José R. Torres-Ramos is an ethnomusicologist whose research investigates how sound and embodiment in musical performance reveal a shared lived experience that ritualizes cultural imaginaries linking with socialized notions of race, ethnicity, and gender. His work explores Latin American milieus with a specialized focus on Mexico’s modern mariachi, examining how its performative musicality reflexively structures hetero-nationalist culture. The recipient of numerous research fellowships, including a prestigious Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Award, Dr. Torres has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork throughout the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. His scholarship has been presented and published the United States and Mexico, including invited guest lectures at the Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México (UNAM) and the Universidad de Guadalajara. His most recent published writing appears in the forthcoming edited volumes, Keywords in Music Theory for Anti-Racist Scholars (Duke University Press); and Men and Masculinities: A Southern Global Perspective Volume 2 (Vernon Press). Dr. Torres has given public lectures on Latin American music for the Dallas Theater Center and the Fort Worth Opera. He also chairs the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) Gender and Sexualities Taskforce.
As mariachi scholar/performer, Dr. Torres has artistically collaborated with many internationally renowned professional ensembles, including Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Los Camperos de Nati Cano, and Sol de México de José L. Hernández. He has also accompanied in live concerts, many Latin American solo artists, including Lucha Villa, Aida Cuevas, Alberto Ángel “El Cuervo,” and Vikki Carr, as well as US country western star George Strait. A former certified public-school teacher, Dr. Torres directed award-winning student ensembles in school districts and universities throughout Texas. He has composed and arranged music for scholastic, collegiate, and professional ensembles as well as producing numerous commercial studio recordings. Currently, Dr. Torres is the musical director/administrator for UT Austin’s Mariachi Paredes de Tejastitlán.
MUS 334/MAS 374/LAS 326
History of Mariachi Music
Mariachi Laboratory Ensemble
2023. “Gritos y chiflidos. Un paisaje sonoro del mariachi moderno.” In El Mariachi, presente y futuro. Perspectivas. Santiago de Querétaro: Fundación Universitaria de Derecho, Administración y Política, S.C.
(Forthcoming) 2024. “Timbral Habitus.” In Key Terms in Music Theory for Anti-Racist Scholars, edited by Jade Conlee and Tatiana Koike. Durham: Duke University Press.
(Forthcoming) 2024. “A Phenomenology of Masculine Musicality in Mexico.” In Men and Masculinities in the Global South: A Southern Perspective Volume 2, edited by José Loureiro. Wilmington: Vernon Press.