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Jorge Drexler

Jorge Drexler's name became just a little more familiar when his ballad Otro Lado del Rio, written for the film Motorcycle Diaries, received an Academy Award for best original song in 2004. The Uruguayan guitar player and singer created a little stir when he accepted his award by singing a few lines from the song as a small protest to the fact that Carlos Santana and Antonio Banderas had performed his song earlier in the night, rather than him. The episode provides an interesting view into what it takes to cross-over into the US music industry, and how Americans tend to have a narrow perception of Latin music with only the big stars like Santana and Shakira.

Jorge Drexler is one of my new favorites, with his thoughtful lyrics, skillful guitar playing and memorable melodies. His song Todo se transforma has a great what goes around comes around message:

cada uno da lo que recibe
luego recibe lo que da,
nada es mas simple
no hay otra norma
nada se pierde
todo se transforma
todo se transforma

Another benefit to his music from a language-learner's perspective is that he is generally very easy to understand.