New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) There’s a sense of magic and opulence in witnessing the soulful melodies of a jazz artist in a live setting. Passionate singing, beguiling melodies and extravagant musicianship are the hallmarks of a good jazz artist, and Mexico-born singer Magos Herrera exhibited all these traits when she took to the stage here.
Affectionately dubbed the Cassandra Wilson of Latin America by the Jazz Times, the Grammy nominee singer had graced the newly open live space of QLA – a modern European-style eatery here – with her charismatic demeanour and delivered an enrapturing performance that lasted over two hours on Sunday night.
The jazz quartet is in India as part of Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music’s summer faculty. The academy aims to provide world-class music education to prepare students to take up a professional career in the field.
“I love India. It is a very beautiful and ancient culture,” Herrera told IANS about her decision to become a faculty member of the academy.
Talking about her love for Indian music, she also remarked that she would one day “love to collaborate” with Indian classical musicians.
Teaming up with percussionist Alex Kautz, guitarist Fabio Gouvea and bassist Felipe Brisola, Herrera enthralled Delhi’s jazz aficionados with her brand of Latin American jazz.
Their performance was divided in two sets – the first focused on acoustic-driven melodies and featured tracks such as “Reencuentro”, “Eu vim da bahia” (Gilberto Gil) and “Tempestade”.
Herrera mesmerised the audience with her wide vocal range, hitting high, mid and low notes with a magical equipoise. Known for her distinct scat singing style, she used her voice as an instrument and intertwined her melodious vocal strains with the guitars, bass and drum patterns.
After nearly half an hour of the performance, Herrera briefly left the stage and allowed the trio of Kautz, Gouvea and Brisola to exhibit their musical proficiency as an instrumental trio.
Gouvea switched between acoustic and electric guitar harmonies, while Brisola exhibited his wizardry on a six-string bass, even as Kautz stole the show with his masterful percussion.
Utilising off-time rhythmic progressions and subtle time signature changes, which are the hallmark elements of jazz music, the trio delivered a sublime instrumental performance that left the audience asking for more.
The second set saw Herrera back in action as she delivered an entrancing performance with the band and performed tracks such as “O silencio de iara (Guinga), “Tres palabras” and “Retrato em branco e preto” to bring an epic closure to the night.
With over two decades of experience in the music industry, Herrera has released eight full-length albums till date and has performed across the world in countries like China, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, The Netherlands, Malaysia and Singapore.
Besides her musical career, the singer also supports as a spokesperson for the UN campaign UNITE to stop violence against women.