The Kennedy Center

Sofia Rei



Biography

Sofia Rei: vocals and charango
Eric Kurimski: guitars
Edward Perez: bass
Yayo Serka: drums and percussion

Sofia Rei is one of New York’s most passionate, charismatic, and inventive vocalists, but she brings more than the depth and fullness of a riveting voice to her second album, Sube Azul (World Village/Harmonia Mundi). She also serves as the album’s composer, arranger, lyricist, and — with bassist Jorge Roeder — producer. Following up on Ojalá, her polyglot and multilingual debut, she offers this time a collection of mostly original Spanish-language songs, building on a new set of growth experiences since moving to New York in 2005.

Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, her project is grounded in traditional South American rhythms such as chacarera, zamba and vidala from Argentina, Afro-Peruvian festejo and lando, Afro-Uruguayan candombe, Colombian cumbia and bullerengue and other genres that merge involving jazz harmonies, electronic sounds and rich improvisations. Singing in Spanish, Portuguese, or English, Ms. Rei's voice is as graceful as sophisticated, tying together diverse influences in a program full of rhythmic complexity, melody and romance. Her ensemble produces a range of textures as diverse as the cultural roots of its members, an international cast that includes some of the most exciting young talent from North and South America.

Ms. Rei is a restless artist, one of the most versatile and in-demand singers on the New York music scene. In a short period of time she has recorded, performed, and collaborated with renowned musicians and groups such as Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, John Zorn, Folklore Urbano, Frank London, Guillermo Klein, Lionel Loueke, Geoffrey Keezer, Pavel Urkiza (Gema y Pavel), Russ Ferrante (Yellow Jackets), Bob Moses, Steve Lacy, Aquiles Baez, Samuel Torres Group, Pedro Martinez, La Bomba de Tiempo, Grupo Caracumbe, Alcatraz, and Pablo Aslan’s Avantango. She toured Europe with the Grammy Award winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and premiered with the group Cerulean Skies, a piece commissioned by the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna. In May of 2008, she was featured with vocal giant Bobby McFerrin in Instant Opera at Carnegie Hall. The piece was a fully improvised opera based on the story of the Tower of Babel. Ms. Rei is a member of Mycale, a NY based international a- capella quartet with Basya Schechter (Brooklyn), Ayelet Rose Gottlieb (Israel) and Malika Zarra (Morocco). Mycale was commissioned by composer John Zorn to arrange, perform, and record 11 compositions from his Book of Angels: Masada Book II. Their cd Mycale: Book of Angels 13 was released in early 2010, and they have been touring internationally since then. She is also the vocalist of Geoffrey Keezer's Aurea, whose self-titled 2009 release received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album.  In October 2009, Ms. Rei contributed her vocals to Ljova Zhurbin’s Niña Dance, a song cycle inspired by the unsolved murders & disappearances of women and young girls in the city of Juárez, Mexico. The premiere of this piece took place at Zankel Hall and it was commissioned by the Carnegie Hall Corporation in 2009. In December 2009 she was one of four featured vocalists chosen to premiere newly commissioned work as part of The Jazz Gallery's "New Voices" concert series.


Ms. Rei has toured Europe, Asia, North and South America singing at renowned international festivals and venues such as the Carnegie Hall (NYC), Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.) , Lincoln Center (NYC), the Blue Note (NYC), the Village Vanguard (NYC) the Chicago World Music Festival (Chicago, IL), the Museum of Latin American Art (Los Angeles), Aspen/Snowmass Jazz Festival (Aspen, CO), the International Jazz en Lima Festival and International Cajon Festival (Peru), the Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes (Puerto Rico), Cite de la Musique (Paris, France), the Festival de Jazz de Barcelona , Festival KESSE and Festival Grec (Spain), Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada),  Ashkenaz Festival (Toronto,Canada), Teatro Manzoni (Italy), Unlimited Music (Austria), Beit Avi Chai (Israel) the Lapataia Jazz and World Music festival (Uruguay), the International Jazz and Modern music Festival (Bogota, Colombia), and the Buenos Aires International Jazz Festival (Argentina). Her debut album Ojalá has received great critical acclaim and has been chosen a top 10 album of 2006 by the Jazz Journalists Association. She has also received the Best Latin Jazz Vocalist of 2009 Award by the Latin Jazz Corner. Sube Azul, her second album as a leader has recently been released in the U.S. and Europe by the World Village (Harmonia Mundi) label. And has recently received an Independent Music Award in the World Beat Category.

Ms. Rei received her Master’s Degree at the New England Conservatory (Boston, MA) where she had the opportunity to study with jazz legends Charlie Banacos, Danilo Perez, Dominique Eade, Steve Lacy, Bob Moses, and Jerry Bergonzi among others. She is currently a Faculty member of Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA).

More info at www.sofiamusic.com

Watch Past Performances

Video 1/4/2012: Sofia Rei

The Argentinean vocalist’s music is grounded in traditional South American rhythms and Afro-Peruvian festejo and lando, as well as jazz harmonies, electronic sounds, and more.

Sofia Rei