Dorian Wood Remembers Chavela Vargas

Feature reported, edited, and mixed by Andrea Gutierrez

» Orig­i­nal­ly aired on Novem­ber 21, 2019 on KPC­C’s The Frame

Cos­ta Rica-born singer Chavela Var­gas moved to Mex­i­co as a teen and began singing rancheras at a time when the genre was dom­i­nat­ed by men, her songs telling emo­tion­al tales of love and long­ing, both as a migrant and a les­bian. For the cen­te­nary of Var­gas’ birth in 2019, Los Ange­les singer and per­for­mance artist Dori­an Wood unveils “Xavela Lux Aeter­na,” a trib­ute and rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of Var­gas’ work. Wood talks with Andrea Gutier­rez about Var­gas’ lega­cy as a queer icon, and relat­ing to her music as a non-bina­ry per­son and migrant.