Perla Batalla |

Perla Batalla

This evening, Paul Emery will present Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Perla Batalla with special guest opener Kimberly Bass, joined by Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald at the Nevada Theatre.

Batalla, a performer the Los Angeles Times called “a Chicana Joni Mitchell” and “a gutsier Joan Baez,” is known for her rich, soulful voice and her deep repertoire, which includes traditional Mexican folk melodies, powerful ballads, and pulsing blues rhythms.

In her first show in Nevada County since performing at the 2010 California WorldFest, Batalla will perform a variety of classic and original material in both English and Spanish, plus songs from her award-winning albums “Mestiza” (1999); Grammy-nominated tribute, “Bird on the Wire: The Songs of Leonard Cohen” (2007), and her own unique take on the great American songbook.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, where her father was a musician and owned a local record store, Batalla is of Mexican and Argentine descent. She first gained international attention when she sang backup for singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen on his 1988 and 1993 tours.

With Cohen’s encouragement, she launched a solo career with the release of her critically acclaimed 1993 album “Perla Batalla” on Warner/Discovery.

Her second and third albums, “Mestiza” and “Heaven and Earth” (2000), released on her own Mechuda Music label, were co-written with master songwriter David Batteau and represent what Batalla calls the Mestiza (“of mixed blood”) song cycle.

The two collections offer a vision of a vibrant culture still nourished by mysticism, imagery, magic, and myth. Amazon named Mestiza Best Independent Release of the Year.

Since then Batalla has released several albums, including “Discoteca Batalla” (2002), a compilation of new songs interspersed with Spanish language classics, and the acclaimed “Bird on the Wire: The Songs of Leonard Cohen.” Her 2012 collaboration with pianist and composer Karen Hammack, “Lazy Afternoon,” features jazz interpretations of classics like Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boys” and Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love.”

In 2011, Batalla was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to compose and perform an original song for the opening of the exhibit “The Adventures of Women Surrealists in Mexico and the U.S.” Batalla partnered once again with songwriter Batteau to build a full-length theatrical concert inspired by the frescos, canvases, and private journals of Mexican painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

During her career, Batalla has also worked with such prominent singers as k.d.lang, Nick Cave and Laurie Anderson, and for the last 20 years she has enchanted audiences throughout the world in venues like UCLA’s Royce Hall, Kennedy Center, and The Sydney Opera House.

Ticket to the 8 p.m. show are $25 and available online at, or in person at BriarPatch Co-op or Yabobo.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User