Lila Downs Brings Sins & Miracles to L.A.

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Lila Downs has spent a lifetime crossing borders. The daughter of a Mexican cabaret singer and a British art professor, she split her childhood between Oaxaca and Minnesota. As a singer with nearly two decades of experience on stages around the world, Downs blends genres and cultures, incorporating ancient Mixtec rhythms and popular Spanish tunes. Her 11th album, Pecados y Milagros (“Sins and Miracles”), emerged from one of her darkest periods. “My life was tragic for a while,” she says. “I couldn’t have a child, and I spent many years trying. I went to an Indian woman, and she healed me of my sadness. Finally I adopted a baby, and I had a renewed faith in life.” Not that the songs are all autobiographical. In “La Reina del Inframundo,” a woman once enmeshed in Mexico’s drug war (the “sin” of the album’s title) sings—from the afterlife. On Saturday Downs crosses the border once again, bringing her commanding voice and global sensibility to the Luckman Fine Arts Complex.