ybarra plays drums. Bennie Esquivel of Archbold plays bass guitar and Lito Vasquez of Toledo plays guitar. Percussion player JoJo Jimenez hails from Saginaw, Michigan, while accordion player Matt Ponce is from Bay City, Michigan.


As a result of the new CD, Yvonne y Grupo Fuego was selected to perform at this year's Tejano Music Awards Fan Fair, March 12-15, in San Antonio. Those appearances have led to other concert bookings across the country. There is an Arizona tour in the works during 2016.




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Revised: 10/06/15 19:53:22 -0700.




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