On November 27, three of today’s most exciting female singers—Ely Guerra, Eugenia León, and Tania Libertad—join forces for the first time to pay tribute to the late, legendary Chavela Vargas in an evening of traditional and contemporary Mexican song.

We spoke to the performers to discover what Chavela Vargas has meant to them in life and career. Here, Tania Libertad reveals her emotions on hearing of the death of someone she'd known and loved for years.

How did you feel when you heard the news of Chavela's death?

Tania Libertad: I could not stop crying. From Chavela's mouth came life and death. I will remember it as one of the most extraordinary moments of my life.

For someone who has never listened to Chavela singing before, how would you describe her voice and her singing style?

Tania Libertad: Chavela's singing was torn and heartbreaking, moved and moving, strong, painful, passionate, and sensual. Words flowed from he and she and released them one by one to ensure that we had reached the soul.

Which of Chavela's songs is your favorite?

Tania Libertad: I like so many of her songs, but I feel with her that her version of "Las Simples Cosas" deserved the Nobel Prize.


From Chavela at Carnegie Hall, Chavela Vargas sings "Las Simples Cosas."

What does Chavela Represent?

Tania Libertad: As a singer and as a person she represented freedom and had total control over her life. Her time, her loves and hates, her desire, her tastes, her emotions were always in her own hands and that's something few can say.

Did you know Chavela personally? Could you share some anecdote of your experiences with her?

Tania Libertad: Yes, I met her when she sang at the Bar "The Habit" in the late '80s, before she left for Spain. I waved from the stage and at the end we had a big hug. Then I saw her in the tribute they did in Bellas Artes and ended up singing in at her bohemian friend's house afterward. Then last time I saw met her was at the premiere of the film Frida.