Live Concert Photography: Ani Cordero at Rockwood Music Hall 2/26/17
Ani Cordero is a Puerto Rico-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who can trace the origins of her music career to when she fronted the critically acclaimed bilingual art rock band Cordero, a band praise for a sound that was described favorably to the likes of Calexico, Belle and Sebastian, Nick Drake and Os Mutantes. Interestingly, as a solo artist, the Puerto Rican-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has developed a reputation for being both a passionate performer and a researcher and scholar of the music across Latin America; in fact, her critically applauded effort Recordar continued a fruitful collaboration with Os Mutantes’ Sergio Dias, and was an album that drew inspiration from the work of artists like Victor Jara and Violeta Parra, as well as countless others in the “Nueva cancion” movement, who were often exiled, jailed or killed because of their work’s message of democracy, fairness and social justice; but from a deeply personal vantage point as the Puerto Rican-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist had heard much of the “Nueva cancion” movement while growing up with Cordero giving the material a modern re-imaginging.
Cordero’s latest effort Querido Mundo is an album of original material that weaves political messages into danceable and funky Latin rhythms while thematically focusing on social justice and love. And it shouldn’t be surprising that the material is influenced by the current global crises, which gives the material an undeniable urgency. As Cordero explains of the material and its writing process in press notes “I made this record as a reaction to recent political events. Music is my main form of activism and it’s my hope that these songs will encourage political participation and much needed conversations. I wrote these songs to work in a crowded situation, such as a protest or march, so I started with the rhythms first, and built the arrangements around the rhythmic movement.”
“This record comes out in a dangerous political climate. In the United States, the government has fallen to the control of men who encourage misogyny, white supremacy, and discrimination,” the Puerto Rican-born, New York-based singer/songwriter says in press notes. ” This new leadership threatens to change the legal fabric of the country, and has no reservations about reducing the civil rights of its citizens. Both in the U.S. and abroad there seems to be a rising tide of nationalism and increasing violence against immigrant communities. We cannot live in fear. It’s up to us to speak our minds and defend each other.”
Cordero goes on to the explain that the goal with her latest effort was to use her music and the messages within it as a way to connect and unify music lovers and activists — essentially awakening the activist in the music lover and awakening the music lover in the activist. Now, I caught the renowned singer/songwriter last month at Rockwood Music Hall to celebrate the release of Querido Mundo and the set included the album’s lead single “Corrupción,” a single that according to the renowned singer/songwriter has two levels, one that takes aim at Puerto Rico’s politics and politicians, as “nepotism and corruption are rampant and at a wider level, it’s about the corruption of governments world-wide, calling out their abuse of power and resources,” that managed to be particularly fitting considering the Trump Administration, as well as a song that focused on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, among others. Check out some photos from a powerful and fun set below.