Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Lila Downs is among the most globally popular singers of Latin music. One reason is that despite long established roots in Mexico and the United States, her cultural vision is anthropological. Hers is informed by ancient and earthy cultures both from her native Oaxaca -- boleros, rancheras, and mariachis -- and U.S. with its jazz, blues, and soul standards. Her own songwriting topics reflect themes of political and social justice, immigration, transformation, and environmentalism, all rooted in the human condition. Possessed of a big, throaty alto, her performances are dramatic contrasts in cultures as they seek connections between them and highlight the necessity of difference among them, whether she's singing jazz ballads, bouncy norteños, or blues. She has performed everywhere from the White ...
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