“Music made me a humble person,” said singer-songwriter Lila Downs, discussing the challenges she’s faced in her career, during a short interview after her concert June 28 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Downs, whose work cuts across genres, grew up in Mexico and Minnesota as the daughter of an American professor and a Mixtec Indian singer; her music is steeped in her indigenous Mexican roots. During the Q&A session hosted by Ramiro J. Atristaín-Carrión and Loida Rosario, co-chairs of the CSO Latino Alliance, Downs told the overflow crowd in Symphony Center’s Grainger Ballroom that she “hopes people can feel Oaxaca” in her songs.
“There’s so much more that needs to be said but I hope to do it all,” she said, in response to a question about the next step in her career. “I’d like to make a mariachi album and record with a symphony. Maybe I could even record here in Chicago — that would be amazing.”