Leti Garza’s new album brings together Austinites from around the globe


Highlights

Leti Garza recently released new trilingual album “El Unico Para Mi.”

In this divisive political climate, artist Leti Garza, formerly known as Leticia Rodriguez Garza, finds it especially meaningful that her recently released album “El Unico Para Mi” (“The Only One for Me”) focuses on forging connections and features Austin musicians from all over the world.

“I wanted to create something beyond myself, to broaden my scope into a world music vision and to imagine a world without so many borders, creative and geopolitical,” Garza says. “In this place and moment in history, Pan-American art seems particularly important as a means and a symbol of unity.”

Since the release of her 2012 debut album, “La Americana,” Garza has brought new life to the music of her late aunt Eva Garza, an internationally recognized artist who catapulted into stardom during the 1940s and 1950s and whose hit songs helped strengthen Columbia Records’ presence in the Mexican market at the time. Garza’s new album reinterprets three songs from her aunt’s repertoire and highlights seven original songs.

Bringing extra musical muscle to Garza’s album this time are Grammy-winning musicians and composers Scott McIntosh and Jose Galeano (Grupo Fantasma). “El Unico Para Mi” deep dives into culturally rich soundscapes drawing from merengue, cumbia and salsa. Additional musicians on the album help bring a global perspective to the record with their roots in places such as Cuba, Nicaragua and France. The multilingual project with songs in English, Spanish and French are a step toward the artist’s goals of moving in the direction of world music.

RELATED: Austin singer makes history at renowned Cuban art festival

“My interest in language has always been about trying to make that connection with another human being,” she says. “Multilingualism is an advantage that affords us to be open minded and helps us throw out that fear of the unknown.”

Garza didn’t grow up speaking Spanish. Like many Texans, her mother was often punished for speaking Spanish as a student in San Antonio. Today, Garza says she continues to study and practice it. For the album, she worked closely with Galeano for lyrical translations. “As a singer, the meaning of language and content of lyrics are super important to me,” she says.

Since the 2014 release of her EP “Sagüita Al Bate,” Garza says she’s thought a lot about who she is as a performer and what she values. It’s led her to change her artistic name to something that she says feels more fitting of her onstage personality. “Leti Garza has energy and authenticity, and the name more accurately describes me as a performer. I have a lot of oomph when I perform, you know,” she says with a laugh. After a couple of name changes throughout her life, she says that “it’s taken forever to find it, but I feel good with this name.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Music

Making turkey soup this weekend? Here’s our family’s favorite homemade noodle recipe
Making turkey soup this weekend? Here’s our family’s favorite homemade noodle recipe

I can think of few comfort foods I love more than my family’s chicken and noodles. Homemade noodles can become the star of any soup, but they particularly shine with leftover turkey and homemade stock. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman My mom learned how to make handmade noodles from one of my dad’s co-workers in the 1990s...
Here are 10 Texas whiskeys you might want on your holiday wish list
Here are 10 Texas whiskeys you might want on your holiday wish list

Kentucky isn’t the only state in the U.S. making top-of-the-line whiskey. Texas may not have been doing it for as long as America’s bourbon bastion, but our proud state has proven that we can still hold our own against legacy producers — perhaps in part because the whiskey industry here is still so young and willing to be adventurous...
2017 Beaujolais Nouveau wine label is created by a St. Petersburg artist
2017 Beaujolais Nouveau wine label is created by a St. Petersburg artist

Every year, there are bad things we can count on: taxes and death. And good things: Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday of November and on the Thursday before, the Beaujolais nouveau arrives. What is less predictable is just how this vin de l'annee ("this year's wine") stacks up. Every now and then the young gamay from the Beaujolais...
Holiday gift guide: Food
Holiday gift guide: Food

These gifts will satisfy the appetites of the food and drink lovers on your list. The nubby handles take a little getting used to, but they encourage a proper knife grip by directing the hand into the proper position and enabling fingers to lock in the front and back. The forged steel eight-inch chef's knife and 3.5-inch paring knife slice cleanly...
Of pints and predators: inside the U.K. Parliament’s boozy hangouts
Of pints and predators: inside the U.K. Parliament’s boozy hangouts

LONDON — A plaque on a wall at the Sports and Social Club, a dingy and stuffy bar located next to garbage cans in the basement of the Houses of Parliament in London, reads: “The Code of the Man Cave. What happens here stays here! Violators will be shot — survivors will be shot again.” That jokey warning took on serious undertones...
More Stories