Music » Critics' Picks

Lila Downs

Sunday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. The Sheldon Concert Hall (3648 Washington Boulevard)

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Drawing inspiration from points both north and south of the border, Lila Downs crafts music that is at once highly sensual and deeply spiritual. Downs' passion for the traditions of indigenous Mexico (her mother, a Mixteca Indian, is from the town of Oaxaca) pulses in every note, but her style reaches far beyond Mesoamerican folk. Her newest album, La Cantina, blends traditional Latin music with jazz, rap (seriously) and full-speed-ahead rock riffs. Fittingly, for her Sheldon performance Downs is joined by a band that's able to match her global acumen: a Chilean drummer, an American sax player, a Cuban bassist, a Mexican harpist and a Brazilian guitarist. With her powerful stage presence, stunning beauty and a voice that could likely make grown men faint at her feet, Lila Downs is completely irresistible.

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