Maria Marquez’s Tonada

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Tonada is María Márquez’s new album, a poignant and impeccable tribute to traditional Venezuelan rhythms, in a marvelous fusion with elements of the jazz language.

The artistry of this talented Venezuelan musician is the result of a combination of diverse styles and interesting musical experiments. María Márquez brings us her new work showing her love for her homeland culture and music. With a big band of great musicians she expresses a nostalgic and pure interpretation of Latin American music. “Déjame” is a rich and profound theme that sounds like bolero, joropo, or French typical song (chanson). This is the richness of María’s work. Her album makes us remember those unforgettable songs we have listened to for many years.

She began her career in the musical field when she was a teenager singing in a duet with Vytas Brenner, in Venezuela. During this time she began to learn about the possibilities of fusing rock, pop and folklore. This experience served as a great influence for what would be her musical career years later.

María Márquez had the opportunity to go to Berklee College of Music where she studied composition, arranging and film scoring. This academic experience gave her the chance to meet some great and legendary musicians. These musical encounters allowed her to create her own style based on her pure love for folklore and her studies in jazz music.

María Márquez has all the qualities a musician could want; a particular voice full of feeling and expressivity, a talent for composing and arranging, and an attitude to produce music. This singer puts all her talent into enhancing the folklore themes and gives them a special sonority any listener around the world can appreciate and fall in love with.

In this cd, her singing interpretation is a combination of technique and pure expression. María Márquez plays with the duration of each musical note making it long enough to show her stable and in-tune voice full of bass and softness all at the same time. “Catire” is maybe the most remarkable song in this work; the intro is absolutely powerful, taking the listener into a syncopated and catchy beat, the perfect musical environment to receive María’s voice which appears softly and with great feeling. Later the beat stops, allowing María to play with the lyrics and the color of her particular voice.

Folklore is as huge and rich as María Márquez’s talent and creativity are. The world of music needs more albums like this!

Tracks: 1. Canción De Cuna, 2. Tonada, 3. Déjame, 4. Entre Copa Y Copa, 5. El Catire, 6. Wild Card (The Story of Wanda Jean Allen), 7. Caramba, 8. Serenata, 9. Amazonas, 10. Maldición, 11. Volver a Los 17.

Personnel: María Márquez: Primary Artist, Vocals, Background Vocals; Peter Barshay: Acoustic Bass; David Belove: Electric Bass; Ray Bonneville: Slide Guitar; Rich Kuhns: Synthesizer, Accordion, Keyboards, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hammond B3; Bill Ortiz: Trumpet; John Santos: Bongos, Cajon, Shaker, Guiro, Wood Block, Quijada; Aaron Serfaty: Drums; John Shifflett: Acoustic Bass; Rev. Ron Stallings: Baritone Saxophone; Scott Amendola: Drums; Murray Low: Piano, Keyboards, Electric Piano; Jason Lewis: Drums; Geoff Brennan: Acoustic Bass; Deszon X. Claiborne: Drums; Jeremy Goody: Synthesizer; Indio Figueredo: Compield; Hernán Gamboa: Vocals, Venezuelan Cuatro; Steve Robertson: Tabla; Don Gardner: Clarinet; Roger Mas: Turntables.

María Márquez on the web: mariamarquez.com

Label: Adventure Music | Release date: March 2013

Reviewed by: Oscar Montagut

Oscar graduated in journalism and education in Colombia, and completed a postgraduate program in Creative Writing in Canada. He works as an English teacher, translator and freelance writer in Bogotá. Oscar is a music collector, explorer and promoter of World Music and Jazz.