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August 11, 2006

Vocalist Maria Marquez Tours Western Canada

Written by
cindy mcleod

Vocalist Maria Marquez Brings Venezuela to Calgary This Weekend

mariamarquez Maria Marquez

Venezuelan vocalist Maria Marquez tours Western Canada over the next couple of weeks, making several greatly anticipated stops in Alberta and an appearance at the Salmon Arms Blues & Roots Festival. Joining Marquez for her Canadian dates are fellow Venezuelan bandmates, lead by pianist Victor Mestas, with Gustavo Caruci (bass, cuatro, guitar), and drummer Adolfo Herrera. Filling out the sound is special guest saxophonist (clarinet) Lincoln Frey.

Steeped in the Bay Area Latin Jazz scene, Maria Marzuez blends an intoxicating cocktail of jazz, world, electronic and Venezuelan folk music, with a long, cool sip of vocal genius. The highly regarded performer, composer and arranger is a household name in her native country as a major influence in the pop/rock world, helping to pioneer a sound that fuses Venezuelan folk music with electronic and modern elements. A true leader in the world music idiom, her voice has been often compared to those of Edith Piaf and Nina Simone.

Maria’s very original music is at once haunting and gorgeous. She enchants audiences with sultry boleros and love songs along with her modern renditions of Venezuelan folklore. The melodies are clearly rooted in traditional sounds but the instrumentation and approach is original and surprising. Maria is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and has been a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area for two decades, but Venezuela and her Latin roots is where her heart is.

Maria is gaining wide recognition in both her native country and in the US, having performed and/or recorded with such notables as Cuban pianist/composer Omar Sosa and electronic music guru Frank Harris, as well as opened for the likes of Bobby McFerrin and Lucecita Benitez. The venerable jazz bassist Charlie Haden scored a Grammy when he included her collaborative composition (w/Frank Harris) “Canto del Pilon” on his “Dream Keeper” (1991).

Victor Mestas, who leads the quintet for the tour, is an acclaimed pianist/composer in South America. He is quickly developing a name for himself here in Canada due to the efforts of saxophonist Frey, who first met the musician on a cruise ship gig over a decade ago. The two have remained friends over the years, and are welcoming the opportunity to share the stage once again (the last time was a year ago when Victor and his lovely wife Maria visited Canada). This year marks the first time Mestas has the opportunity to showcase his Venzuelan group with bassist Caruci and drummer Herrera. The trio is legendary in their native country, and has a long and impressive list of credits to it’s name. Canadian Lincoln Frey is best known for his work with the Rembetika Hipsters, the popular group based out of Calgary. He is also a regarded composer and arranger.

for more information visit www.mariamarquez.com

Maria Marquez Quartet
with Special Guest saxophonist (clarinet) Lincoln Frey
Victor Mestas (keyboard), Gustavo Caruci (venezuelan cuatro, guitar, bass), Adolfo Herrera (drums)

August 11 St. John’s Music / Calgary
August 12 Dudley’s Pub / High River
August 13 Taste of Calgary Festival / Calgary
August 16 Club Paradiso / Calgary
August 17 Tongue and Groove / Lethbridge
August 19-20 Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival / Salmon Arm, B.C.

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