The Kennedy Center

Ani Cordero


Following the critically acclaimed release of her album
Recordar: Latin American Songs of Love and Protest, Ani Cordero has been on a mission. That mission? Revisiting songs from the 1930s-1970s that highlight influential artists who provided the soundtrack for social change and re-introducing these classic songs and their iconic writers to new audiences. The songs are by musical folk heroes: Víctor Jara, Alí Primera, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Chavela Vargas, Violeta Parra, and many more. Recordar re-imagines music from the Nueva Canción movement of Latin American and Iberian folk-inspired and socially-committed music, songs as relevant today as they were when written.
“By bringing these songs into the present, Ani reminds us of their power and relevance. This collection shows that there is nothing glib about these tracks, and that the artists who authored them were brave for doing so. It takes a lot of strength to be an idealist. As history has shown us, one must be relentless.” – Remezcla
At age 19, in Atlanta, Georgia, Ani found a friend and mentor in Dr. Juan Allende, nephew of Chilean President, Salvador Allende, who was overthrown in a military coup d’état in 1973. It was studying with Dr. Allende that Ani first became passionate about the struggle for democracy in Latin America. This was a time when artists risked being arrested, exiled, or killed because of their music’s message.
For the album, Recordar (“Remember”) Ani brought together an astounding cast of musicians and friends including, Charles Giordano of The E Street Band, Kelly Pratt from David Byrne’s band, Arcade Fire, Beirut, Tim Keiper, percussionist for Malian musician Vieux Farka Touré, Omar Akil Little, who collaborates with world-renowned producer Lee Scratch Perry, composer and cellist Brent Arnold, Erich Hubner from Man or Astroman?, and many more. For the touring group, Ani once again did a bit of re-imagining, arranging the songs for a trio of multi-instrumentalists: Eileen Willis (Pistolera’s Elena Maria) on accordion, bass, backing vocals; Eric Hubner (Man or Astroman?) on guitar, bass, backing vocals; and Ani herself on guitar, drums, percussion and vocals.Raised by Puerto Rican parents between Atlanta and San Juan, Ani is now a long-time resident of Brooklyn. She is a staple of the global music scene. Recently, she’s appeared as drummer and back-up vocalist with the legendary Os Mutantes, as a founding member and drummer of Pistolera, and as the front-woman to her bi-lingual art-rock band Cordero. Ani has been featured on NPR, CNN en Español, The New York Times, Billboard Magazine, The New Yorker, The Associated Press, Modern Drummer, and many more.

Erich Hubner is a multi-instrumentalist and producer currently living in Asheville, North Carolina. He was a member of the influential space-surf group Man or Astroman? and has been featured on dozens of albums and tours worldwide.

In addition to her work with Ani Cordero, Eileen Willis is the accordion player in the critically acclaimed Latin-folkloric band Pistolera and the bilingual children’s band Moona Luna.

Watch Past Performances

Video 6/18/2017: Ani Cordero: Querido Mundo

Ani Cordero is a passionate Puerto Rican singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and activist. Her political protest and love songs, collected on her new album Querido Mundo (Dear World), is Ani's love letter to a complicated world, addressing several themes including immigration, Black Lives Matter, feminism, and government corruption.

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Video 2/12/2015: Ani Cordero

The New York–based singer-songwriter, guitarist, and drummer, best known for her work with Os Mutantes and Pistolera, re-interprets classic love and protest songs that narrate Latin America’s history and influenced her own life story.

Ani Cordero