Our Rhythms, Our Voices is a musical project honoring the Latin American population in the United States. For the project, we interviewed Latin American immigrants from all walks of life to create songs, using rhythms from their native lands. Part oral history/part roots music experimentation, the project and the music aim to celebrate Latin American immigrants in their diversity, cultural heritage, and contributions to this country and beyond. Photographs by Alejandro Alanis, lyrics by Yahir Durán, and music by Javier Jara.
Interviews have included an Otavaleña Indigenous woman who works in IT, a former priest who fought for workers’ rights alongside Oscar Romero in El Salvador, an Argentinian chef, a Dual Language Educator from Mexico, a Guatemalan housekeeper, a Quechua repairman whose family worked in the tin mines in Potosí, Bolivia, a Chilean artist, a Colombian social worker, and a Guatemalan woman, who has lived for the past five years under sanctuary of a church to escape deportation.
In 2022, with the support of generous grant from Humanities Texas, the project will tour four cities in Texas. The group will also record an album of the songs to debut later in the year.
(A couple of songs varied from the native rhythms, because the people we interviewed voiced a preference for the type of rhythm they wanted us to use for their song).
*This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.
*This project is supported by funding from the Institute for Diversity and Civic Life, made possible by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.