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MP3 Lourdes Perez & the Dama de Noche Orchestra - Azul y Serena

Puerto Rican vocalist/composer Lourdes Perez'' response to the world''s largest image of the Virgen de Guadalupe is this breathtaking album. Perez'' passionate voice with the Tosca String Quintet, Oliver Rajamani and Eva Ybarra.

10 MP3 Songs
WORLD: World Traditions, LATIN: General

Puerto Rican composer and performer Lourdes Pérez was commissioned to create a tribute concert and studio recording for the unveiling of one of the world''s largest artistic representations of the "Virgen de Guadalupe." Her breathtaking new CD, Azul y Serena, is the result. (SEE PHOTO: https://www.tradebit.com

The ceremony to unveil Jesse Treviño''s 4-story high, hand-cut tile mosaic/sculpture was held on December 12th in the streets outside the historic Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St in San Antonio, Texas where Pérez performed the 60 minute tribute live, accompanied the Dama de Noche Orchestra.

The stellar, 7-piece orchestra included the all-female Tosca String Quintet, San Antonio''s accordion queen Eva Ybarra, and Indian multi-instrumentalist Oliver Rajamani. Special guest vocalists, 11 yr. old Sarai Rodriguez and 8 yr. old Michele Yamin joined Perez and the orchestra to sing, "Te buscare," both in the studio and for the live performance.

This 10-song album is a trip through the genetic memory of this continent and is already being called, "a music box filled with precious gems." Azul y Serena includes "Mosaico," a moving tribute to the artist, who lost his painting arm in Vietnam and created the mosaic with one hand and one hook, "Segun quien cuente" an irreverent duel between Lourdes and Eva over the apparition, the flamenco-inflamed "Nombrando Rumbos" featuring Rajamani, the lush danza "Serena," and an unforgettable arrangement of the "Ave Maria" with "Las Mananitas." The final song, "Espero que esta carta te encuentre," is a moving, hand-written letter to the dark mother in the face of war.

Perez'' music in general and Azul y Serena in particular, is contemporary roots music at its best. In her music, the spiritually and politically passionate genres of cante jondo, fado, nueva cancion, música jíbara and the versador traditions of Puerto Rico and Mexico, are incarnated in a modern, vibrant voice.

Pérez says: "To me this project embodies the most precious elements of Latin American culture and artistic expression. It is hard to miss the beauty and significance of constructing a giant, dark-skinned woman of peace, in Texas, especially at this moment in history. I''m honored to be a part of it."

Pérez is a native of San Sebastián, Puerto Rico and was based in Austin, Texas for many years. Pérez now makes her home in Guanajuato, Mexico. She has performed internationally since the mid-90''s and has released four previous albums as well as a CD single in Arabic and Spanish that benefits Palestinian children. A highly celebrated, independent artist known for her distinctive contralto voice and human rights work, Pérez has performed duets with numerous legendary artists, among them Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa and Canadian recording artist Jane Siberry.

The Dama de Noche Orchestra, which takes its name from the "night-blooming cereus flower," performs music written and arranged by Lourdes Pérez and Annette D''Armata Candela and its members are soloists, bandleaders and recording artists in their own right. For info, photos and artwork on Lourdes Pérez & the Dama de Noche Orchestra, go to: https://www.tradebit.com and click on the sunrise ("ON THE HORIZON") icon or call 512-370-9559.


BIOGRAPHY: Lourdes Pérez & the Dama de Noche Orchestra

"With her beautiful voice of thick smoke and clear honey, Lourdes Pérez leaves deep footprints that we will remember forever." - Gloria Anzaldúa, author of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza and co-editor of This Bridge Called My Back

LOURDES PEREZ (https://www.tradebit.com)
Considered by many to be "among the great Latin American female vocalists" and highly acclaimed internationally for her "ability to transcend language...with her achingly beautiful contralto voice," Puerto Rican-born Lourdes Pérez has performed duets with numerous legendary artists - from Argentinean singer Mercedes Sosa and Mexico''s master decimista Guillermo Velázquez to U.S. Grammy-award winning folk-rockers, the Indigo Girls, and Canadian recording artist Jane Siberry. She is one of 1000 performers in the world profiled in the 2000 Music Hound World Essential Album Guide and her second CD, Vestigios, was given 4 1/2 stars. This newest release, Azul y Serena, is her fifth.
In her music, the spiritually and politically passionate genres of cante jondo, fado, nueva cancion, música jíbara and the versador traditions of Puerto Rico and Mexico, are incarnated in a modern, vibrant voice. For complete biography on Lourdes Perez, go to: https://www.tradebit.com

