PUERTO RICO / mundo
Puerto Rican-born composer, poet, decimista, oral historian, vocalist and guitarist Lourdes Pérez is known for her “achingly beautiful contralto voice” and her ability to write emotionally rich songs about people, places, history and ideals. Often called "one of the finest Latin American vocalists and songwriters,” Pérez has performed internationally from war zones to performing arts centers and has collaborated with diverse artists across language and genre for 30 years. In Canada critics dubbed her "the Edith Piaf" of the Spanish language.
In the early 90s when she began touring, Pérez was one of the only out, Latina lesbians and she performed only in Spanish. Through her visibility and her music, she occupied spaces that didn't often overlap, or include people like her, and quietly opened many paths along the way.
In 2006, she was one of the first five composers (and the only woman) to be awarded the inaugural United States Artist fellowship for Music. Published works include 14 CDs, scores and soundtracks for dance, theater and film and two illustrated, oral history books with original music CDs.
A book of her collected poetry is set to be published in late 2023 and her complete catalogue of recordings will made available for purchase through her website.
Lourdes Perez lives up to her reputation as one of the great Latin American singer/songwriters. ...beautifully crafted words, spilling out like little gems. The songs can be urgent and dramatic, raging against violence and injustice. They can be comforting and nostalgic, memories of loved ones and promises kept. Whatever mood the music creates, it never feels forced. It seems to pour out of her so naturally, effortlessly. It draws you in and you find yourself raging, remembering, laughing and loving along with her."
- Angie Manzano, Off Our Backs Magazine