A Window on the Latin Soul
“…An album that re-defines the term Latin music and is something I feel which is rather unique in the history of New Zealand.” – Nathan Haines
Venezuelan cantante and songwriter Jennifer Zea prepares to celebrate the release of her new album entitled "The Latin Soul" on May 25th.
Zea, a born collaborator, has travelled the world over the past twenty years exploring different music styles with various artists and honing her craft. Her nomadic lifestyle has led her to New Zealand where she has made her home.
"I love the people, the spirit, the music here," she says. "I have come here with a desire to integrate my culture and other elements adopted from my travels with New Zealand's own, actively incorporating the best musicians into this project for a real exchange of visions".
Zea's meeting with Nathan Haines led to him producing the album. His succinct horn and flute parts buoy the songs and with the help of engineer Simon Gooding at York St, he has retained a "realness" and "life" to the recordings. Top New Zealand pianists Kevin Field and Jonathan Crayford feature prominently as co-writers and arrangers and their tasteful keys delight throughout the album. Master percussionist Miguel Fuentes plays an integral part in the album and was present from the outset to the final mixing stages. Together this ‘Antipodean Collective' achieves a sound that possesses a genuine ‘Latin' feel with a coastal airiness characteristic of New Zealand.
Zea's voice is effortless and she tells her stories with a conversational tone, yet still imparts the passion of the song. She invites the listener to open their heart and soul and embrace the music, and in turn, embrace life. Like much Latin music, these songs bid us to see the joy in life and live for the moment, even when the chips are down.
Though her album may be heavily influenced by Latin rhythms and Latin music is part of her heritage, Zea's style is diverse, moving from World and Latin Jazz to taking on the underground scene of kiwi music. Her recent projects have seen her involved with such varied local acts as The Shogun Orchestra, Batucada Sound Machine, Mike Fabulous as Lord Echo and Latinaotearoa with whom she has been touring this summer including performances at Rippon, Splore and WOMAD. Her busy summer schedule has culminated in this May album release.
"The Latin Soul" is released through Mama Wata Music and distributed by Rhythmethod and DRMNZ.
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