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  • WDCH
  • Dec. 22, 2005
  • Calexico and Mariachi Luz de Luna Join the Celebration

    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2005, AT 8 PM

    Generously sponsored by Robinson’s-May.

    Latin Grammy winner and folkloric Mexican vocalist Lila Downs brings the peaceful and enchanting holiday spirit of her multicultural heritage to Walt Disney Concert Hall, continuing the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s Deck the Hall concert series on Thursday, December 22, at 8 p.m. Calexico, with Mariachi Luz de Luna, light up the evening with an earthy blend of country, jazz and traditional Mexican music.

    The yuletide spirit fills Walt Disney Concert Hall with Deck the Hall, a two-week schedule of festive concert events offering an array of artists bringing their personal touch to the season. The series concludes with Go Tell It on the Mountain: The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show on December 23, at 8 p.m., and two performances on New Year’s Eve with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on December 31, at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

    For LILA DOWNS, the daughter of a Scottish-American cinematographer/painter and Mixtec-Indian vocalist, expressing Latin culture has been a lifelong passion. Combining formal vocal training with an extreme emotional intensity, her remarkable voice is as varied in range as the musicians with whom she performs. A Brazilian guitarist, a Cuban bassist, a Chilean drummer, a Mexican harpist, and a pianist/saxophonist/musical director from New Jersey each brings his particular musical slant to create a crisp, jazzy Latin sound leaning in no single direction but inclusive of all of them. With a surge in Latin culture in America, with film and music leading the way in our expanding global education, Downs’ lyrical penchant highlights her heritage. “Mexican culture in the U.S. is kind of invisible, because it’s the working and sub-working class in this country,” she says. “It’s a side we all don’t want to look at because it’s painful – for us being Mexican, and when you’re not Mexican, you often don’t notice it. That is what’s so beautiful about having a renaissance of Mexico through certain films and music; people are learning more about our Indian roots, which wasn’t happening before.” A recent move to New York City furthers Downs’ sonic panoramic view. Now residing in the planet’s largest global village, she is a world away from her dual upbringing in Minnesota and the Sierra Madre Mountains of Oaxaca. Living in such varied environments, she took after her mother’s stage career by singing mariachi tunes at age eight. Her career continued to evolve, studying voice as a teenager in Los Angeles and then in Oaxaca City at Bellas Artes, before graduating with a double degree in voice and anthropology from the University of Minnesota. Her constant love for folk traditions would be enhanced when she began her own nomadic travels following the Grateful Dead, making and selling jewelry to afford to roam from town to town. Here we see upbringing begets career. Equally focused on the topic of gender, Downs has taken the responsibility of being a powerful social figure with undeniable integrity. Her first three releases – La Sandunga, Border (La Linea), and Tree Of Life (Yutu Tata) – all tackle the subject of the empowerment of females, from both a social as well as individual perspective, and One Blood, released in 2004, continues this tradition.

    Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, CALEXICO shares a sun-bleached border with many performers and musical styles. Started in 1996 by the duo of Joey Burns and John Convertino, Calexico has grown and developed a sound all its own. By incorporating elements of jazz, folk, country, mariachi, and even electronics, Calexico has become a band that defies categories. Calexico has several critically acclaimed releases, including 2001’s The Black Light, 2003's Feast of Wire, and 2004's concert DVD World Drifts In, which showcases the dynamic live show and incredible musicianship honed from years of touring. Calexico continues to expand any and all boundaries by remaining extremely active: recording with artists ranging from Nancy Sinatra and Neko Case to Los Super Seven and Richard Buckner, touring with an incredibly diverse range of performers including Wilco and Lyle Lovett, and even making forays into the film world, as evidenced in the 2004 Tom Cruise/Jamie Foxx feature Collateral.

    MARIACHI LUZ DE LUNA, frequently collaborates with Tucson-based Calexico, who have taken them on tour worldwide, continue to bring the sound of mariachi music to audiences all over the world.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music — Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children's programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.


    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2005, at 8 PM

    WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    A Latin Christmas



    Selections will be announced from the stage.

    Generously sponsored by Robinson’s-May.

    Tickets ($22-$67) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Cathy Williams, 213.972.3689; Photos: 213.972.3034