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Mexican-American Singer LILA DOWNS launches new Tour and CD

Tour launches August 11 at Chicago House of Blues with live streaming concert
via Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Music!

New CD “Raíz” with Argentina’s Soledad and Spain’s Niña Pastori,
to be released August 12 on Sony Music;

Hispanic Roots project follows GRAMMY-winning CD “Pecados y Milagros”

Aug 11 Chicago, IL   House of Blues - streaming on new Live Nation Channel on Yahoo! Live
Aug 13   Saratoga, CA Montalvo Garden Theatre
Aug 14 Sacramento, CA Crest Theatre
Aug 16 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Aug 17 Napa, CA City Winery
Aug 19 San Diego, CA House of Blues (part of AT&T Musica Ya! series)
Aug 22 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre (part of AT&T Musica Ya! series)
Aug 24 Chandler, AZ   Ovations Live Showroom (part of AT&T Musica Ya! series)
Aug 25 Tucson, AZ Rialto Theatre
Aug 27 Santa Fe, NM Lensic Theatre
Aug 28 Houston, TX House of Blues
Aug 30 Dallas, TX House of Blues
Aug 31 San Antonio, TX Majestic Theatre - presented by Esperanza Center for Peace & Justice
Oct 10 New York, NY Jazz at Lincoln Center/Appel Room 7pm & 9:30pm
Oct 11 New York, NY Jazz at Lincoln Center/Appel Room 7pm & 9:30pm

The work of Grammy and two-time Latin Grammy winner Mexican-American singer and songwriter Lila Downs has always been driven by a passion to explore her roots.

Now in Raiz, a collaboration with Soledad, from Argentina, and Niña Pastori, from Spain --, both singers and songwriters known for celebrating and expanding their own musical traditions -- Downs takes that passion into new territory.

The new recording will be released August 12 on Sony Music. The night before, Downs will be performing some of the songs from Raiz in a special concert at the House of Blues in Chicago. The August 11 show will stream live on the new Live Nation channel on Yahoo! Live.  

The concert also will mark the beginning of a tour in the United States that will take Downs and her longtime band, La Misteriosa, to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. On her Chicago show and throughout the tour, Downs will be performing material from her earlier releases, including 2012’s Grammy and Latin Grammy-winning Pecados y Milagros, and previewing songs from her next solo CD, tentatively set for release in early 2015.

“The president of Sony Latin, Afo Verde, had this idea a few years back,” said Downs. “I believe he and Soledad [Pastorutti] were talking about ways of getting music from Argentina out, so they toyed with the idea of a collaboration and thought of various singers. And when they mentioned it to me, I found it interesting. I love to learn about different traditions and María [María Rosa García García, better known as Niña Pastori] also seemed ready to try something different. I think it also had to do with the point in our lives. We all have small children and we all have worked a lot on our own, so we were ready to try something different.”

The 12 tracks in the album include Down’s favorites such as “Zapata se Queda,” “Tierra de Luz” and “Cumbia del Mole,” but also tracks such as the classic tango “El Día Que Me Quieras,” the waltz “Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir,” once recorded by Edith Piaf, and Cuban singer Silvio Rodriguez´ “La Maza.” The repertory also includes songs by two-time Latin Grammy winner Niña Pastori (“Válgame Dios”) and by Latin Grammy-nominee Soledad (“Chacarera Para Mi Vuelta”).

Musically, the arrangements cover a broad spectrum of Ibero-American styles, from boleros and chacareras to tanguillos and huapangos.

“We first chose each other’s songs,” explains Downs. “Soledad picked my songs and I picked her songs and Maria’s; Maria picked mine and so on. Then we learned the songs, we did our own arrangements in our own countries and we all got together in Mexico City to record the vocals.
I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

All three singers perform in all the songs, each giving the material at hand a distinct flavor.

“Originally we thought we’d do more solo things and [there would be] three songs in which everybody sang,” recalls Downs. “But when we heard the album … we decided we all had to add our voices to the tracks. So we adapted our styles and it was all part of the teamwork, and I’m very happy with how it worked out musically.”

