Lila Downs at The Apollo Theater Lila Downs at The Apollo Theater

with Mariachi Flor de Toloache

Thu October 1st, 2015


Minimum Age: All Ages

Doors Open: 7:00PM

Show Time: 8:00PM

Event Ticket: $38.50-$68.50

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Lila Downs has a powerful and unique stage presence with vocals that, in a moment, can sweep from a quivering whisper to a dramatic and achingly beautiful sustain, pulling your heart along with it.
In her first appearance at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater, Lila Downs will perform songs from her new release, Balas y Chocolate. In what is perhaps her most personal release, the songs of Balas y Chocolate are danceable fusions of mostly cumbias, klezmer-like norteña, hip hop and pop, but also powerfully anchored in socially conscious lyrics. Downs has shared that the album was inspired by both “the Day of the Dead offering and celebration, and also from my personal dance with my partner’s possible death.”
Lila Downs performances are always emotionally driven and deeply felt. They are lively, dramatic, amusing, and passionate, easily garnering a tear or laugh, sometimes simultaneously, as only Downs knows how to do.
**This is a reserved, seated event at The Apollo Theater : 253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027**

the artists the artists

Lila Downs at The Apollo Theater

Lila Downs has one of the world’s most singular voices and innovative approaches to music. Born in the state of Oaxaca México, 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 studied classical voice and cultural anthropology at the University of Minnesota. Her music and vocal artistry have many influences and is as varied as the ancient cultures that serve as her inspiration. Lila’s compositions are often striking commentaries on social conditions, reflecting migration and the search for roots as a core human need. She makes an important and deep connection with her fans, who are of all ages, races, and backgrounds. “I am very fortunate,” said Downs. “People who follow our music belong to all walks of life. Every day we connect with them.”
“The Mexican American singer has a stunning voice, a confident multicultural vision grounded in her Mixtec Indian roots,” Los Angeles Times. “Ms. Downs has multiple voices, from an airborne near-falsetto down to a forthright alto and a sultry, emotive contralto,” New York Times.
For two decades Lila Downs has traveled throughout the world reinterpreting the roots of music, such as blues, jazz, soul, cumbia, rock, even rap and klezmer music. She weaves various musical forms with traditional Mexican and native Mesoamerican music, singing in Spanish, English, and the languages of the Mixtec, Zapotec, Maya, and Nahuatl cultures. Her tremendous voice and the originality of her compositions create a musical concept that is highly innovative and unique. Some might classify Lila simply as a Mexican artist, but there is no real way to categorize her music except to say it is an exciting fusion of international sounds and musical genres.
Lila has recorded 9 studio albums, garnering a Grammy and three Latin Grammys. Her last solo CD, “Pecados y Milagros,” won both a Latin Grammy in the Folk category and a Grammy in the Mexican Regional Category. Her recent collaborative CD, “Raiz”, with Nina Pastori and Soledad, won a Latin Grammy in the Folk Category, and was nominated for Album of the Year in the Latin Grammy and for Most Unexceptional Latin Pop Album in the Grammy Awards.
Lila Downs has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and venues, has been invited to sing at the White House, performed on the Latin Grammys 2012 telecast, as well as the 75th Academy Awards televised ceremony, performing with Caetano Veloso the Oscar nominated song “Burn It Blue,” from the movie Frida. 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,” “Mariachi Gringo” and “Hecho en Mexico”. Other artists with whom she has collaborated in recordings and concerts include Mercedes Sosa, Santana, Juanes, Bunbury, Cafe Tacuba, Wynton Marsalis, Angelique Kidjo, Juan Gabriel, and Los Tigres del Norte.
Lila Downs’ compelling new album is entitled “Balas y Chocolate” (Bullets & Chocolate). Downs has shared that the album was inspired by both “the Day of the Dead offering and celebration, and also from my personal dance with my partner’s possible death.” While the lively sound of the album centers around danceable fusions of “mostly cumbias, klezmer-like norteña, hip hop and pop,” the serious and timely lyrical content is a fierce condemnation of the current violence and corruption engulfing Mexico. “Balas y Chocolate” spotlights Downs’ concerns over the erosion of civil rights and justice, the still escalating threats to the country’s journalists, the excess in modern life, lost love and more. The title track is a dedication to migrant children, while the first single “La Patria Madrina” is a duet with Colombian superstar Juanes that pledges to passionately fight for the values of one’s land and society.
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Mariachi Flor de Toloache

As presented in the New Yorks Times, The New Yorker, on NPR, MTV Iggy, NBC, and Univision, Mariachi Flor de Toloache makes New York City history as its’ first and only all­ female mariachi band. Founded in 2008, Mariachi flor de Toloache is co­directed by lead singers Mireya I. Ramos (founder) and Shae Fiol (original member). Reminiscent of the early days of mariachi the group started as a trio, Harp, Violin and Vihuela. Today the band performs as a full mariachi ensemble.The members’ different cultural backgrounds span the globe which defines their unique sound and appearance: from Mexico to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Colombia, Germany, Italy and the United States. The end result of this cultural bouquet is an edgy, versatile and fresh take on traditional Mexican music. They coalesce as would a band of sisters, with a grace and vibrant beauty that casts a spell over their audiences like the legendary Toloache flower still being used in Mexico as a love potion. Their intoxicating performances have illuminated world renowned stages abroad in India, Spain, and Bahrain and at home at venues such as the Blue Note, Prospect Park Band Shell, Dodger’s Stadium and The Kennedy Center. While they work to preserve the centuries old tradition of Mariachi, inevitably their special tincture of the traditional with the modern pushes the boundaries of the genre and brings Mariachi music to places it has never been.
El Mariachi Flor de Toloache ha hecho historia como el primer mariachi de la ciudad de Nueva York compuesto por todas mujeres, consiguiendo así cobertura de publicaciones como The New York Times y The New Yorker y medios como NPR, MTV Iggy, NBC y Univisión. Fundado en 2008, el Mariachi Flor de Toloache es dirigido por sus dos cantantes principales, Mireya I. Ramos (fundadora) y Shae Fiol (miembro original). En sus comienzos, el grupo evocaba los días tempranos de la tradición del mariachi, consistiendo en un trío de arpa, violín y vihuela. Hoy por hoy, sin embargo, han crecido hasta componer todo un conjunto con miembros de distintos trasfondos culturales de todo el planeta: desde México y Puerto Rico hasta la República Dominicana, Cuba, Colombia, Alemania, Italia y los Estados Unidos. Esta variedad cultural ayuda a definir el sonido distintivo y la apariencia única del grupo. El resultado final es un bouquet cultural que interpreta la música tradicional mexicana de maneras versátiles, intrépidas y frescas. Las miembros logran entremezclarse como hermanas musicales, con una gracia y belleza tan deslumbrante que efectivamente encanta a sus audiencias, tal y como la legendaria Flor de Toloache que aún se utiliza en México como una poción de amor. El grupo ha logrado llevar su embriagante espectáculo en vivo a tarimas de envergadura a nivel mundial, tanto en India, España y Bahrain, así como en salas locales como el Blue Note, Prospect Park Band Shell, Dodgers Stadium y Kennedy Center. Mientras laboran arduamente para preservar la antigua tradición del mariachi, su receta especial de mezclar lo tradicional con lo moderno logra retar los límites del género, así como llevar la música del mariachi a lugares donde no se había disfrutado antes.
photo credit: Andrei Averbuch

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