Photo by Yasmina Mattison

Photo by Yasmina Mattison

"The virtuosic vocal finesse of Diana Alvarez is a wonder and a privilege to behold--and no surprise to witness every audience stunned into silent awe and transcendence." 

-Pamela Means

"Soulful and natural." 

-Natalie Merchant

"Diana’s voice, her ability to shift the room by allowing her research to inform her choices of sound, song selection, and phrasing is simply remarkable. For me personally, even on YouTube - her Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera trailer recalibrates my mood. This is true of so many of the women of color artists before her, like Bessie Smith for example – who was said to have been able to conjure with her voice." 

-Sharon Bridgforth

"Diana Alvarez writes the truth through a tincture of magic and prayer, and both the spirits and the living are cupping their ears to listen." 

-Sean Nevin

Dr. Diana Alvarez is a singer-songwriter, poet, composer, documentary filmmaker, and scholar. Dr. Alvarez is the composer behind the multimedia performance, Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera, a show that honors women, non-binary, and genderqueer artists of color. Quiero Volver premiered to a sold-out theater at Holyoke Community College (Holyoke, Massachusetts) in 2017, and was reprised at the Academy of Music Theatre (Northampton, Massachusetts) in 2018. At the Academy of Music, the performance event raised over $10,000 to support immigrant justice initiatives through the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Dr. Alvarez is the author of Consultations with Bruja Juana, a chapbook poetry collection published by Toadlily Press in 2009. Dr. Alvarez’ poems also appear in The Best of Toadlily Press (2011). Alvarez was awarded the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center in Massachusetts (2008).  

In 2018, Dr. Alvarez was an artist-in-residence in the (R)evolution: Resonant Bodies program at Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. At Banff, Dr. Alvarez performed her original compositions and performed as a vocalist in Sustenance, a world premiere by Imani Uzuri. Most recently, Dr. Alvarez was commissioned to create a documentary for the world premiere of Sharon Bridgforth’s performance installation, dat Black Mermaid Man Lady at allgo, a statewide queer people of color organization in Austin, Texas. In addition to her documentary commissions for Bridgforth, Dr. Alvarez has directed her own music videos, as well as a music video for internationally recognized singer-songwriter and jazz musician, Pamela Means.  

Dr. Alvarez earned her MFA in Writing (Poetry) from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008, and her PhD in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2018. At Rensselaer, Dr. Alvarez was mentored by groundbreaking composer Pauline Oliveros. Alvarez' dissertation is titled, Bridge Artistx Innovate: Gatherings of Women, Non-Binary, and Genderqueer Artists of Color

Dr. Alvarez is currently a Faculty Teaching Fellow at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.