Puerto Rican-born composer, poet, decimista, oral historian, vocalist and guitarist Lourdes Pérez is known for her “achingly beautiful contralto voice” and her ability to write emotionally rich songs about people, places, history and ideals. Often called “one of the finest Latin American vocalists and songwriters,” Pérez has performed internationally from war zones to performing arts centers and has collaborated with diverse artists across language and genre for 29 years. In Canada, critics dubbed her “the Edith Piaf” of the Spanish language.
In the early 90s when she began touring, Pérez was one of the only out, Latina/x lesbians and she performed only in Spanish. Through her visibility and her music, she occupied spaces that didn’t often overlap, or include people like her, and quietly opened many paths along the way.
In 2006, she was one of the first five composers (and the only woman) to be awarded the unrestricted, United States Artist fellowship for Music. Published works: 14 CDs (including two illustrated, oral history books with original music CDs), over 300 singles and several scores, soundtracks and commissions for dance, theater and film.