Wed, October 29, 2003 at 7:00 pm
Admission: General Public, $20; USC Faculty & Staff, $15; USC Students with Valid ID, $8
Bovard Auditorium (ADM)
University Park Campus
Buy Ticket Online
Regarded by Billboard as "one of the most spellbinding voices to grace the world music scene," Lila Downs sings in Spanish, Zapotec, Mixtec, Mayan and English and reveals an affection for both her indigenous roots and a strong working-class ethic.
The daughter of a Mixtec Indian woman and Anglo-American father, Downs moved to the U.S. from the mountains of Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca at a young age. After high school in Southern California, she returned to her native Mexico and was able to appreciate the history of her Oaxacan Zapotec and Mixtec Indian ancestry. (Even before the Spanish conquest, her mother's people had been overrun, first by the neighboring Zapotecs and then by the Aztecs, who changed their language and obliterated their culture.) Melding her early interests of anthropology and music, Downs now unites various cultures with her music.
Often referred to as an ethnomusicologist, Downs was inspired by her bicultural heritage to study the traditional grand Mexican ballads (?canciones Oaxaque?os?), the rancheras, the boleros and the ancient codices of the Mixtecs and Zapotecs and put them to music. She has composed a number of celebrated works that further blur the boundaries of ethnicity and nationality.
Downs' most recent CD was 2001?s "Border" ("La Linea"), a collection of songs inspired by the lives of migrant workers along the Mexican-U.S. border. Downs was nominated for an Academy Award for the song "Burn It Blue" from the film, "Frida."
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Added by lhl on September 22, 2003