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Artist Profile: Raquel Cepeda

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Singer, Songwriter Raquel Cepeda

Singer, Songwriter Raquel Cepeda
“Some gifts we share and benefit a few. Some gifts have the power of benefiting many.” This is the motto by which Raquel Cepeda lives, a sentiment that finds her, after a long career as a full-time geologist, striking even more valuable prospects by following one of her innermost passions: singing. Born in Venezuela and trained in the sciences, it was during her engineering days at college that she began earning a reputation on campus as a singer of distinction. After making her recorded debut in 2001 with a host of other singers and musicians from her homeland, in 2013 she worked with famed producer Paul English to craft her solo debut, I’m Confessin’. This self-proclaimed “work of heart” was an artistic leap of intuition, a foray into emotional depths that highlighted her multicultural persona. She is now based in Houston, where since 2011 she has become an in-demand fixture among local musicians and events. After working for 15 years in the oil industry and maintaining parallel careers in music and science, in 2015 Raquel decided to take the leap as a full-time artist.

Whether singing a standard or crafting an original tune, she embodies an unerring sense of purpose in every song she touches. Listening to Raquel sing, one can hear the tactile joy in her voice, the welcoming passion she brings to the music. She invites us, all the while holding true to the inexplicable spirit that moves her, and which is sure to move you in kind. Raquel is a living affirmation that sometimes the greatest art comes without a roadmap—as if from a higher place—and that sometimes we must give in to the inevitable and accept what we were born to do. Accepting her gifts for what they are, if only for a fleeting moment of shared humanity, makes it all worthwhile, for Raquel pulls back the curtain of our day-to-day lives and reveals the wealth of experiences waiting for us all backstage. Her voice is a blessing shared with the world, and the world is that much better for having received it.
– Biography by Tyran Grillo, 2015

“There is a breathtaking array of music on this album Passion by Raquel Cepeda – music from an array of South American traditions as well as from the northern realm of Jazz. But it is no vanity project or publicity stunt either. Judging by the results it’s probably a given that the composers of this music would have approved whole-heartedly of Miss Cepeda’s decision to take the solo (lead) part throughout. Her uncompromising professionalism and prodigiously gifted artistry shines throughout the hour-or-so of music. It’s simply not a stretch at all for her to traverse the varied cultural topography with disparate music, making this into a journey of a myriad of soundscapes; disparate ones woven into a magical tapestry of sound.”
– Raul da Gama

Raquel Cepeda’s original song “Luz de Luna” is a poetic metaphor of the recent Venezuelan massive exodus, in which citizens are forced to leave, in some instances by foot, walking across south America in reach for safety in other countries. Most of these people leave their loved ones behind and yearn to reunite in the Venezuela that they once knew. The images are the original takes of the studio recording sessions. The song is included in Cepeda’s new album “Passion”, available at: www.raquelcepeda.com/shop

LUZ DE LUNA – LYRICS IN SPANISH (Original)
Luz de Luna, Luz de Luna
Bríndame tu claridad
Que no me pierda en la noche
Que no extravíe el andar

Que tu tenue luz me guíe
De esta densa oscuridad
el camino se hace largo, Mi Luna
Y aún hay tanto por andar!

Dile a Mi Amado que espere
Que en mi alma siempre está
Dile a Mi Amado, Mi Luna
Que ya te ve desde el mar

Que los campos reverdecen
Que en su piel he de morir
Dile a Mi Amado que espere
Las gardenias en abril… Las gardenias en abril

Luz de Luna, Luz de Luna,
Bríndame tu claridad
Mira que Mi Bien me espera
En la vera frente al mar

LUZ DE LUNA – LYRICS IN ENGLISH (Translation)
Moonlight, Moonlight
Give me your clarity
Don’t let me get lost in the night
Don’t let me go astray

May your faint light guide me
From this dense darkness
The path gets so long, my moon
And there’s still so much to go!

Tell my Beloved to wait
That in my soul he always remains
Tell my Beloved, my Moon
As he is already watching you from the sea

That the fields are turning greener
That I will spend my last days on his skin
Tell my Beloved to wait
For the gardenias in April… The gardenias in April

Moonlight, Moonlight
Offer me me your clarity
See that my Beloved waits for me
On the shore

SONG CREDITS
Music and lyrics: Raquel Cepeda
Arrangement: Raquel Cepeda & Barry Sames
Vocals: Raquel Cepeda | Piano: Barry Sames | Double Bass: Thomas Helton | Drums: Marlon Simon | Percussion: Marlon Simon & Cassio Duarte | Venezuelan Cuatro: Jorge Glem

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Recorded at Wire Road Studios, Houston.
Recording engineer: Josh AppleBee
Mix: Andy Bradley, Raquel Cepeda, and Cassio Duarte
Mastering: Jerry Tubb

VIDEO CREDIT
Naomi de Lucia

Latin Jazz Network is a project dedicated to the advancement of Latin jazz and its creators. Since 2000 LJN has been spreading the word about this wonderful music known under the umbrella term: LATIN JAZZ.

