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Lila Downs Is Up!

by Anita Brace


Can you imagine—I met a famous, wonderful entertainer by accident?

 As I was doing my evening walk in Oaxaca a little more than two years ago, I saw a very long line of people waiting to get into the La Condes rastaurante on Calle Cinco de Mayo. 

 “What’s going on?” I asked a couple of people near the end of the line.

 “We’re waiting to have Lila Downs sign her CDs” a young man said.  “We bought them from that vendor.”  He pointed at a man in the middle of the intersection.

 How interesting.  She must be famous, I thought.  I’d seen her upcoming concert  on the Oaxaca Calendar website.  I went to the cd seller and asked him about the music.

 “She travels the world” he said.  “And this famous CD is Y La Misteriosa, a live performance in Paris.  She’s inside the restaurant and will sign them in a little while.”

 Well, it occurred to me that I’d enjoy having music playing when I’m working on Oaxaca photos on my computer.  Or if I added the music to a DVD program about  Oaxaca.  OK, I bought it and tood in line for a while.  When the door opened up our line started to go in.  Although a few at a time, it wasn’t absolutely slow.  At the end of the line as I was about to enter, a young lady came out to take down Lila’s posters . . . And handed me one!  No photographs, but

 really interesting art.  I liked the color and the design of Lila Downs’ expression.

 I was the last person in line and lucky to meet Lila.  She asked my name as she signed the CD.  And when I told her “Anita”, she exclaimed, “That’s the same name as my mother!”  Then she also signed my poster of her. 

 “I’m looking forward to your upcoming concert at Plaza de Danza”, I said. 

 Wow, two friendly signatures by Lila on her CD and poster, a nice conversation, and a wonderful memory.

 Two days later, my friend and I arrived at Plaza de Danza early enough to find a good place to sit and see the stage down below, only about 70-80 feet away.  And with my long lens and fairly high ISO, I had an exciting time capturing her wonderful moves and high energy.  She used her beautiful voice to create emotions in the songs she sang . . . A magnificent performance.

Lila's Lift

Reaching Out


I had deep feelings when I saw her in the photos I took.  Four of them have been
in my “Body Language” exhibitions and I decided to send them to her PR person found on  She emailed me back, saying how she really liked them and had forwarded them to Lila.

 I didn’t manage to get back to Oaxaca in 2011, but somehow I heard about a concert in Los Angeles, CA near the end of February.  I couldn’t pass it up, and managed to get the tickets.  I really enjoyed my second experience with her music and movements.

 Later in September the Grammy Museum in L.A. had her special interview and performance.  There I purchased her latest CD/DVD, “Pecados y Milagros” (Sins and Blessings) signed by Lila . . .a real prize for me.


On February 10th at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony Lila Downs was awarded the Grammy in the Regional Mexican Music Album “Pecados y Milagros”.


Lila Downs is up!

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