Lara Manzanares’ performance
is a unique and intriguing one which demonstrates her varied prodigious talents. In addition to her accompanying musicians, the Outpost stage will also feature Manzanares’ Rio Grande Style walking loom and spinning wheel as instruments. Echoing the theme of sound in relation to weaving and traditional crafts visible in the current exhibition Tania Candiani: Cromática at 516 ARTS, Manzanares incorporates the sounds of these tools into her musical performance.
An award-winning bilingual singer-songwriter, Lara Manzanares grew up singing the New Mexican and Mexican canciones, rancheras, and corridos of her sheep-ranching childhood in the Tierra Amarilla valley, while listening to her parents’ collection of 60’s and 70’s rock albums. As a teenager, she began composing her own style of music in both English and Spanish, and continued to develop her songwriting through years of travel and study. A complex yet deeply cohesive mixture of cultures and sounds, her music is “deeply rooted but never still; heartfelt and humorous, and simultaneously ancient and innovative.” Her debut album, Land Baby, which won Album of the Year at the 2018 New Mexico Music Awards (NMMA), demonstrates her impressive vocal range and an overall tone that August March of The Weekly Alibi described as “as pure as the land itself.” Also a weaver and designer, Manzanares designed the album cover for Land Baby, which is based on a Rio Grande Style rug that she wove on her mother’s loom and which also won an award for Best Package Design at the 2018 NMMA. Her latest single, “Dear John,” was a finalist in the Best Americana Song category at the 2019 NMMA and she continues to write and perform around New Mexico and the Southwest. She is joined tonight by her loom as well as by Justin Bransford, upright bass; Jordan Wax, multi-instrumentals; and Jefferson Voorhees, drums.