The Day of the Dead comes alive when Lila Downs Dia de Muertos: Al Chile comes to Ford Theatres in Hollywood Oct. 19 and 20.
Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, Mariachi Femenil Flores Mexicanas and LORE Media & Arts join Downs, a six-time Grammy Award winner, in what is described as an extravaganza that includes songs from her new album, “Al Chile.” Downs sings in Spanish, English and languages of the Mixtec Indian, Zapotec, Maya and Nahuatl cultures.. She brings a mix of international sounds and musical genres with blues, jazz, soul and cambia to her performances.
The performance will celebrate the traditions of the Day of the Dead with music, dance and ritual that takes audiences on a voyage of emotions, movement and sound. Audience members are encouraged to dress in Dia del los Muertos costumes and honor the traditions of the Mexican and native Mesoamerican cultures in observance of the Day of the Dead.
Dia de los Muertos traditionally celebrates the loss of loved ones with love, memories and joy. LORE Media & Arts artists are tasked with transforming the Ford Theatres stage, entryway and plaza areas with Mesoamerican-inspired sugar skulls, an altar installation and a Oaxacan
Dia de los Muertos mural by Lucretia Torva.
In her music career of 25 years, Downs has remained true to her indigenous roots, “which are a great influence on my personal and professional life,” she said. Downs grew up in Minnesota and Oaxaca, Mexico. Her mother is from the Mixtec group and her father was Scottish-American.
Rolling Stone says of her latest album, “With Al Chile, Lila Downs continues to dignify the lives of marginalized communities, and honor their traditions via street-style cumbia and the rural, vibrant sounds of Mexican pueblos. Just like Mexico’s strange and complicated connection with the piquante chili pepper, the themes in the album explore those burning sensations that cause ‘happiness, suffering, pain, and tears,’ ” Downs said. “They remind us of the thin line between love and pain.’ ”
Dia de Muertos: Al Chile is part of an eight-city United States tour, that includes a performance at the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts in Costa Mesa on Oct. 27.
Dia de los Muertos Community Celebration, a free event, will be part of the program at the Ford Theatres. The community celebration in the entryway gardens and plaza spaces will have face painting, live music, food, crafts and mural painting and runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 19 and 20.
Parking is $5. Free shuttles are available from the Universal City/Studio City Metro station.
Tickets for the Ford Theatres shows are available online at FordTheatres.org and by phone at 323-461-3673. Ford Theatres is located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068.
Tickets for the show at the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts are available online at SCFTA.org, at the center box office or by phone at 714-556-2787. The Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts is at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.