Lila Downs

Lila Downs is a mesmerizing new singer from Mexico! Wherever Lila Downs plays, people are amazed by her power and passion. In the tradition of Cesaria Evora and Susana Baca, Lila's sultry and exotic voice has made her an artistic phenomenon in Mexico, France, and Portugal.

Of Indian ancestry, she sings songs from many different Latin cultures. She will be playing shows around the world. Look for her concerts in your home town soon.

"Exotic beauty and startling voice…she is a reflection of a 21st century world culture where ethnicity and national boundaries blur." -Los Angeles Times

Experience the intensity, character, artistry, and drama of the next world music diva.

Lila Downs’ sultry and exotic world vocals have captivated sold-out audiences at the Sacred Music Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, the World’s Fair in Lisbon, and throughout France and Mexico. Quickly becoming an artistic phenomenon, she is now ready to take the world by storm.

Daughter of a Mixtec [mes-TEK] Indian woman and Anglo-American father, Downs unites cultures and boundaries with her extraordinary voice. Born near the mountains of Oaxaca [wa-HA-ka], Downs studied music and anthropology at the University of Minnesota and at the University of the Arts in Oaxaca. But it was only through music that Downs reconciled her heritage. "It took a long time to decide that I wanted to sing," she says. "Something needed to motivate me." That motivation was the songs and stories of her ancestors, the Oaxacan people. Downs explores the great Mexican ballads, the boleros and rancheras and sets the ancient codices of the Mixtecs and Zapotecs [za-po-TEK] to music.

Sung with incredibly deep emotion, Downs’ intense performances leave audiences of all cultures and countries spellbound.

Border (La Linea)
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Downs forges a bridge between cultures and time on BORDER - a collection of stirring songs inspired by border life, the plight of migrant workers, and the hardships and racism endured by indigenous peoples. Accompanied by pre-Colombian and Mexican folk instruments, Downs infuses jazz, gospel, and hip-hop influences into traditional cumbias, creating powerful music in any language. BORDER is dedicated to the Mexican migrants, to the spirits of those who died crossing the line.

  1. Mi Corazon Me Recuerda
  2. El Feo
  3. Sale Sobrando
  4. Corazoncito Tirano
  5. La Nina
  6. Hanal Weech
  7. Medley: Pastures Of Plenty/This Land Is Your Land/Land
  8. La Linea
  9. El Bracero Fracasado
  10. Transito
  11. Smoke (Acteal)
  12. La Martiniana
  13. Soy Pescador
  14. La Llorona
  15. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
Catalog #n72436
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    Tree of Life
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    1. Simuna
    2. Nueve Viento
    3. Arenita Azul
    4. La Iguana
    5. Yunu Yucu Ninu
    6. Xquenda
    7. Nueve Hierba
    8. Tres Pedernal
    9. Luna
    10. Semilla de Piedra
    11. Arbol de la Vida
    12. Icnocuicatl
    13. Uno Muerte
    Catalog #n72438 CD $15.99
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    La Sandunga
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    1. La Llorona (Traditional )4:32
    2. Tengo Miedo De Quererte (Cohen/Downs) 3:53
    3. La Sandunga (Ortiz) 4:09
    4. Ofrenda (Downs) 3:07
    5. Naila (Razgado) 3:09
    6. Sabor A Mi (Carrillo) 4:18
    7. Pobre Changuita (Piña) 2:10
    8. El Venadito (Public Domain) 2:28
    9. Un Paco Mas (Carrillo) 4:13
    10. Cancion Mixteca (Alavéz) 2:52
    11. Pinotepa (Carrillo) 4:42
    12. Yunu Yucu Ninu (de dios Qrtiz Cruz) 3:17
    Catalog #640014 CD $15.99
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    Pharaoh's Daughter

    Basya Schechter formed Pharaoh's Daughter after returning from Morocco in the Spring of 1995. It was her last trip to the Middle East and Africa which included Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan and Greece. Inspired by these new cultures, she began playing her guitar to sound like a cross between an Arabic oud and a Turkish saz, with harmonic minor melodies, and odd rhythms.. And in doing so, she created a brand of music that combines her religious Jewish spiritual music background, world beat, and the intense lyrical detail of a Pop singer/songwriter.

    Over the last five years Pharaoh's Daughter has built their following in New York City, performing in the Knitting Factory, the Living Room and Makor. Basya has also traveled on a month long tour through Germany, Netherlands and Czech Republic, in May of 2000, with world percussionist, Jarrod Cagwin in coffee houses, jazz clubs, theatres, and Creperies. In July 2000 the full band was invited to Queen Elizabeth Hall in London as part of a weeklong UK Mini Tour in the Tenth London Biannual Jewish Music Festival. In June in New York, they played at Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center in front of 6,000 people in the 25th Annual Yiddish Music Festival, as well as headlining at Symphony Space in a benefit concert for low income housing.

