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A woman in Día de Muertos makeup
Mamselle Ruiz sang "La Llorona" in this podcast episode. This is a frame of the official video for her song "Sombras." Find the video at this link.

La Llorona on the Folklife Today Podcast

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It’s hard to believe we’ve gone another full year under pandemic conditions, but what can we say? Another season of the Folklife Today podcast is suddenly upon us.

This also means that Halloween and Día de Muertos are almost here! So, believe it or not, Season 4, Episode 1 of the Folklife Today Podcast, our 2021 Halloween and Día de Muertos episode, is ready for listening!  Find it at this page on the Library’s website, or on Stitcher, iTunes, or your usual podcatcher.

In addition to being our latest podcast announcement, this post is the fifth blog post in a series about La Llorona, the Weeping Woman, a spirit that haunts the folklore of Mexico and other Latin American countries. The series will be published in time for Día de Muertos (aka Día de los Muertos) 2021. [Find the whole series at this link!] As usual, I’ll present links to relevant blog posts, videos, and audio selections in this post.  But first:

Get your podcast here!

The main attractions on this podcast episode are our three guests:

Juan Díes is the Executive Director of Sones de México Ensemble, the country’s premier folk music organization specializing in Mexican son, including the regional styles of huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho, and more. He was part of that group’s excellent Homegrown concert, which you can watch at this link, and which everyone SHOULD watch for Día de Muertos. (It features witches and devils and even part of a skeleton!)

Two men sit in chairs with microphones. One has a guitar.
Former Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera (left) and Juan Díes on the Coolidge Auditorium stage, rehearsing for their performance of September 15, 2015. Photo by Stephen Winick for AFC.

Juan also led our corrido writing workshop, and gave a lecture on corridos, which you can see at this link. And he performed as part of the Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s inaugural reading, whose video is embedded in this blog post.

Allina Migoni is AFC’s subject specialist on Latinx culture and a great reference librarian. She has written or been part of these previous blogs and podcasts.

Camille Acosta, one of our most recent interns, wrote her master’s thesis on La Llorona; you can read it at this link.  She’s also been part of these previous blog posts and podcasts at AFC.

Juan helped me a lot with a previous blog post about La Llorona songs, and Allina and Camille have been mentioned and quoted in the other previous La Llorona blogs. Once again, you can find them all at this link.

Six people stand on stage with many musical instruments
Sones de México Ensemble (l-r): Juan Díes, Lorena Iñiguez, Juan Rivera, Gonzalo Cordova, Eric Hines, Zacbé Pichardo. Photo by Stephen Winick for AFC.

The podcast also features four songs. The first one, Sones de Mexico Ensemble’s “La Llorona,” is exclusive to the podcast…so listen to it there, where it appears by kind permission of Sones de Mexico Ensemble!

The rest of the songs were Mamselle Ruiz’s version of “La Llorona,” which is sung in Spanish, French, and Zapotec; a son huasteco song about La Llorona, sung by Trio Aurora;  and “La Llorona Asesinada” by Navegaciones Pedro Miguel. They were all featured in my previous post about La Llorona songs, along with tons of others on the La Llorona theme, including many versions of  “La Llorona Loca” from Colombia and Mexico. That blog also includes links to the songs’ previous homes, more info about each song, and much more to build your Día de Muertos playlist. It’s the mother lode of songs about La Llorona.  Find that blog post at this link!

That brings us up to speed on the full audio and video behind the podcast.

We’ll have one more post on the blog on the La Llorona theme, a version of the story told by Joe Hayes, which will be out by Día de Muertos…watch this blog for more!

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for listening. In case you need that podcast link again…here it is!

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