Musical group Alma was formed in 1979 by Lira and Wells to bring to life the Chicano-Latino experience through musical performances. Alma features original compositions by Lira and is known for its mesmerizing duets, inspirational lead guitar playing by Wells, and incomparable, rhythmic bass by Ravi Knypstra. Alma blends Mexican, Latin American, American Folk and Afro-Cuban styles creating a hybrid: Chicano music.
Having performed in the United States, Mexico and Cuba at national and international festivals, Alma has appeared at the American Folklife Festival and the U.S.-Cuba Friendship Concert. It has recorded its music over the years with labels such as Smithsonian Folkways.
The latest is Rolas de Aztlan: Songs of the Chicano Movement, which Thom Jurek, from All Music Guide has described as “an original and necessary document of essential American musical history.” Alma scored the music for the award winning film documentary, The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Struggle, and has also performed at the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship Concert at the Music Center, Strathmore, Maryland.