San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Lila Downs to Grace Melico Salazar Theater in September

Mexican-American singer-songwriter Lila Downs, renowned for her versatile voice and imposing stage presence, will offer concerts Sept. 3 and 4 at the Melico Salazar Theater in San José, accompanied by her band, The Mysterious.


Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, to a Scottish-American father and a musical Mexican-Mixtec Indian mother, Downs, 41, spent her youth moving between the musical traditions of Mexico and the United States. She harnessed this back-and-forth, border-hopping youth to create a seamless musical celebration of Latin, Anglo and native Mexican and American traditions, singing in Spanish, English, French and Mexican indigenous dialects.


Downs appeared as a tango singer in the award-winning 2002 film “Frida,” starring Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo, and recorded “Burn It Blue” with Brazil’s Caetano Veloso for the film’s Oscar-nominated soundtrack. She won the 2006 Latin Grammy for best folk album (“One Blood”) and was nominated for best world music album (“Shake Away”) at the 2009 Grammys.


The Mexican-American singer’s sound evokes the pulsing, vibrant rhythms of her home country’s rich folk-music legacy. In addition to modern instrumentation and arrangements,Downs has brought a new social awareness to her repertoire of original and native Mesoamerican songs.


Declared of cultural interest by the Culture Ministry and Casa Presidencial, Downs’ upcoming concerts are being produced by Meridianaluz Productora to celebrate the 13-year run of the “Meridiano” program on Radio U (101.9 FM). Both shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets range in price from ¢13,000 to ¢38,000 ($25 to $74) and are available at, or by calling 2206-7770.


For more information on the artist, visit


–Tico Times







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