I know as much about Chilean hip-hop as I do Bolivian death metal or Finnish free jazz. That said, you don't need a translator to be able to see or hear that French-Chilean MC Ana Tijoux is talented. Just sample any of her music videos online and you're sure to be intrigued, if not downright smitten.
Tijoux's song "1977" from the album of the same name
The daughter of Chilean exiles living in France during dictator Augusto Pinochet's reign in Chile, Tijoux's music is popular in Latin America and continues to gain ground here in the United States, where she's performed with The Roots, and had her music featured on the AMC series Breaking Bad.
Tonight, Tijoux will be hosted by the Phoenix human rights group Puente during its Noche de Mujeres, or "Night of Women" festival, which will feature an all-female mariachi band as well as performances by Tijoux and others. Add in food, art and political discussion, and it's more than worth the $5 donation at the door.
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Tijoux's song Shock, about the 2011 student uprising in Chile
Tijoux is here in solidarity with Puente in its struggle against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the federal government's Secure Communities program. So, if you go, not only will you experience an evening of socially conscious music, you'll be helping Puente and its political ally the National Day Laborer Organizing Network fight the MCSO, which is always a worthy cause.
Noche de Mujeres begins at 6 p.m. tonight at Puente headquarters, 1306 E. Van Buren Street, in Phoenix. A $5 donation is suggested, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. For more on Tijoux's music, check out her website at anatijoux.com.