She who plays the piano accordion is never ignored. California-born Julieta Venegas y Percevault, known professionally as Julieta Venegas (pronounced BAY-nay-yahs), was born in Long Beach, California, and raised in Tijuana, Mexico where she became fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. At age ten, Julieta began to formally study music and to learn the guitar, piano and the accordion. But It was the piano accordion that made Julieta Venegas a stand out among young musical artists. The instrument, a 48 bass accordion, became her trademark and propelled her to become a noted international singer/songwriter, entertainer, producer and one of few professional piano accordionists in the world of pop music.
Julieta Venegas began to make in-roads in the music business in the early 1990’s as a young member of the band, “Tijuana No!”. She was one of the first alternative performers who, through her youth oriented, straight forward lyrics and vocals, promoted a more modern sensibility, different from the approach of the highly embellished song stylists in traditional Mexican Ranchera music. Julieta Venegas is joined by the great Lila Downs, the influential Natalia Lafourcade and the ethereal voice of Carla Morrison and others as luminaries and exponents of a new kind of sound and message emerging from Mexico that has tapped into a worldwide following.
Julieta’s first single was “De Mis Pasos” (Of My Steps) from her album entitled “Aqui”(Here) in 1997. With her second single, “Como Se,” (As If), Julieta won the MTV award for Best Female Vocalist. Another album, “Bueninvento” (Good Invention), produced in 2000, gave Julieta a great start for the new millenium. “Si” (Yes), a commercial success, was released in 2003. In 2006, she released “Limon Y Sal” (Lime and Salt), her best-selling album to date, achieved Platinum status in several countries. From the album, “Me Voy” (I’m Going) was certified Gold in Mexico. Her album, “Otra Cosa” (Another Thing) was released to a worldwide audience in 2010. To date, Julieta Venegas has earned one Grammy Award and five Latin Grammy Awards where she received Artist of the Year and Song of the Year awards.
“According to Billboard, Julieta Venegas ‘has maintained one of the most consistent yet understated careers since her solo debut, “Aquí” more than two decades ago. A pioneer whose music and image have broken Latina stereotypes, Venegas has forged a path between Latin Alternative and pop music, and supported the cresting of a strong wave of Mexican female artists.’ The Los Angeles Times praised ‘Her lyrics of wounded idealism and wrecked love affairs which extend a rich Mexican tradition of popular music imbued in bitter fatalism.’ The Atlantic described her as having “a signature sound unlike anything else in the Latin charts.” (Wikipedia)
Julieta Venegas performed live at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. where she paid tribute to Argentine composer and musician Andrés Calamaro with the song “Sin Documentos” (Without Documents).
In 1999, Julieta Venegas contributed three songs to the soundtrack of “En El País No Pasa Nada.” Julieta Venegas wrote and recorded for the film “Amores Perros” and in 2015 she composed “Suavecito”(Very Gently) for the soundtrack of “Elvira, Te Daría Mi Vida Pero la Estoy Usando” (I will give you my life but I am using it). Although actors and dancers perform in the video, there is no doubt that it is Julieta Venegas accompanying her own vocals on piano accordion.
A creative force for two decades, Julieta Venegas is a consummate professional with accomplishments not to be ignored, She has toured, traveled and performed at festivals around the world, as a soloist, while collaborating with other artists in the studio and on stage. Julieta decided to take a break to begin her own family in 2010. Since then, she was featured in a documentary, “Hecho en Mexico” in 2012, and contributed two more albums, “Los Momentos” (The Moments), in 2013 and “Algo Sucede” (Something Happens), in 2015. She was also named as a “Goodwill Ambassador” for UNICEF (The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund).