From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Tiny Desk is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with an "El Tiny" takeover of the (home) concert series, featuring J Balvin, Camila Cabello and several more musicians from all corners of Latinidad.
Silvana Estrada's angelic first note strikes, and for a moment her family's instrument workshop in Veracruz, Mexico feels like a window to the heavens themselves.
Adorned in a white dress and a radiant smile, the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist invites us to participate in a rich and varied expression of familial love and musical brilliance. She wastes no time entrancing her audience, using a stripped-down performance of "Un Día Cualquiera" — accompanied by nothing but soft claps and subtle harmonies — to showcase her impeccable vocal precision and range.
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After a sweet "Bienvenidos," Estrada picks up the Venezuelan cuatro — her most beloved magic-making tool — and jumps into a sublimely arranged, effortlessly enchanting rendition of "Tristeza." Then, halfway through "Te Guardo," something extraordinary happens: the sound of stringed instruments comes out of nowhere, and as Estrada steps away from her microphone, the camera follows, exposing a string quartet set up just off screen. After that moving reveal, Estrada takes a seat and begins to perform "Marchita," where strings, cuatro, and voice marry in indiscernible harmony.
Shifting scenes once again, Estrada moves outside and we meet her papá, armed with a double bass. Father and daughter conjure a musical manifestation of pure love with a stunning performance of "Tonada De Ordeño [El Ordeñador]." Though the traditional Venezuelan tune is a longtime favorite, this performance is different. A butterfly takes a seat on Silvana's mic and the camera zooms out to reveal the other instrumentalists in the workshop looking on in knowing admiration. Silvana's voice reverberates across the Veracruz hillside and the world exhales, basking in a fleeting moment of divinity on earth.
"Un día cualquiera"
"Tonada De Ordeño [El Ordeñador]" written by Antonio Estévez