One of the world’s most singular voices, Lila Downs’ poignant storytelling transcends all language barriers. Raised in Minnesota and Oaxaca, this global superstar’s exquisite artistry bridges traditions from across the Americas, with influences ranging from the folk and ranchera music of Mexico and South America to North American folk, jazz, blues, and hip-hop. As a passionate human-rights activist, Lila’s lyrics often highlight issues relating to social justice, sharing stories that too often go untold.

Featuring selections from her recent release Balas y Chocolate and other traditional favorites, Lila’s gorgeous symphonic program premiered with the San Francisco Symphony in Fall 2015 and was performed with the Chicago Symphony in Summer 2016. Lila has graced the stages of many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Festival of Sacred Music — Hollywood Bowl.

Lila has been invited to sing at the White House and performed on the Academy Awards and Latin Grammy Awards telecasts. Her music has also been included in several feature films such as The CounselorTortilla SoupReal Women Have CurvesThe Three Burials of Melquiades EstradaCarlos Saura’s FadosMariachi Gringo, and Hecho en Mexico.

Few alternative artists have the dynamic power and range of this bilingual warrior-woman, who has recorded nine albums, earning a Grammy and four Latin Grammys along the way.

NPR
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