Agustín Lira

Agustín Lira

Agustín Lira playing the guitar and singing in front of the State Capitol at the end of the march from Delano to Sacramento, April 10, 1966. Photo by John Kouns.

Agustín Lira was born in Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico. His family moved to California when he was seven in order to follow the crops with fellow farmworkers through the San Joaquin Valley. When he was 19, he co-founded El Teatro Campesino with Luis Valdez. Lira blended Mexican song traditions such as ranchera, huapango, and bolero with Anglo folk and popular musical forms to create his music. 

Lira was invited to perform at the Newport Folk Festival in 1968 and 1969. After leaving Teatro Campesino, he continued to work in music and theater and formed the musical group, Alma. Lira has appeared on numerous recordings and has written songs featured in theatrical productions and film. He has taught theater, music, and/or creative writing in academic, community, and arts organizations throughout California.

Agustín Lira performing a scene from “The Fifth Season” during the DiGiorgio contract negotiations, Delano, 1967. Photo by Emmon Clarke.


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