Jane Bunnett and Maqueque
Multiple Juno Award winner, Jane Bunnett has turned her bands and recordings into showcases for the finest musical talent from Canada, the U.S and Cuba. She has been nominated for Grammy Awards, numerous Juno Awards, received a Order of Canada, The Queens Diamond Jubilee medal, and most recently Ontarios Premiers Award for Excellence. An internationally acclaimed musician, Jane Bunnett is known for her creative integrity, improvisational daring and courageous artistry. Her exploration of Afro-Cuban melodies expresses the universality of music and her ability to embrace and showcase the rhythms and culture of Cuba has been groundbreaking. She has toured the world bringing her own special sound to numerous JAZZ festivals, displaying her versatility as a tourist, saxophone player and pianist. As an educator, spokesperson and social activist, she remains unafraid to explore uncharted territory in her quest for excellence!
Jane Bunnett's continuing quest to seek out and present musical talent untapped and unheard beyond the confines of the island has led her down many roads, and it was during a trip 30 years ago to Havana, Cuba she discovered then-unknown musicians and formed the all-star ensemble Maqueque (pronounced "Mah-Keh-Keh" meaning "the energy of a young girl's spirit.") Their 2014 self-titled debut CD was awarded a much-deserved Juno Award for Best Group Jazz Album of the Year.
Jane Bunnett's assembly of all-star Cuban musicians, the sextet which includes herself and five extraordinary young females, ensured a spotlight for their fluid, seamless music. "Everything I've done," Jane says with pride, "has led up to this group, which is the perfect vehicle for now." Maqueque currently includes Yissy Garcia on drums, Danae Olano on piano, Magdelys Savigne on bata drums and congas, Elizabeth Rodriguez on violin and vocals and Celia Jiminez on bass. Maqueque often features guest stars Melvis Santa on percussion and vocals, as well as Dayme Arocena assisting on vocals.
"Oddara" fills the air with intoxicating spirit of joy and electricity, and live, their shape-shifting enthusiasm is contagious, thrilling audiences in clubs and festivals throughout North America. Their smiling faces and lively attitude radiates their spirit, and speaks to their love of performing. And audiences wouldn't have it any other way - Maqueque's fresh, inventive, no-compromise music earned the group a standing ovation at the Kennedy Center, a rare encore at the Chicago Jazz Festival, and four sold out nights at Chicago's legendary Jazz Showcase. Maqueque also received the Premiers Award for Excellence In The Arts this past October and performed in NPR offices where they filmed a session for Tiny Desk Concerts.
Jane and Maqueque kicked off their tour in San Jose, CA and will go on to play shows across the U.S and Canada in the upcoming weeks starting at Birdland on October 25.
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