Guatemalan musician Sara Curruchich and her UT host play a marimba

Indigenous Guatemalan Singer-Songwriter Performs at Butler School

  • Apr 25, 2023

In March 2023, the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin welcomed singer-songwriter Sara Curruchich to perform for students and the Austin community. The first Indigenous Guatemalan artist to share songs internationally in Kaqchikel and Spanish, Curruchich spoke about how her cultural influences shape her music.

“My music is a combination of cumbia, reggae and rock with the traditional music from my people,” Curruchich said. “The principal themes I write about are Indigenous women, resistance, history and rights of women.”

From Compala, a Maya Kaqchikel town in Guatemala, Curruchich said it’s important that her music reflects the diversity and history of her people.

“Because we constantly see the annulment of the history of our peoples, it’s important for me to talk about the identity of Indigenous peoples through my music,” Curruchich said. “[Music] becomes kind of a healing process for experiences of racism that I and other Indigenous people experience.”

Curruchich spent the morning before the concert with graduate students at the Butler School, discussing her musical style, the role of women in the music industry and the challenges they face. Later in the evening, she performed for a full audience, showcasing songs from her second album, “Mujer Indígena,” as well as songs she played on the marimba.  

Mercedes Payán, a graduate student in ethnomusicology at the Butler School, helped organize Curruchich’s visit to the Forty Acres. Payán said the performance marked an important step for Indigenous representation on campus.

“We have the spaces and the tools, and we can use them to support these artists,” Payán said.

Read more in the Daily Texan.