Lila Downs first made a name for herself at the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington DC. Thousands of First Nation people attended the celebrations and concerts for the grand opening and at the time the name Lila Downs wasn't a household name in the U.S. When she took the stage, however, all of that changed. The crowd was won over instantly with her interweaving of indigenous Mexican, Jazz, and Latin music. This combination of styles offers a Pan-American type of perspective on American Indian music.
She is a powerful singer that was born and bred in Oaxaca, Mexico. She incorporates several Mexican indigenous influences into her songs that she sings in various native languages such as Zapotec, Purépecha, Mayan, Mixtec, and Nahuatl. She performs covers of others’ music as well as original compositions in different genres.
Lila Downs studied at the Oaxaca Institute of Arts and also attended the University of Minnesota briefly. She then began to focus on a career as a musician and released her first album in 1994. She became well-known as an artist when she released the album called La Sandunga in 1999. She became successful at an international level in 2001 with the release of the album Border. Her latest mega-successful album was released to the public in 2017 by the name of Salón Lágrimas y Deseo.
Downs has spent much time trying to preserve the integrity of the Mixtec language along with other Mexican indigenous languages through her activism. The majority of her music is based around the heritage, culture, and style of indigenous Mexicans. To date, she has received 3 Latin Grammy awards and 1 Grammy award.
Lila Downs also appeared in a film called Frida back in 2002 and was a contributor to the song in the movie called Burn It Blue, which was nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards.
She is one of the most popular singers at a global level of Latin music with a deeply cultural vision. The songs that she has written herself reflect themes of social and political justice, environmentalism, transformation, and immigration. You can expect her performances to offer dramatic cultural contrasts and she seeks a connection between all of them while at the same time highlighting the fact that the differences are also important.
Lila Downs has performed at the White House, Harlem's Apollo Theatre, Carnegie Hall, and at many other noteworthy concert halls in the world. She can deliver many different genres during a concert including blues, show tunes, dance music, and much more.
When you're looking for indigenous music that offers something different yet meaningful, you'll find it with Lila Downs. Her commitment to indigenous music can be heard on her albums and at her live concerts. She will be performing at the Balboa Theatre in San Diego on May 4, 2022, at 8:00 PM and tickets are now available for this show at CheapoTicketing. Visit the website to see which tickets are available and the other venues she may be performing at near you.