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Posts Tagged ‘Totó la Momposina’

Felicitaciones to Oaxaca’s favorite daughter, Lila Downs!  Her CD, Pecados y Milagros, won Best Folkloric album at the Latin Grammys on Thursday night.  When the album first came out, her promotional tour brought her to the Guelaguetza Auditorium, just up the hill, and we got to experience the spectacular show she put on in front of the hometown crowd.

And, at the Latin Grammys, she pulled out all the “spectacle” stops when she, Celso Piña, and Totó la Momposina performed, “Zapata Se Queda” from the album.  (Yes, THAT Zapata!)

The thank you by Lila Downs, posted on her website:

¡GRACIAS por creer en el folklor! Gracias por darnos ánimos cuando andamos tristes, por hacer con su cariño y palabras de buena fe que sigamos creyendo en Zapata, en México, en la tradición, en nuestros pueblos… ¡En la magia y la fe interminable de Latinoamérica!

(Thank you for believing in the folklore!  Thank you for giving us courage when we’re sad, to make with love and words of good faith that continue to believe in Zapata, in Mexico, in tradition, in our towns …In magic and the endless faith of Latin America!)

I strongly encourage you to check out the CD, Pecados y Milagros.  It really conveys the life, the love, the history, and the reverence that is the essence of Oaxaca.

Also, there’s a terrific review of her Latin Grammy performance at Examiner.com.

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What can I say about last night’s Lila Downs concert at the Guelaguetza Auditorium?  It was one of those clear, mild and star-filled Oaxaca evenings.  The glowing auditorium beckoned and encouraged us as we made the steep walk up the street and then stairs to the hillside site, that overlooks the city.

Guelaguetza auditorium glowing with red lights at night

In true, “hey, it’s Mexico” style, we were unsure of the time…  The posters, billboards, and concert’s Facebook page said, 8 PM.  However, our tickets (purchased from TicketMaster… ugh!) said 7 PM.  Needless to say, we were in line by 6:45.  Our, off to the side, front row seats left much to be desired, but once the Afro-Caribbean rhythms of Columbiana, Totó la Momposina and her way hot band began, it didn’t matter.

Totó la Momposina

Although, she initially confused Xalapa with Oaxaca (with the expected laughter and a few catcalls), Totó la Momposina won the crowd over and all were well warmed up for Oaxaca’s favorite daughter.  Lila opened with an offering of mezcal and track number one, “Mezcalito,” from her new CD, Pecados y Milagros (Sins and Miracles).

Lila Downs in white

Totó la Momposina joined her on stage, as on the CD, to sing “Zapata Se Queda,” a tribute to the spirit of Mexican revolutionary hero, Emiliano Zapata.  Other songs followed, a rebozo (shawl) was added, and the lighting changed…

Lila wearing a magenta rebozo with orange/red lighting

Lila then donned a beautiful serape from one of the master weavers of Teotitlán del Valle to sing, “Fallaste corazón.”

Lila Downs wearing a serape.

She dedicated, “Palomo’s Comalito,” to all the women who make tortillas in Mexico.  A knowing smile crossed our faces.  On Wednesday, we had been invited to the home of Emilia and Zacarias Ruiz in Teotitlán del Valle, where we honored the souls of their departed, by savoring Emilia’s delicate tamales and silky smooth and complex mole AND where we were informed by son, Antonio, that Emilia is featured in the music video for “El Palomo del Comalito.” (She’s the woman making tortillas.)

This was my first time seeing Lila Downs live.  I’d listened to last year’s free concert, at the Plaza de la Danza, from my terrace, but it doesn’t compare with seeing her in person…

Lila Downs kneeling, wearing traditional Tehuantepec headdress

I think this was the costume change for her beautiful and haunting rendition of “La Llorona.”  I can’t resist also showing the back of this traditional Isthmus of Tehuantepec headdress, known as a “bidaani quichi.”

Back of the headdress

A sublime and spectacular evening to close a sublime and magical week…  ¡Muchisimas gracias, Oaxaca!

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