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CELEBRATING HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Chavela Vargas

Costa Rican-born Mexican singer

Chavela Vargas  (born April 17, 1919, San Joaquín de Flores, Costa Rica—died August 5, 2012, Cuernavaca, Mexico), was a Costa Rican-born Mexican singer who blended ferocity and warmth in her dramatic and revolutionary interpretations of Mexico’s ranchera songs.  Ranchera music was typically sung in a sentimental style by men accompanied by guitars, trumpets, and other instruments, but Vargas performed in a stripped-down fashion with only a guitar and sang with raw emotion.  Vargas immigrated to Mexico as a teenager and launched her singing career in the 1940s in Mexico City.  She received a lifetime achievement award from the Latin Recording Academy in 2007.

"La Llorona" (lit. "The weeping woman") is a Mexican folk song.

Lila Downs

Mexican singer

Lila Downs (born September 09, 1968) is a Mexican singer-songwriter and actress. She performs her own compositions and the works of others in multiple genres, as well as tapping into Mexican traditional and popular music.  Born and raised in Oaxaca, she primarily studied at the Institute of Arts by Oaxaca and briefly attended University of Minnesota, before withdrawing to focus on her musical career.  She soon began performing in the traditional music scene of Oaxaca City.

Downs began performing in school, demonstrating her vocal ability with traditional musicLatin and American influences, and with her own original twist on dancing. Downs, a native Spanish speaker, also speaks fluent Mixtec and English.  Influenced by Chavela VargasMercedes SosaLucha Villa, and Amparo Ochoa, Lila Downs is recognized for her flamboyant, diverse and outré contributions to the music industry through her traditional and authentic fashion, the majority of which are based around Mexico's indigenous peoples' styles, cultures and heritages, which show through her performances and music videos. Her achievements include one Grammy Award and three Latin Grammy Awards

"Paloma Negra" is a ranchera song written by Tomás Méndez 

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