Deftly moving through musical genre, Batalla will be performing a variety of classic and original material in both English and Spanish, including selections from her award-winning Mestiza song cycle, Grammy-nominated “Songs of Leonard Cohen,” and Batalla’s own unique take on the great American songbook.
As an added treat, new collaborative compositions and work in progress from Batalla’s cutting edge one-woman show will be presented.
Batalla, born in Los Angeles, was immersed in the musical world from birth. Her father was a Mexican singer and disc jockey; her mother, the proprietor of a bustling Spanish language music store.
She started her solo career in 1993, after working with artists ranging from Leonard Cohen and k.d. lang to the Gipsy Kings and Jennifer Warnes.
These diverse influences are evident in the music she writes, arranges and performs today.
Her repertoire cuts across genre and language, combining traditional Mexican folk melodies, powerful ballads and pulsing rhythms, the result being stylish, sophisticated and most uniquely Batalla.
She has recorded several critically acclaimed albums, beginning with her debut, “Perla Batalla.”
Like many original artists, Batalla opted to go independent early on, releasing her second album, “Mestiza” on her own Mechuda Music label. “Mestiza” was selected as Best Independent Release by Amazon. Heaven and Earth followed along with a nod to Batalla as Amazon’s Emerging Artist of the Year.
Later albums include “Songs of Leonard Cohen,” “Discoteca Batalla,” “Bird on the Wire” (also nominated for a Grammy), “Gracias a la Vida” and her latest release “Lazy Afternoon.”
While reviewing her success Batalla said, “When you perform, sometimes there’s a sense of loss, and exhaustion in every way, physically, emotionally. But there’s also a sense of excitement. I think all people crave to be understood and there’s nothing like that feeling of being understood by an audience. You definitely went on a journey and you know you made it.”
Batalla’s mission of honoring her roots and exposing young audiences to the beauty of music and the Spanish language is ongoing in her outreach endeavors throughout some of the poorest communities in the United States.
Batalla has been the recipient of the United Nations Earth Charter Award for extraordinary devotion to social and economic justice. She is also the recipient of Border Book Festivals Premio Fronterizo Award for healing work in the world.
Batalla will perform at Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom, at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are priced at $19 to $29 and students $12. Tickets are available online at harriscenter.net or from the Harris Center ticket office at 916-608-6888 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket.