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Mercedes Escobar is a Guatemalan singer-songwriter who blends old blues and country with the sonic traditions of Latin American magical realism and LGBT+ themes. Growing up performing the blues in Guatemala wasn’t easy, but Escobar ultimately created a space for it there, where she was dubbed “la peregrina del blues (the blues pilgrim)” by the newspaper Siglo 21. Escobar’s unique, raw, guttural—at times even violent—vocals have been compared to a mix between Janis Joplin, Chavela Vargas, and Patsy Cline. Her first EP, The Blue Devil, was recorded at Winslow Ct. studios in Los Angeles, and her song, “Sangre Negra,” was a finalist in the Latin category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Escobar also has been featured on the soundtrack of acclaimed independent films Temblores (2019) and Cadejo Blanco (2022).
Long a fixture in the underground music world of Guatemala, Escobar moved to the U.S. when she received a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music. She also is a recipient of Club Passim’s Iguana Fund.
Escobar organized the first Pride event in her hometown of Antigua, Guatemala, and was appointed Ambassador Against Violence Against Women and Girls by United Nations Guatemala in 2019.