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Known for her smoky voice and magnetic performances, Mexican-American singer and composer Lila Downs (Oaxaca, México, 1968) has created one of the most singular explorations of Mexican roots music on both sides of the border. By studying folk Mexican rhythms and native languages and blending them with American folk, blues and rock, Downs has created a unique body of work through releases such as La Sandunga (1999), Border (2001), One Blood (2004), Entre Copa y Copa (2006) and Shake Away/Ojo de Culebra (2008)
Now she captivates us with her new release Sins and Miracles (Pecados y Milagros), an exploration of these religious notions in light of modern events, inspired by Downs' experience becoming a new adoptive mother (something she calls “a miracle”), and a contemplation of the meaning of “sin” in the modern world. The music is accompanied by a series of specially-commissioned votive paintings (retablos) by 15 Mexican painters who share the vision of the contemporary world as Lila.