Since the release of Pecados y Milagros, Downs has expanded her fan base exponentially. She had a spectacular performance at the 2013 Latin GRAMMYs telecast featuring folk music champions Colombian singer Totó La Momposina and accordionist Celso Piña. And she also has performed to the largest live audiences yet in her career, including her first appearance on Carnegie Hall’s main stage, multiple sold-out concerts in Mexico City’s 12,000-seat Auditorio Nacional, and a very special tribute concert to her late father at the University of Minnesota.

Pecados y Milagros, her first CD for Sony Music Latin, also topped the album charts in Mexico for six weeks, reaching double platinum sales.

This has been a time of many honors for Downs, including a Grammy, a Latin Grammy, an invite to perform at the White House — and having a newly-discovered species of Mexican grasshopper, the brightly colored Liladownsia fraile, named after her.

“It was a great honor,” she says with a hearty laugh. “I never imagined anything like that would happen in my lifetime.”

Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Downs is the daughter of Mixtec singer Anita Sánchez and Allen Downs, a Scottish-American art professor and filmmaker. She grew up in Oaxaca, California, and Minnesota, where she graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in voice and anthropology. Saxophonist, producer and songwriter Paul Cohen, the musical director of La Misteriosa, is also her husband.

Lila interview on GRAMMY.COM

Touring Lineup :
Lila Downs - Vocals, Hand Percussion, Acoustic Guitar
Paul Cohen - Musical director, Tenor Sax, Clarinet
Rafael Gomez - Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Luis Guzman - Bass
George Saenz - Trombone, Accordion
Yayo Serka - Drums & Percussion
Leo Soqui - Accordion, Jarana, Keyboard

Artist Website:

YouTube Links:
“Raíz de mi tierra” video (from Raíz CD)
“Zapata se queda” video (from Pecados y Milagros CD)

LILA DOWNS Biography

Lila Downs has one of the world’s most singular voices and innovative approaches to music. She is the daughter of a Mixtec Indian woman, Anastasia Sanchez, who ran away from her village at 15 to sing in Mexico City cantinas and a University of Minnesota professor Allen Downs, who saw her singing and fell in love.

Lila grew up both in Minnesota and Oaxaca, and her music and vocal artistry has many influences, including the folk and ranchera music of Mexico and South America and American folk, jazz, blues and hip-hop. Many of her lyrics focus on issues relating to social justice, and often tell the stories of the workers who migrate from rural Mexico to work in the U.S. She studied classical voice and cultural anthropology at the University of Minnesota. “The Mexican American singer has a stunning voice, a confident multicultural vision grounded in her Mixtec Indian roots,” notes The Los Angeles Times. “Ms. Downs has multiple voices, from an airborne near-falsetto down to a forthright alto and a sultry, emotive contralto,” hails The New York Times.

She and her longtime collaborator, Paul Cohen, have produced 10 studio albums, with Pecados y Milagros (2012) having earned both U.S. and Latin Grammy awards. The CD reached double-platinum sales in Mexico, where it topped the album charts for six weeks. She received her first Latin Grammy for the 2004 release, “Una Sangre.”

Lila Downs has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and venues, has been invited to sing at the White House, and performed “Burn It Blue,” the Oscar nominated song from the movie Frida, at the Academy Awards televised ceremony. Her music has also been included in several other feature films such as The Counselor, Tortilla Soup, Real Women Have Curves, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Carlos Saura's Fados, and most recently Mariachi Gringo and Hecho en Mexico.

Her current project is a collaboration with Argentinian singer Soledad and Spanish flamenco singer Niña Pastori, entitled RAÍZ.

2014 RAIZ / Sony Music Entertainment
2004 Una Sangre (One Blood) / EMI Records (Latin Grammy )
2012 Pecados y Milagros / Sony Music (Latin Grammy / Grammy)
2001 La Línea (The Border) - EMI Records
2010 Lila Downs y La Misteriosa en París Live À FIP / World Village HM
2000 Árbol de la Vida (Yutu tata) / EMI Records
2009 El Alma de Lila Downs / Capitol-EMI
1999 La Sandunga / EMI Records
2008 Ojo de Culebra (Shake Away) / Manhattan-EMI (Grammy Nomination)
1996 Azuláo: En vivo con Lila Downs / Cloud People Music
2006 La Cantina / EMI Records
1994 Ofrenda / Cloud People Music