City Paper is not for tourists
Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler is best known to American audiences for “Al Otro Lado del Río,” a strummed and quietly sung Oscar-winning serenade from the 2004 movie The Motorcycle Diaries. A decade later, he dazzled fans of Spanish-language guitar pop with his well-received album Bailar en la Cueva. Drexler, who trained as a doctor, found musical inspiration when he took a break from medical school and hitchhiked through Brazil. His music reflects that visit, often combining pretty bossa nova melodies with Uruguayan ones. Drexler usually emphasizes acoustic folk sounds, but he’s also delicately covered Radiohead and added programmed electronic accents to some tracks. Recorded in Colombia, Bailar en la Cueva’s “Universos paralelos” features samba horn lines that dance over cumbia percussion and guest verses from Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux. On “Bolivia,” Drexler employs busy tango rhythms as he sings praise to the country that took his family in after they fled the Nazis. The deep emotions of his work will be on full display when he reaches the Birchmere. Jorge Drexler performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $35. (703) 549-7500. birchmere.com.