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‘For ills of the heart, there are the songs of Chavela’

April 9, 2018

One of the highlights of this week’s International Arts Festival is an exhibit featuring photos and mementos from the life of Costa Rican-born music legend Chavela Vargas.

Visitors to the exhibit, at the Center for Research and Conservation of Cultural Patrimony on Avenida Central in San José, can view scenes from the famed singer’s life, her Grammy, one of her iconic ponchos, and a letter from Lila Downs reading: “For ills of the head, there’s the psychologist; for ills of the body, there are doctors. And for ills of the heart, there are the songs of Chavela Vargas.”

Vargas was born in San Joaquín de Flores, Costa Rica, on April 17, 1919. She later immigrated to Mexico at age 14, where she sang in the streets. Later, she established a career as a professional singer.

The FIA continues through April 15. 

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