Downs to highlight CCC Fall Cultural Arts Series

By Helena Rodriguez

Clovis Community College’s Fall Cultural Arts Series will be highlighted by a performance by Golden Globe-winning singer, Lila Downs, who performed this past year on the Academy Awards and whose singing voice has been featured in several movies.
Tickets for CCC’s premiere cultural art series event, “Alborada” — a Sept. 20 concert featuring pre-Columbian wind and percussion instruments from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia, Chile, Paraguay and Mexico — go on sale at the CCC’s cashier’s window on Monday morning.
Downs performs on Nov. 4. She has been featured in soundtracks for movies such as “Frida,” “Kingpin,” “Real Women Have Curves” and “Tortilla Soup.”
Other noteworthy events in the monthly series will include The High Winds Jazztete group on Oct. 13, CCC’s annual Pow Wow on Nov. 15 and tentatively scheduled performances Dec. 12-14 of, “Tales of the Last Formicans,” a comedy about the American dream, narrated by a group of alien archeologists. The play will follow a dysfunctional suburban family as they battle Alzheimer’s Disease, a broken marriage and more devastations.
“All of our fall cultural arts events are special and offer something very unique to our audience members, but the big one we’ve got this year is Lila Downs,” said Christy Mendoza, cultural arts director at CCC.
“We got a grant to bring her in with other New Mexico presenters. It took a lot of work to get her here. We wouldn’t give up.”
In January, Downs won a Golden Globe Award for best musical score. She had four of her songs included on the soundtrack of “Frida,” a 2002 movie starring Salma Hayek, about the life of artist Frida Kahlo
Born in Mexico to a mother of Mexican descent and a Scottish-American father, Downs’ eclectic musical style blends Mexican rancheras with Mexican folk and salsa to create a cross-border Latino sound.
The High Winds Jazztete, which performs in October, is comprised of Portales musicians. The group includes a jazz guitarist and singer and may also have dancers perform.
The CCC Native Connections: Clovis Pow Wow will be an all-day event which will feature drummers, storytellers and dancers.
The final fall production, “Tales of the Last Formicans,” was written by Constance Congdon. Time magazine wrote about the play, “If not the best new play of recent years, surely it is the most imaginative.”