    They are going to be part of documentary on ABC called Sacred Voices in December, and have been featured on WFUV, and on WBAI on a special program devoted to the discussion of Middle Eastern conflicts. Pharaoh's Daughter released their first CD, "Daddy's Pockets" in February 1999. They received critical acclaim from the Jewish Week, Downtown Music Gallery, and New Voices. The first track on that album, "Niggun," served as the opening song of Pearl Gluck's documentary film, "The Couch." Their second CD, "Out of the Reeds," was released on the JAM (Jewish Alternative Music) branch of Knitting Factory Records in April 2000.

    The album and the band features band-mates Tracey Love-Wright (vocals, flute clarinet, kornermuse) a classically trained musician and a Renaissance street performer, Martha Colby (cello, vocals), a Berkley graduate versed in Jazz, classical, and World Music, Jen Gilleran, (tabla, vocals), a percussionist who studies with North Indian tabla master, Benoir (electric guitar, vocals), a jazz music graduate immersed in Brazilian and African styles, Jarrod Cagwin (dumbek, frame drums, hadjini drum), graduate of Berkley, who studied South Indian drumming with tritchi Sankara, and frame drums with Jaimee Haddad and Glenn Velez. Drummer/Percussionist, Tomer Tzur has recently joined the band, infusing the music with his groovy Middle Eastern musical expression. Each of these musicians brings an instrumental mastery as well as a sincere and individual, personal expression.

    Together, Pharaoh's Daughter crafts music that comforts with its meditative qualities and energizes with exploding eclectic grooves. They are currently working on pre-production for their third album.

    "... I've felt a keen desire to expand upon the contents of the songs rather than the beauty of the way they are performed, and believe me they are beautifully performed. So much so that the hypnotic and cyclical style of some items will have you reaching for the repeat button time and again. Older than the hills and younger than tomorrow, here is the ancient and most folk-oriented voice of Judaic expression - it is one you will remember ! There is musicianship here that had me riveted from the start because it has a raw, yet sophisticated flow and is of a calibre I've not heard in Jewish social music since the days of Hillel and Aviva.
    I want more of this band, much more ! They are so good !"
    -----Derek Reid, Folk Roots Magazine (August-September 2000)

    I was a little worried at first when I heard the new Cd advertised as …beautifully executed pop songs with a touch of Middle Eastern Melodies….all I heard was pop and got real nervous, thinking Donnie Osmond or worst The Bee Gees. Of course I knew my mind was playing games, Basya Schechter and her talented musicians can only produce the antithesis of western pop. It's a matter of how you define pop and in some context, other than mine, the above description may be fairly accurate.

    To me the Middle Eastern part of this dominates, and that's what makes Pharaoh's Daughter extraordinary. On the first cut "Change Your Mind", I actually sense a little Natalie Merchant in Basya's voice and phrasing, but the mood is a modern new age spirituality. Second up, Going Nowhere is a magnificent blend of exotic Eastern sounds and rhythms and just a touch of western pop influences perhaps defines the trend and direction of this recording.

    "Exile" in particular and some other cuts had a vague familiarity about them that took me awhile to relate with Ingrid Karklins and her Riga background especially with respect to her classic recording…….."Animal Mundi."

    All the selections have deep spiritual roots, mostly revealed by the lyrics. When truth or the divine is revealed you know immediately, no need to question, no need to ponder, just enjoy the connection. "Man In My Head" , "Off and On" and "Break It Down" are good examples of the wisdom and pitfalls of the spiritual path.

    The music always has a haunting undefined and surprising twist to it. I feel the unfamiliar mixed with obscure familiarity that keeps me off balanced and not able to predict the next phrase or direction. "Paradise Hung" is a new and quite astonishing look at our concepts of creation and the relationship between man and woman and the origins of our myths and beliefs.

    Exile was produced by Fred Rubens who put his whole heart and creativity into the project as well as Albert Leusink who put himself completely into the mixing.

    I would say without question, this album is a masterpiece and will be high in my top ten selections for 2002. It's replete with surprises at every corner aided by exotic instruments melodies and ground breaking experimentation.

    I do very few reviews, mostly because I don't have time, secondly because I don't think I'm very good at it, but when I do one, it's because the music really moves me and I want to some way express that to others.

    Jack Sutton…harmony ridge music

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    1. Change Your Mind
    2. Going Nowhere
    3. Exile
    4. Run
    5. Man In My Head
    6. Off And On
    7. Break It Down
    8. Statue
    9. Paradise Hung
    10. Confession
    11. Scream
    Catalog #kfw273 CD $14.99
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    Out of the Reeds
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    1. Hevel
    2. Afilu
    3. Im Ein Ani Li Mili
    4. Taitch
    5. Eicha
    6. West African Niggun
    7. Lecha Dodi
    8. Hamavdil
    9. Koomi Lach
    10. Shnirele Perele
    11. Ija Mia
    Catalog #kfw273 CD $14.99
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    Daddy's Pockets
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    1. Niggun
    2. Marakesh
    3. Gypsy
    4. Snowball
    5. In A Box Cello Intro
    6. In A Box
    7. Daddy's Pockets
    8. Nevermore
    9. Everything
    10. Mosquito Vocal Intro
    11. Mosquito
    12. Molilunky
    Catalog #dcd-100 CD $14.99
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