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Artist Profiles

Artist Profile: Adrien Brandeis

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Pianist, composer, Adrien Brandeis
Jazz pianist and composer, Adrien Brandeis

Adrien Brandeis is a french jazz pianist and composer born in Annecy. After studying at the Nice conservatory, he moved to Paris in 2018 to study with Manuel Rocheman and graduated from the CRR conservatory in Paris.

In 2017, he produced and released his first album in quintet Euforia, which had great recognition and international success after performing in Asia (Jazzmandu Festival in Nepal, Kolkata International Jazz Festival in India).

Euforia put Adrien Brandeis, in the spotlight of the Jazz scene, and led him to be awarded the prestigious Letter One Rising Stars Jazz Award 2018. This award, which recognizes the best young European jazz artist of the year, opened the doors for him to share his music on the biggest European stages during the summer of 2019: Nice Jazz Festival (France), Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy), Leopolis Jazz Festival (Ukraine), Love Supreme Jazz Festival (England), Heineken Jazzaldia Festival (Spain), Kongsberg Jazz Festival (Norway), JazzOpen Stuttgart (Germany).

Adrien Brandeis: Euforia
Adrien Brandeis: Euforia

Subsequently, he toured Mexico to present Euforia in trio, at the International Jazz and Blues Festival of Zacatecas 2019 and in several theaters in the center of the country.

On the French scene, he has won numerous awards: first prize at the Jazz à Juan 2017, public prize at the Jazz 2017 in Porquerolles, among others.

In Paris, he has collaborated with numerous musicians such as Orlando Poleo, Inor Sotolongo, Damian Nueva, Arnaud Dolmen, Abraham Mansfaroll, Felipe Cabrera and Philippe Ciminato.

Very attached to Latin music, he went to study in Havana, Cuba, with Ernán López-Nussa to perfect his piano skills, in September 2019.

These trips and experiences enriched his piano playing and allowed him to write his second album Meetings, a quartet album with Damian Nueva, Arnaud Dolmen, Inor Sotolongo and special guest Orlando Poleo.

Adrien Brandeis featuring Orlando Poleo: Meetings
Adrien Brandeis featuring Orlando Poleo: Meetings

Meetings, released in October 2020, allows him to move towards a more modern sound while maintaining a certain freshness. It was selected as one of the best jazz albums in France in 2020 by TSF Jazz radio.

In 2021, Meetings is presented more than 30 times; including festivals and clubs in France (Altitude Jazz Festival, Festival Jazz en Sol Mineur, Festival Musique en Cour, Duc des Lombards) as well as in Mexico (Festival Internacional de Polanco, Festival Internacional de Irapuato, Ciclo de Jazz del Forum Cultural Guanajuato, Festival EuroJazz, Festival Cultural de Mayo in Jalisco).

After two tours in Mexico in May and November 2021, where he was very well received by the Mexican public, he created a strong bond with this country and was fascinated by its culture and the places he visited.

It is then, that he decided to record his third album Siempre más allá, a testimony of his experiences and his personal tribute to Mexico.

Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá
Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá

This album was recorded as a quartet, with the musicians with whom he had shared the stage a few months before: Giliard Lopes (Brazil), José Loria Triay (Mexico) and Roberto Vizcaíno Jr. (Cuba).

Roberto Jr. Vizcaino, Adrien Brandeis, Roberto Vizcaino Guillot, Giliard Lopes, Pepe Triay - Photo: Nayeli Mejia.
Roberto Jr. Vizcaíno, Adrien Brandeis, Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot, Giliard Lopes, Pepe Triay – Photo: Nayeli Mejia.

He also had the collaboration of two great Cuban musicians of the international jazz scene: Horacio “El Negro” Hernández and Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot.

In the summer of 2022, he had outstanding participations in the A to jazz Festival (Bulgaria), Jazz à Toulon (France) as well as a special invitation to the San Jose Summer Jazz Festival (USA). He even had the opportunity to arrange and present his music in Piano Solo in Portugal and England.

YouTube Video – Adrien Brandeis – Siempre más allá (EPK)

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