As a poetic celebration of life and resistance, nueva canción's roots lie in Latin American protests and popular struggles from the 1960s to the present. It sprouted everywhere from Chile to Cuba, in Central American nations like El Salvador and Nicaragua, and in barrios from Mexico to La Misión. Brave musicians combined indigenous instruments and folk rhythms with lyrics at once political and personal in their calls for justice, equality, and an end to U.S. imperialism, and the "new song" movement was born. Locally, the Encuentro del Canto Popular began as a way for audiences to listen to both internationally recognized and still-emerging artists and learn about the form's enduring message of peace, dignity, and hope. Now in its 26th year, the festival continues to inspire: Tonight's program features headliner Alfonso Maya (from Mexico), one of the most talented trova performers active today, as well as Marcelo Puig (from Argentina) performing traditional tangos and zambas. Also on tap is the cumbia-jarocho-ska of El Paso/Ciudad Juarez transplants Fuga. Saturday begins with Mauro Correa's Afro-Brazilian rhythms, followed by the Colombian folkloric group Aluna, and draws to a close with a performance by vocalist Marina Lavalle, whose rendition of traditional Afro-Peruvian song and dance promises to be a show-stopper.
Dec. 7-8, 8 p.m., 2007