- which takes its name from the night-blooming cereus flower - is:

+ TOSCA STRING QUINTET (https://www.tradebit.com)
Leigh Mahoney (1st Violin), Tracy Seeger (2nd Violin), Ames Asbell (Viola), Sara Nelson (Cello), Jessica Gilliam-Valls (Contrabass) - was formed in 1997 as part of the Austin-based Tosca Tango Orchestra. This popular group performs original compositions in the nuevo tango style and has released six recordings, including the soundtrack for the Richard Linklater film, Waking Life, and the Ballet Austin premiere of choreographer Stephen Mills'' Touch.
The group recently completed a yearlong tour and a recording with David Byrne. They have performed and recorded with notable artists such as Ray Benson, Willie Nelson, John Cale, Alejandro Escovedo, Lyle Lovett, Ray Price, Ian Moore, Russell Crowe, Double Trouble, and Shawn Colvin; they also appear on the Dixie Chicks'' Grammy-winning album, Home. Their busy schedule currently includes performances with Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, local fiddle/guitar legend Erik Hokkanen, Glover Gill''s traditional tango project Glovertango, and Austin favorite Bob Schneider.
Members of the quintet have participated in music festivals such as the Manchester Chamber Music Festival, Encore School for Strings, the Quartet Program, and the National Repertory Orchestra. The group has also performed in master classes for Mauricio Marcelli at the 5th World Tango Summit in Argentina; Ruggiero Ricci; Charles Castleman; David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet; and the Cavani, Debussy, and Audubon string quartets. All have studied at the School of Music at UT Austin, with one member currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree.
The Tosca String Quintet currently serves as the String Quartet in Residence at the Armstrong Community Music School of the Austin Lyric Opera. They recently won, for the third time, the Austin Chronicle''s Music Award for Best Strings in Austin (2002).

is the undisputed "queen of the Tex-Mex conjunto accordion. " For Eva Ybarra, an energetic San Antonio-based composer, accordionist, singer, arranger and bandleader of ''Eva Ybarra y su Conjunto,'' it is an honor that she takes seriously. A self-taught musician, Eva began playing at icehouses, restaurants and dance halls when she was six years old. Eva broke the barrier for other women accordionists and today remains one of the genre''s most prolific accordionists.
An award winning, multi-instrumentalist, Eva has taught accordion and bajo sexto (12-string guitar) as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington and is currently teaching the button accordion at Palo Alto College. She has released two CDs with Rounder Records, A Mi San Antonio and Romance Inolvidable and has two new ones in the making. From San Antonio''s restaurants to the Lincoln Center, Eva Ybarra has delighted audiences alone, with her conjunto and on tour with the "SuperTejanas."

+ OLIVER RAJAMANI (https://www.tradebit.com)
was born in India and grew up in a family that loved music and dance. He began performing informally at the age of four, and was encouraged to develop his natural gifts. Over the years, Rajamani studied classical and contemporary music, often in unique settings. At the age of nine, he became a student of Mirdangam, a drum from the Southern region of India. He later had the good fortune to study classical tabla the ancient way, by living with and working for a great tabla master in India. His most recent tabla guru was the internationally renowned Pandit Aloke Dutta. He refers to his musical style as "Ruhjanam" (soul of the people). "Ruh" means" soul" in Hindi and "janam" means "people" in Tamil.
Rajamani learned various Gypsy styles of music such as flamenco guitar in the most authentic Roma Gypsy manner, from spending time among the Roma Gypsy community. He has done extensive traveling in Greece and Israel studying the Roma Gypsy communities and their music as well as Greek and Arabic music. He has also worked in the Romani Congress (U.N. Representation for the Roma Gypsys).
Rajamani performs on these instruments: sarod (Indian lute); oud; dumbek; deff; and cajon; in addition to his extraordinary vocals. He has performed and recorded with internationally acclaimed artists such as the Gypsy Kings, Glen Velez (Grammy Award winner), Aloke Dutta (internationally recognized tabla player), Lara and Reyes (Latin Grammy nominees); and many other prominent Indian, Middle-Eastern, and Flamenco artists. He recently released a CD, Pakiam, and another is in the works.

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