Known for her striking voice and magnetic performances, Mexican-American singer and composer Lila Downs (Oaxaca, México) has created one of the most singular explorations of Mexican roots music on both sides of the border. The daughter of an American professor (her father) and a Mixtec cabaret singer, Downs came of age in both countries. By studying folk Mexican rhythms and native dialects and blending them with American folk, blues and rock, Downs has created a unique body of work through releases such as La Sandunga (1999), Tree of Life (2000) Border (2001), One Blood (2004), Entre Copa y Copa (2006) and Shake Away/Ojo de Culebra (2008).
Her new release, “Pecados y Milagros” (Sins and Miracles), Sony Music Mexico, is an exploration of faith in light of modern events, both tragic and inspirational. Fifteen renowned Mexican contemporary visual artists have joined Lila in this project and each has created a work of art to accompany each song, which are included in the CD booklet.
Lila Downs has long been recognized by the music industry, receiving a Latin Grammy for the 2004 release “Una Sangre” and a Grammy nomination for 2008’s “Shake Away” In addition to headlining venues all over the world, she has appeared at major festivals and events including the World Sacred Music Festival - appearing with such luminaries as the Dalai Lama; WOMAD; Live Earth; Montreal Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Latino Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama, the Bicentenario de Mexico, and the opening ceremonies for the 2011 Pan American Games.
Hollywood also took notice when Lila played a role in the Salma Hayek film “Frida” and then performed the Oscar-nominated soundtrack song “Burn It Blue” on the Academy Awards telecast. Her music has been included in several other feature films such as “Tortilla Soup,” “Real Women Have Curves,” “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada,” Carlos Saura's “Fados,” and the 2012 film release “Mariachi Gringo.”
LILA DOWNS is now branching out into musical theater and is currently composing the score for the Broadway-bound adaptation of Like Water for Chocolate, the award winning novel and film by Mexican author Laura Esquivel.