Nacha  Mendez grew up in the tiny border town of La Union, in southern New  Mexico, where she began singing and playing the guitar at an early age.   She learned traditional Ranchera canción from her grandmother and  performed in border towns near El Paso with her cousins, the Black  Brothers, sons of ex-Mothers of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black.

She  went on to study classical voice and electronic music at New Mexico  State University before moving to New York City, where she studied  flamenco guitar with Manuel Granados of the Music Conservatory of  Barcelona, Spain.  In the early ’90s, she was a principal singer in  Robert Ashley’s opera company, touring Europe and Japan and translated  the libretto for Ashley's opera Now Eleanor’s Idea.  She performed  trouser roles in three of his operas throughout Japan, at the Avignon  Music Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Strasbourg, France, Graz,  Austria, and Berlin.

Nacha has also collaborated with  celebrated composer Steve Peters who produced “Bodega de Amor” and  “Volando.” “My Burning Skin to Sleep,” a song on the 2004 CD release  Shelter by Steve Peters and distributed by the Cold Blue Label features  the voice of Nacha Mendez.  Her recordings include “Slowly Rising” (as  Dueto Le Momo), and “Blue Silence,” “Bodega de Amor,” and “Volando” (as  Nacha Mendez).  Since 1990, she has worked on several projects with  Steve Peters and has collaborated with composer Raven Chacon, writer Melody Sumner Carnahan, visual artist Harmony Hammond, film maker Vivian  Giourousis, filmmaker Catherine Gund, and Producer/Director Daresha Kyi.

Mendez/Cordero received a National Endowment for the Arts Award and a  fellowship from Mutable Music in New York. In February 2011,  she was  honored by the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women  Artists. She was voted Best Female vocalist in Santa Fe, New Mexico in  both 2009 and 2010. Voted Best Family Friendly Entertainer Santa Fe  Human Rights Alliance 2012 Pride Alliance Awards and in 2013 she was  awarded the Best Latin Production at the New Mexico Music Awards.  She  received a New Mexico Platinum Music Lifetime Achievement Award in  2018.  She performs under her grandmother’s name, Nacha Mendez, touring  regionally with her band, playing her original, eclectic  pan-Latin-style songs.  Mendez currently performs solo acoustic  exclusively at restaurant La Boca. She also paints and sculpts and exhibits her work in Santa  Fe, New Mexico.


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