Camila Cortina Bello is a pianist, educator, musicologist and composer. Born in Havana, Cuba in 1988, she has taken the stage in her home country and has performed for audiences around the world. Her music intends to re-imagine the sounds and rhythms of her original Cuban roots through the lens of jazz, classical and world music. She feels like fusion and cross-overs are as intrinsic to her work as to her “mulato” DNA. The memories she carries from her home country play a very important role on her artistic identity, but also the realities that has surrounded her while living away.
In Cuba, Camila collaborated and shared the stage with prestigious musicians such as Joaquín Betancourt and Bobby Carcassés. There, she studied classical piano and theoretical subjects at Manuel Saumell and Amadeo Roldan Conservatoires. In 2010, she graduated with a major in musicology at the Higher Institute of Arts. After her studies, Camila moved to Singapore where she performed as a pianist and music director for different international bands across Asia, including Indonesia and Malaysia. From 2015 to mid-2018 she dedicated her time to teaching while also working actively as a Latin jazz pianist and composer for audiovisual works, mainly related to Cuban culture. She performed at prestigious festivals like Singjazz 2017 (Singapore), Jazz by the Bay (Perth, 2017) and Borneo Jazz Festival (Borneo, 2018).
Camila relocated to Boston in 2018 as a recipient of the Berklee World Tour Full Tuition Scholarship. Four years later, she had accomplished a dual major in Jazz Composition and performance and a Master’s in Contemporary Global Performance. As a Berklee student, Camila performed in the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterrey (California), as a pianist for Sheila del Bosque’s Trio. She has also performed actively as part of the Berklee Jazz Gender Justice Institute with artists like Terri Lyne Carrington, Dianne Reeves and Linda May Oh.
YouTube Video – Camila Cortina: Vámonos Pa’Cai
Awards and Recognitions
Next Jazz Legacy Awardee – New Music USA, 2023.
Matt Marvuglio Award – Berklee Master’s Student of the Year, June 2022.
Downbeat Student Award – Outstanding recognition for original composition for Large Ensemble: “Bop & Hop.” May 2022.
Pianist/Composer Award – Piano Department – Berklee College of Music, April 2020.
Duke Ellington Award – Jazz Composition Department – Berklee College of Music, March 2020.
1st Prize in Jazz Composition Category at Jojazz Contest, Havana – Original Composition awarded: De Sevilla a Pogolotti, November 2007.
Musicalia Award, Havana – 1st Prize in Music Pedagogy, Musicology, and Music Curator categories. Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana, Cuba. June 2007.
Camila Cortina Bello: Sonera [EP]
Sonera is a five-tracks EP by Camila Cortina Bello released on February 25, 2023, and it does showcase her pianism in a grand manner. Ms Cortina Bello’s music is a reflection of “the sounds and rhythms of her Cuban roots” reimagined “through the lens of jazz, classical and world music.” She’s accompanied by a great team of musicians who are perfectly attuned to her musical ideas.
Tracks: 1. Sonera; 2. Zapateo en 15; 3. Bulería de Noviembre; 4. Así bailaba [And so she danced]; 5. Canción de cuna para despertar a un negrito.
Musicians: Edmar Colón – Soprano Sax (track 1,3); Elizabeth Rodríguez – Lead vocals and lyricist (track 1); Magdelys Savigne – Backing vocals (track 1); José Ignacio Santos – Clarinet (track 2); Maurizio Fiore – Venezuelan Cuatro (track 2); Sheila del Bosque – Flute on track 5; Manolo Mairena – Lead vocals (track 5); Esperanza Delgado – Backing vocals (track 5); Adriana Corredor – Backing Vocals (track 5); Camila Cortina Bello – Piano and composer on all tracks. Backing vocals (track 5); Gerson Lazo-Quiroga – Acoustic bass (tracks 1,2), electric bass (tracks 3,5); Julian Miltenberger – Drums (tracks 1,2,3,5)
YouTube Playlist – Camila Cortina Bello: Sonera
Produced by: Camila Cortina Bello
Music Production: Camila Cortina Bello, Gerson Lazo-Quiroga
Recording and Mixing Engineer: Gerson Lazo-Quiroga
Recording assistants: Tristan Cubirshley, Ryan Tharayil
Mastering Engineer: Jonathan Wyner
Cover Artwork: Alondra Milanés de Miranda
Recorded May 17 and August 5, 2022, at Berklee College of Music Studios, Boston, MA.
Photos of Camila Cortina Bello by DC Media
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