September 27, 2002

Voz Alta Presents: A Discussion with Lilla Downs

Mixtec-American singer/songwriter LILA DOWNS will lead an intimate discussion on her music and sign copies of her latest CD, Border/La Linea. Don’t miss your chance to connect with one of the world’s most enchanting performers.

Afterwards she will perform for FREE from 7:30-9pm at the Adams Avenue Street Fair on the Park Jazz and Latin Stage.

Lila Downs grew up in the Sierra Madre mountains of southern Mexico, in the state of Oaxaca, and also in Minnesota in the U.S.A. She is the daughter of a Scottish- American father and Mixtec-Indian mother.

Lila started singing mariachi songs when she was 8. When she turned 14, she started voice lessons in Los Angeles, California, continued voice lessons in Oaxaca city at Bellas Artes, and moved back to Minnesota for college where she studied voice and anthropology at the University of Minnesota. Lila began singing in the club scenes of Oaxaca and Philadelphia along with Paul Cohen, an expatriate saxophonist who had also been a clown and juggler in the circus. They began collaborating together on songs that would slowly mature into their most recent recordings.

Lila and the band’s most recent performances have included heavy touring in Mexico, South America, the U.S. and Europe. Lila presently lives in Coyoacan and collaborates with musicians from Mexico, Canada, Cuba, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay. She performs her own compositions and also taps into the vast reservior of native meso-american music, by singing songs in the the Indian languages of Mexico such as Mixtec, Zapotec, Maya and Nahuatl.

Lila has three albums to her credit including TREE OF LIFE, LA SANDUNGA and the most recent BORDER/LA LINEA - a collection of stirring songs inspired by border life, the plight of migrant workers, and the hardships and racism endured by indigenous peoples. BORDER/LA LINEA is dedicated to the Mexican migrants, to the spirits of those who died crossing the line.

A Discussion with Lila Downs Saturday, September 28 4pm $10 ($7 students)

For more info on Voz Alta call (619) 230-1869.

Voz Alta San Diego’s Chicano Latiná Performance Space and Art Gallery 917 E St., San Diego, Califas 92101 downtown between 9th & 10th.

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