Lila Downs was born in Tlaxiaco, Mexico, the daughter of a Mixtec cabaret singer Anita Sanchez and Allen Downs, a British-American professor of art and cinematographer from Minnesota. Her music incorporates indigenous Mexican influences and features indigenous languages such as Mixtec, Zapotec, Maya, Nahuatl and P’urhépecha. Her lyrics draw on many socially significant issues, such as the mistreatment and misunderstanding of the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca. She just released a new record entitled Pecados y Milagros which translates in English to Sins and Miracles.
“Mixing original songs with newly remade Mexican classics, Pecados y Milagros was created with a museum exhibition in mind: a series of specially commissioned votive paintings, or retablos, made by a group of contemporary Mexican painters. The exhibition, curated by an Oaxacan artist named Demian Flores in collaboration with Downs, opened this past week at MUNAL, Mexico City’s Museo Nacional de Arte.”
Lila’s music is infectious and lively. She will be at Stern Auditorium this November 15th and El Museo del Barrio on February 18th next year. Until then enjoy this terrific live video for “Paloma Negra.”