Lila Downs is one of the most most influential artists in Latin America. She has one of the world’s most singular voices, and is known for her charismatic performances. Her own compositions often combine genres and rhythms as diverse as Mexican rancheras and corridos, boleros, jazz standards, hip-hop, cumbia, and North American folk music. Her music often focuses on social justice, immigration, and women’s issues.
She grew up in both Minnesota and Oaxaca Mexico, her mother is from the Mixtec indigenous group, and her father was Scottish-American. Lila sings in Spanish, English, and varios Native American languages as Zapotec, Mixtec, Nahuatl, Maya, and Purepecha.
She has recorded duets with artists as diverse as Mercedes Sosa, Caetano Veloso, Juanes, Nora Jones, Juan Gabriel, Santana, The Chieftains, Diego La Cigala, Celso Piña and Toto La Momposina. Chavela Vargas “named” Lila her “sucessor”.
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 Hollywood Bowl. She was invited by Barack Obama to sing at the White House, and has performed at the Oscars for her participation in the film Frida.
Lila has recorded 14 studio albums and 2 lives. She has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards and has won six.
The Mexican American singer has a stunning voice, a confident multicultural vision grounded in her Mixtec Indian roots. Los Angeles Times
Ms. Downs has multiple voices, from an airborne near-falsetto down to a forthright alto and a sultry, emotive contralto. New York Times
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