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Diana Alvarez
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1/9/2020 at 5:50:31 AM GMT
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Diana Alvarez


 

Diana Alvarez

diana@diana-alvarez.com

361-850-0024

Global / Queer Mexican Music / Xicana Xingona Singer-Songwriter

"The virtuosic vocal finesse of Diana Alvarez is a wonder and a privilege to behold--and no surprise to witness every audience stunned into silent awe and transcendence." 

-Pamela Means

"Soulful and natural." 

-Natalie Merchant

"Diana’s voice, her ability to shift the room by allowing her research to inform her choices of sound, song selection, and phrasing is simply remarkable. For me personally, even on YouTube - her Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera trailer recalibrates my mood. This is true of so many of the women of color artists before her, like Bessie Smith for example – who was said to have been able to conjure with her voice." 

-Sharon Bridgforth

"Diana Alvarez writes the truth through a tincture of magic and prayer, and both the spirits and the living are cupping their ears to listen." 

-Sean Nevin

Dr. Diana Alvarez's fierce Xicana Xingona voice creates a gripping atmosphere that audiences call "transcendent." Alvarez's soulful, bilingual songs exalt queer love and liberation, and are drawn from her origins in the borderlands of South Texas, where she grew up singing to the Gulf of Mexico.

In her music, Alvarez often grapples with her solo migration to the Northeast as a means to shift the tides of oppression in her family and beyond. Her songs are offerings for familia, and honor the "in-between-ness" of culture, identity, and language.

Dr. Alvarez is the composer and filmmaker behind the multimedia performance, Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera. Described by the press as "a visually and acoustically stunning performance meant to honor women, non-binary and genderqueer people of color," Quiero Volver features Alvarez's original music, sonic text scores, a poem-script for ensemble performance, and documentary video portraits of Sharon Bridgforth, Magdalena Gómez, Vick Quezada, and Nicole M. Young. In 2018, Quiero Volver was produced at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA by grassroots organizers and Smith College, and raised over $10,000 to support immigrant justice initiatives.

Alvarez's music is fueled by her simultaneous work as an award-winning poet and documentary filmmaker. In addition to her poetry-script for Quiero Volver, Alvarez is the author of Consultations with Bruja Juana, a chapbook poetry collection published by Toadlily Press in 2009, and her poems also appear in The Best of Toadlily Press (2011).

In 2018, Alvarez was commissioned to create a documentary for the world premiere of Sharon Bridgforth’s performance installation, dat Black Mermaid Man Lady at allgo, a statewide queer people of color organization in Austin, Texas. In addition to her documentary commissions for Bridgforth, Alvarez has directed her own music videos, as well as a music video for internationally recognized singer-songwriter and jazz musician, Pamela Means.

Alvarez is Xicana from South Texas, and is the first in her family to graduate from college. She earned her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008. In 2018, Diana earned her PhD in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she studied with groundbreaking composer Pauline Oliveros. Dr. Alvarez's dissertation research is titled, Bridge Artistx: Gatherings of Women, Non-Binary, and Genderqueer Artists of Color.

Diana Alvarez is the recipient of the 2008 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize from the Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown, MA) and the Malcolm S. Morse Graduate Research Enhancement Award in Honor of Pauline Oliveros from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY). Alvarez has also been an artist-in-residence at Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.

In 2019, Diana Alvarez is recording her debut EP, Ser Artista. Dr. Alvarez teaches music and writing in Western Massachusetts and is a touring performer and invited guest lecturer / keynote speaker at venues and schools across the US.

www.diana-alvarez.com



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