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Grammy-Winning Mexican Singer-Songwriter Lila Downs Speaks Truth to Power

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Wednesday February 12, 2020

From Miami New Times

Grammy-Winning Mexican Singer-Songwriter Lila Downs Speaks Truth to Power
By: JULIENNE GAGE

“As a quick scan of news headlines in the Americas indicates, indigenous peoples ‘” as they’ve been since colonization ‘” are caught in an ongoing struggle over their lands, the Earth’s resources, and their own people.

One indigenous artist who has given voice to this plight is Mexico’s Lila Downs, one of this weekend’s highly anticipated acts at the GroundUp Music Festival. Raised by her Mixtec mother and Scottish-American father in a tiny village in Oaxaca, Downs says she never had much of a problem gripping her familial and cultural roots, but she can certainly appreciate why many immigrants have to fight to preserve or reconnect with their own.

‘I grew up in a village in rural Mexico, and then I moved to the city,’ she recounts, explaining how she eventually went to college in her father’s home state of Minnesota and worked for a number of years with her husband, Paul Cohen (also her saxophonist and manager), in New York City. That rural-to-urban experience, she found, was more jarring than the separations societies create through race and class.”

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