"As the Argentine singer Sofía Rei Koutsovitis led her multinational band,(...) the passion and clarity with which she assayed a tricky mix of South American rhythms and jazz-inflected harmonies made clear why she has been embraced by New York City audiences from Carnegie Hall to the hippest downtown haunts."
-Phil Lutz, New York Times
"Sofia has a lovely sound that is human and earthy all at once. She creates such a broad spectrum of colors and sounds. Sofia is so creative..."
- Maria Schneider
"one of the most versatile and in-demand singers on the New York music scene",
- Simon Calle, All About Jazz
"One of the most memorable performers I have ever encountered...
a superb and original songwriter."
- Curtis Fuller
"Koutsovitis sings a varied, engaging set, with plenty to dance to, plenty to get down with, and plenty to think about. She's going for an ambitious goal: original, creative, and technically challenging music that's as exciting to a Bacchanalian crowd as to the ivory tower listener. "
-The Live Music Report (Canada)
Sube Azul , the vibrant sophomore release from Argentine vocalist and composer Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, proves why she's been called "one of the most versatile and in-demand performers on the New York music scene" (All About Jazz).
Her acclaimed multilingual debut, Ojalá was chosen as a top-10 release of 2006 by the Jazz Journalists Association. Now, in a departure, Sofia serves as Sube Azul 's composer, arranger, lyricist and - with bassist Jorge Roeder - producer. The result is a stirring collection of mostly original Spanish-language songs.
"[ Sube Azul is] a fully formed synthesis, reflecting Sofia's immersion in modern and progressive jazz while also responding to the pull of ancestry and the appeal of organic, pan-musical connections" writes David R. Adler in his liner notes.
"A native of Buenos Aires, Sofia brings to bear the folkloric traditions of Argentina and its regional neighbors (Peru, Colombia, Uruguay), tying together diverse influences in a program full of complexity, melody and romance. The songs speak of heartbreak, individuality, special characters in Sofia's life, and the challenges of life abroad. There are tributes to Argentina's copleras (female folkloric singers), and comments on what Sofia terms 'the end of the utopia of the upcoming Latin American revolution.'"
Sofia fills out Sube Azul with an impressive and wildly diverse cast of musicians: Jorge Roeder on bass; Anat Cohen on clarinet; Geoffrey Keezer and Leo Genovese on piano; Dana Leong on cello and trombone; Eric Kurimski and Juancho Herrera on guitars; Yayo Serka on drums; Celso Duarte on harp; Dan Blake on soprano saxophone; Diego Obregón on tres; and Samuel Torres, Juan Medrano Cotito, Jorge Pérez Albela, Morris Cañate, Ronald Polo and Nestor Gómez on assorted percussion.
After immersing herself in modern and progressive jazz during graduate studies at Boston's New England Conservatory, Sofia relocated to New York in 2005 and began working in an array of projects, including the 12-piece Colombian unit Folklore Urbano and the Afro-Peruvian quintet Alcatraz, along with more straightforwardly jazz-related groups like Geoffrey Keezer's Aurea, whose self-titled 2009 release received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album.
Sofia has also recorded, performed and collaborated with renowned artists and bands such as Lionel Loueke, Danilo Perez, John Scofield, Bob Moses, Russ Ferrante (Yellowjackets),Pavel Urkiza (Gema y Pavel), Avantango (Pablo Aslan), Aquiles Baez, and the Pedro Martinez Project. She toured Europe with the Grammy-winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and premiered Schneider's "Cerulean Skies" in Vienna. She was also recently featured with vocal giant Bobby McFerrin in "Instant Opera" at Carnegie Hall. In December 2009 she will be one of four featured vocalists chosen to premiere newly commissioned work as part of The Jazz Gallery's "New Voices" concert series. In early 2010, John Zorn's Book of Angels: Masada Book 2 will come out on Tzadik Records, featuring Sofia alongside Ayelet Gottlieb (Israel), Malika Zarra (Morocco) and Basya Shechter (USA).
Sube Azul ties together Sofia's myriad of influences into an album that brings to life her transit between hemispheres and highlights a focused and unified musical identity. Sube Azul spans the continents, transcends its origins and gathers force as a self-contained narrative, more than the sum of its parts.
- December 15-16: Jazz Gallery "New Vocal Series Commission 2009," New York, NY
- January 5: Live on NPR's Souncheck @ 2:30 PM
- January 7: "CD RELEASE PARTY for SUBE AZUL !" Drom, New York, NY
- January 9: APAP Showcase - Hilton Hotel, New York, NY @ 10:20 pm
- January 10: APAP Showcase - Hilton Hotel, New York, NY @ 5:30 pm
- February 18: Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA
- March 12: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Click here to preview " Sube Azul " (Title Track)