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Singer-Songwriter Perla Batalla
To Perform at UW-Eau Claire
MAILED: Nov. 1, 2001
EAU CLAIRE — Singer-songwriter Perla Batalla, one of the great independent voices in contemporary American pop and folk music, will perform Monday, Nov. 5, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
The 8 p.m. show in Schofield Auditorium will feature Batalla's own distinctive melange of Latin-American pop and folk styles along with a selection of Latin classics. Admission is free.
Batalla's sultry voiced, emotional blend of world music and pop has earned her a devoted nationwide following.
"Batalla's music caresses with its harmonies and gentle rhythms, then draws you in with an unexpected chorus or an unusual melodic resolution," wrote the Los Angeles Times. "But above all, she is a born storyteller with a rambunctious sense of humor."
Perla Batalla was immersed in the musical world from birth - her father a Mexican singer and disc jockey, her mother the proprietor of a popular Spanish-language music store in Los Angeles. Long before she started her solo career in 1993, Batalla and her deeply expressive vocal gifts had been in great demand for a host of musicians, including k.d. lang, Jennifer Warnes, Iggy Pop, The Gipsy Kings and Was (Not Was).
These artists had discovered the native Californian singer from her years with Leonard Cohen, with whom she toured and recorded from 1988 to 1994. In that enlightening five-year period of musical self-discovery, with Cohen's encouragement, Batalla began to compose, arrange and write lyrics to her own compositions.
These diverse influences are evident in the music Batalla performs today. Her songs describe a rich and complex blending of history, blood and culture, cutting across genre and language, combining traditional Mexican folk melodies, powerful ballads and pulsing rhythms.
Batalla's solo debut recording was released on the Warner-distributed Discovery label in 1993. After several years going against the industry grain, Batalla went with the independent Mechuda label with her second recording, "Mestiza" (1999), a cross-pollination of Latin and North American musical influences that was selected as one of the best releases of the year by Amazon.com. Written with David Batteau, the album is an inspired pilgrimage retracing mystic paths leading up to the composite of myths, colors and cultures known as Mexico. Batalla continued her Mestiza song-cycle with her 2000 release, "Heaven and Earth," a compelling celebration of the emotion and depth of living in two worlds.
Batalla performs frequently at such Los Angeles venues as Largo, the Getty Museum and UCLA's Royce Hall, and she appears around North America at venues as diverse as Minneapolis' First Avenue and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She will perform Nov. 2 at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis and has added this Eau Claire show to her Upper Midwest tour.
The concert is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.
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Updated: Nov. 1, 2001