Performance Saturday, January 22, 2011 | 10 PM

Jorge Drexler

Zankel Hall
Often rooted in Uruguayan melodies, Jorge Drexler’s distinctive songs—which include the Oscar-winning “Al otro lado del rio,” written for the movie The Motorcycle Diaries—have found an international audience.


  • Borja Barrueta, Drums and Lap Steel Guitar
  • Carlos Campón, Theremin and Lap Steel Guitar
  • Jorge Drexler, Guitar and Vocals
  • Matías Cella, Bass and Ukulele
  • Sebastián Merlín, Percussion, Marimba, and Guitar


  • Jorge Drexler

    Jorge Drexler has been acclaimed for his evocative lyrics and sophisticated music that is rooted in regional rhythmic styles of his native Uruguay. A major pop star in Latin America, he achieved worldwide recognition after winning an Academy Award for "Al otro lado del río" from The Motorcycle Diaries. This song was the first in Spanish to win an Oscar in the Best Original Song category. To date, Drexler's music has been recorded by artists as diverse as Mercedes Sosa, Shakira, Omara Portuondo, Ana Belén, Víctor Manuelle, Neneh Cherry, Pablo Milanés, Ketama, Miguel Ríos, Ana Torroja, Sole Jiménez, David Broza, Jovanotti, María Rita, Zélia Duncan, Paulinho Moska, Jaime Roos, Adriana Varela, and the Bajofondo Tango Club.

    Drexler began writing songs in 1989, and in 1992 released his first album, La luz que sabe robar. That same year, he graduated with a medical degree from the University of the Oriental Republic in Uruguay. The release of his second album, Radar (1994), marked the end of his first musical phase in Uruguay. He then crossed the Atlantic and settled in Spain, where he recorded his third album Vaiven (1996). He now has 10 original albums to his credit, and has maintained an intense concert schedule, performing in 16 countries.

    His 2008 album, Cara B, was recorded live during a tour of seven cities in Catalonia. Film director Manuel Huerga joined the project, shooting a feature-length documentary about the tour titled Un instante preciso; the film received the prestigious Popular Jury Prize at the 12th Malaga Film Festival, and was an official selection at the London and Havana film festivals.

    Drexler's songs have been featured in numerous other films, including No sos vos, soy yo; Retrato de mujer con hombre al fondo; Las razones de mis amigos; Antigua vida mía; Botín de guerra; Cándida; and El nido vacío. He also wrote the soundtrack and two new songs for James Ivory's The City of Your Final Destination, and composed a song for the Spanish-Brazilian co-production Lope, directed by Andrucha Waddington.

    In recent years, Drexler won Spanish Music Awards for 12 segundos de oscuridad (Best Album) and Cara B (Best Pop Album). His last three albums were nominated in the Grammy Awards' Best Latin Pop Album category. He received eight Latin Grammy nominations; his album Amar la trama alone received four, including Album of the Year.

    This program is part of Drexler's first US tour in three years. Visit for more information.

    World Music Institute (WMI) is the premier presenter of world music and dance in the US. Since its founding in 1985, WMI has built the most comprehensive concert series of music and dance in the nation, presenting more than 1,400 ensembles and soloists from over 100 countries and regions. In addition to its concert series in New York, WMI organizes national tours, and maintains an extensive catalog of recordings, videos, and books of traditional music. Visit for more information.
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“Las Transeuntes”
Jorge Drexler  
WEA International

Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with World Music Institute.
This performance is part of World Views.