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Fans lined the streets to see Julieta Venegas perform at the State Theater in Falls Church Virginia this November. One of Latin America’s most respected songwriters and performers, the six-time Grammy winner attracted fans from all over Washington D.C. and its surrounding areas, all of whom have a different connection to Julieta’s music, and many with a story to tell.
When asked what it is about her music that really resonates, most fans echoed a similar sentiment. “She’s real,” said one fan at her show. “I like the fact that because she lives so close to the border, she understands the duality of being a Latino here in this country, she gets the culture. She gets the bi-culture.”
It is perhaps this bicultural appeal that has made Julieta such a longstanding fixture in Latin American and Spanish-speaking cultures around the world, and this presence was more than felt at Julieta’s concert. Fans from Chihuahua, Mexico City, Tijuana and cities throughout Mexico were present, as were those with roots to Columbia, El Salvador, and countries all over Central and Latin America.
Born in Long Beach, California, Julieta Venegas speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish fluently. She addresses her audiences exclusively in Spanish, however, and she does not write music in any other language, explaining that she feels her emotions and the lyrics wouldn’t translate.
Sylvia Ines Salazar was among the crowd at Venegas’ Virginia concert. Born in El Salvador and raised in L.A., Salazar considers Venegas a tie to her Hispanic roots. “She’s bilingual and bicultural, much like myself and my friends,” comments Salazar. “In that regard, there’s already a connection there. In this country, there are entire generations of people just like us.” Salazar and other fans alike consider Venegas and her music to be an embodiment of their bicultural pride.
Salazar goes on to explain how Venegas’ music makes a connection happen across cultures. Furthermore, she commends Venegas for the positive role she represents for Latina youth. “I really like how her music is very positive and uplifting,” she tells MexicoToday. “I think that needs to be promoted more. Even the sad stories she tells, she tells them melodically in a positive way.”
From her debut album “Aqui” to her latest “Otra Cosa”, her music has evolved yet maintained its signature style and simplicity. Julieta Venegas is truly a one-of-a-kind Mexican singer, and with her diverse musical talent and contemplative lyrics, it’s no wonder she has cultivated a loyal following throughout Mexico, the United States and the world.
Image Courtesy of H. Sanchez