Jorge Drexler is a Jewish Uruguayan, Academy Award (“El Otro Lado del Rio”) and Latin Grammy Award-winning , singer-songwriter. That’s a mouthful, but Drexler has a lot to say.
After the Chilean Nobel-prize winner Pablo Neruda, Jorge Drexler is our favorite poet in Spanish. Both write of the inner life with the richest metaphors.
Jorge Drexler in New York City
The Jorge Drexler “Salvavidas de hielo” tour brings Uruguayan Pop to the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 8 pm. $19 – $59
Jorge Drexler headlines the LAMC closing concert at Central Park SummerStage with Trending Tropics, ÌFÉ, and DJ Raff on Saturday, July 14, 2018 from 3 – 7 pm. FREE
“Telefonía” wins Song of the Year, Record of the Year
November 15, 2018 ~ Drexler takes home big wins when “Telefonía” earns both Record of the Year and Song of the Year awards at the 19th Latin Grammys.
Drexler 2018 Latin Grammy Nominations
Thursday, September 20, 2018 ~ Drexler gets five 2018 Latin Grammy Nominations including the big three: Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
- Record of the Year: Telefonía
- Album of the Year: Salvavidas de Hielo
- Song of the Year: Telefonía
- Best Singer-Songwriter Album: Salvavidas de Hielo
- Best Engineered Album: Salvavidas de Hielo
Salvavidas de hielo
Drexler released “Life vest of ice” in September 2017. The title song is a duet with Mexican pop singer Natalia Lafourcade. It’s about the ephemeral nature of life.
I didn’t even know the meaning of the word “ephemeral” until I found myself separated from my life partner, my media naranja (half orange or soulmate). We think that our lives will carry on pretty much as they are, and they do, until they don’t. The only constant is change. Understanding that helps us to live and love every day.
Humanity’s life vest of ice in the polar icecaps and mountain glaciers is melting. Believe it or not, this is going to change our lives more than anything. The only thing that might save us is a life ring of ice (the return of an ice age).
In Movimiento (Movement) sings about migration as an essential part of being human. We have been migrating ever since we grew two feet.
The video features 22-year old Lorena Ramirez, a runner from the indigenous Tarahumara / Rarámuri community who recently won a 62 mile ultra-marathon in the Canyons of Guachochi in Chihuahua, Mexico wearing her homemade dress and tire sandals.
The Chihuahua Desert is one of the great deserts of the Americas. It was one of the main paths of migration between Mexico and the United States. Drexler uses a library as a metaphor for the possibilities of humanity.
Yo no soy de aquí, pero tú tampoco
(I’m not from here. But then, neither are you)
One of the Most Popular TED Talks in Spanish
Drexler talks about poetry, music, and identity in May 2017.
Bailar en la cueva
Drexler’s 2014 album (To Dance in the Cave) combines Jewish mysticism with Plato’s famous allegory of The Cave.
12 Segundos de Oscuridad
A bit shocked from all the sudden attention from his Academy Award win, Drexler sought out the quiet of the Uruguayan coast. “12 Seconds of Darkness” is about the few seconds of darkness between the turning light of the lighthouse at Jose Ignacio, Uruguay. It’s the darkness that supports the light.
Soledad (Solitude) with Maria Rita is a beautiful ode to quiet. Interestingly for a writer, Drexler sings that:
“Me encontrarás en cada cosa que he callado”
(You will find me in every thing that I have kept quiet)
Al Otro Lado del Rio
Uruguayan and Argentine culture are very similar, although Uruguayan culture also has flavors of our northern neighbor, Brazil. We argue endlessly about who invented the Tango. The most famous Tango song, La Cumparsita, was written in Uruguay, but had lyrics added in Argentina.
The Uruguayan capital Montevideo is on the other side of el Rio de la Plata (The River Plate) from Buenos Aires. In fact, when you overstay the three months you are allowed to visit Buenos Aires without a visa, you take the ferry over to Montevideo, stay a little, then take the ferry back to restart your visa clock.
Buenos Aires is the big city and cultural capital of the region. To Argentines, being from Uruguay is like being from New Jersey is to New Yorkers.
Drexler wrote a song Al Otro Lado del Rio about seeking inspiration on the other side of the river. It became the theme song of legendary Brazilian director Walter Salles’ young Che Guevara epic The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de Motocicleta).
Drexler’s music career was launched into the heavens in 2005 when Al Otro Lado del Rio won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. He was the first Uruguayan to win an Academy Award, and Al Otro Lado del Rio was the first Spanish-language song to win an Oscar.
In 2001, Drexler sings about his Jewish – German grandfather and reminds us that racism can strike anyone in El Pianista del Gueto de Varsovia (The Pianist of the Warsaw Ghetto).
Yo tengo tus mismas manos
Yo tengo tu misma historia
Yo pude haber sido el pianista del gueto de Varsovia
I have your same hands
I have your same story
I could have been the pianist of the Warsaw ghetto
Drexler was originally a practicing doctor. Of all things for a singer, he was an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Drexler started recording in Uruguay in 1992, but his music career started taking over when he recorded his third album, Vaivén in Spain in 1996.