Perla BatallaPerla Batalla
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Discoteca Batalla was a well-known landmark in the Latino community of Venice, California. This family-owned disco was a haven for desperate immigrants from all over Mexico and Latin America. It was a place to gather, exchange news from home, buy the latest Latino pop hits or just enjoy a sweet coffee and pan dulce with the owners, Barbara and Jorge Batalla. Jorge was a singer and radio announcer. He knew the words to all the traditional Latino songs. His wife, Barbara, hand wrote the letters home to workers separated for years from their families. Perla Batalla is his daughter. Although the record store closed its doors more than 40 years ago, its experiences and stories are part of Los Angeles' heritage. Discoteca Batalla is a tribute to this important place and moment in time. About Perla Batalla. Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Perla Batalla earns critical acclaim for her distinctive voice, emotional honesty and culture-merging compositions. She was born in L.A. to a family immersed in music. Her dad, a Mexican mariachi and D.J., and her Argentine mom ran the family record shop, "Discoteca Batalla," where Perla was exposed to an education of non-stop music that cut across genre and language. After singing with and recording with numerous groups and artists, including Leonard Cohen, Perla launched her solo career with Cohen's encouragement. Since then she has recorded 7 albums, been featured in film and TV, staged two one-woman shows and performed in some of the most prestigious venues around the world. Her original Frida Kahlo musical was chosen by the Ojai Playwrights Festival and subsequently produced at the San Diego Repertory Theater to critical praise. Perla's personal homage to her mentor, Cohen, continues to play to sold-out audiences throughout Europe and North America. Batalla's mission of exposing youth to the beauty of music and Spanish language is ongoing in her outreach throughout some of the poorest communities in the U.S. She has been honored with two U.N. awards: the Earth Charter Award for extraordinary devotion to social and economic justice and The Environmental Peacebuilding Award, advancing social justice through music. Perla is also the recipient of New Mexico's Premio Fronterizo Award for healing work in the world.