Tec graduate and Mexican drummer Migdalia van der Hoven is performing at one of the most famous jazz clubs in the English capital and will take part in a musical festival of this genre.
By Marlene González | Monterrey Campus - 08/31/2021 Photo Courtesy from Migdalia van der Hoven

The pandemic hit just as I was starting to have success with my performances. I thought, ‘I have two options: complain or adapt,’” recalled Mexican drummer Migdalia van der Hoven.

Having graduated in Marketing from the Tec and from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, this girl from Monterrey decided to adapt and posted videos of her drum playing on social media.

When a clip of the artist, who currently lives in England, went viral, different brands wanted to sponsor her, she gained more followers, and she created her own jazz album.

“That’s how it all began. I told my husband, who’s also a musician, that we should release our own album. We did it during the pandemic. We started sending (the album) to the biggest jazz clubs in London.

“I thought, ‘I’ve nothing to lose.’ They listened to it, they said, ‘Go ahead,’ and I was like ‘Wow, thank you!’” she said.


That’s how this Tec graduate managed to present her EP (Extended Play) “Girl Facing South“ at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, one of the most famous jazz venues in central London.

“On August 21, we played at the most important (jazz) club in Europe. It’s a dream come true. I’ve been to see my favorite artists there. I became the first female Mexican drummer to perform there.

“Everything’s happened really fast and I’m grateful to the Tec for teaching me how to handle it, what the best strategy is, and how to continue riding this wave,” she said.


Heading to music festivals

This year, Migdalia has been invited to perform at the EFG London Jazz Festival, one of the biggest festivals in Europe, which will be held from November 12 to 21.


“Everything’s happened really fast, and I’m grateful to the Tec for teaching me how to handle it, what the best strategy is, and how to continue riding this wave.”



“In Summer 2022, I’ve also been invited to take part in a festival that Bryan Adams is headlining. From one moment to the next, doors have been opened to me. All because I decided to do it and believe in myself,” she said.

The EP from The Migdalia van der Hoven Quartet includes the tracks “Red Skies”, “Girl Facing South”, and “Savannah Rain”, which are available on digital platforms.

“My husband (the quartet’s saxophonist) was the one who composed the songs, but it was my idea. After releasing the EP on platforms, it got played on the radio in the United States, as well as in parts of Latin America,” she said.


The Mexican drummer’s beginnings

During her degree course at the Monterrey campus, van der Hoven came across a poster for “Raíces”, a folk-dance company at the Tec, which would determine her career path. 

“I remember in my 5th semester I saw a poster advertising for musicians for an anniversary of CEMEX at the Monterrey Arena. I sent an email to the teacher, Eloisa Hernández, and she immediately replied.


The Tec graduate also has her own line of cymbals, “Van der Jazz”, in collaboration with Red Cymbals.
La EXATEC también tiene su propia línea de platillos, “Van der Jazz”, en colaboración con Red Cymbals.


“I was among 10 or 12 musicians who went to audition for drums. That’s when I put my all into this particular instrument. I’d taken drum lessons since the age of 10, so I had experience with different types of rhythms,” she said.

It wasn’t until a tribute to “Cri Cri”, the character created by composer Francisco Gabilondo, that Migdalia discovered her passion for performing jazz music on drums.

“I realized this at Raíces. The tribute songs were swing so nobody else could play them, but it came naturally to me, so I was able to apply myself to that. I said, ‘I love it,’” she said.

After graduating with a degree in Marketing in 2008, the Monterrey native traveled to Boston in the United States to study jazz drumming for two years at Berklee College of Music, and then she moved to London.

“I studied Marketing (at the Monterrey campus) and I still use it. It’s helped me to achieve what I have and in what I do. My degree taught me discipline and not to give up until you’ve finished,” she said.


Migdalia has performed at Piano Smithfield, Ronnie Scott’s in London, and will be at The Bear Club, Soho Jazz Festival, Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club, and EFG London Jazz Festival.
Migdalia se ha presentado en Piano Smithfield, Ronnie Scott’s, en Londres, y estará en The Bear Club, Soho Jazz Festival, Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club y EFG London Jazz Festival.


To those students studying at Tecnológico de Monterrey, the Mexican drummer encourages them to make the most of the extracurricular activities offered by the institution.

“Try to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Art and Culture, sports, and student activities, because they’re things that not every school offers, and you have the privilege of them being at your fingertips,” she said.

With information from Eugenia Bernal






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