PRESS

QUOTES

“Reina Latina – Canada’s emerging Latin music queen.”
– 680 News, Toronto

“A major international talent that’s on its way.”
– The Toronto Star, Canada

“Musical class on an international Jazz level meets driving Caribbean rhythms and first-class Latin-Pop.”
– Hamburg Morning Daily, Germany

“If you could buy only one contemporary Latin album this year, this might well be the one. I am very impressed! Eliana Cuevas is a knockout on every level.”
Gapplegate Music Review, New York 

“Poetry and Rhythm – Subtle, strong, elegant, sophisticated yet simple and honest. She impresses with her strength but is never forceful. South American rhythms, poetry, jazz are all elements of her music which obviously flows from the core of her being.”
– The Live Music Report, Toronto, Canada

“Eliana Cuevas… She just might be the next Norah Jones.”
– NOW Magazine, Toronto, Canada

“Someday London’s first Fiesta del Sol Festival will be remembered for bringing Toronto Latin Jazz singer Eliana Cuevas’ group to London.”
– London Free Press, London, Canada

“Eliana is (just as) amazing to watch. At times her voice is as smooth as silk, and then… she eruptes like a volcano. She gives me goose-bumps!
– CBC Radio One, Toronto, Canada

“…Sweet and enticing Latin vocals of the charming Eliana Cuevas…”
– NOW Magazine, Toronto, Canada

“There was nobody on the floor as the band took the stage but the sweet vocals of Eliana Cuevas soor people to get grooving.”
– NOW Magazine, Toronto, Canada

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ARTICLES

ELIANA CUEVAS, ESPEJO: CD REVIEW

By Grego Applegate Edwards, GAPPLEGATE MUSIC REVIEW, New York, October 2nd, 2014Eliana Cuevas - Espejo 2013

The category of “Latin vocalists” is something so wide as almost to be meaningless. Of course one will expect the singing to be in Spanish (or Portuguese), but beyond that there is a spectrum of possibilities that is seemingly endless. In the case of Canadian based Eliana Cuevas and her album Espejo (Alma 81242) we get music and a voice, each with a special originality. The music has a jazz quality and Eliana projects through it all wonderfully.

It all is in a contemporary Latin vein, which means there are nicely wrought modern arrangements (by keyboardist Jeremy Ledbetter and Eliana) and a rhythmic feel that includes infectious Latin rhythms along with a backbeat at times. These are for the most part Cuevas originals and she has a definite knack at songwriting. Combine that with an impeccable vocal instrument and you really have something. Her voice is nuanced, pitch-perfect, personally sensuous and clear as a bell. Based on the album I would certainly put her up there among the very best of the new vocalists. She is marvelous.

The more I listen to this one the more I am struck by it. If you could buy only one contemporary Latin album this year, this might well be the one. I am very impressed! Eliana Cuevas is a knockout on every level.

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ELIANA CUEVAS SE CORONA EN LOS TORONTO INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS

TORONTO HISPANO, 26 de Septiembre del 2014

Un gran orgullo para la comunidad latina es el reconocimiento y premiación de la cantante Eliana Cuevas como la mejor artista de World Music 2014.

El Toronto Independent Music Awards (TIMA) es una competencial musical anual para los artistas de la provincia de Ontario. Este año, el TIMA celebra su primera década contribuyendo a la promoción y celebración de la música independiente. El Toronto Independent Music se ha convertido en la plataforma para conocer el talento de los músicos independientes.

El TIMA es un anhelado premio compartido por músicos independientes que han llegado a firmar con disqueras establecidas e independientes, se han posicionado en los mejores charts, y hasta les han abierto las puertas para grandes premiaciones como los Juno Awards.

La 10° edición del Toronto Independent Music Awards anunció recientemente la lista de ganadores en sus 12 categorías. Un gran orgullo para la comunidad latina es el reconocimiento y premiación de la cantante de origen venezolano Eliana Cuevas como la mejor artista de World Music 2014.

A través de las redes sociales, Eliana Cuevas señaló: “Me acabo de enterar de que ayer me gané el premio Toronto Independent Music Award 2014 como mejor artista de música world ‘Best World Music Artist’. No me lo esperaba. ¡Muchas gracias por este reconocimiento!”.

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CONCERT PREVIEW: ELIANA CUEVAS IS A MUSICAL EXPLORER

By Roger Levesque, EDMONTON JOURNAL, April 17th, 2014

It’s fitting that singer Eliana Cuevas started our interview on a Skype call from India.

The Venezuelan-born singer, a resident of Toronto for nearly two decades, has always had the travel bug and that fascination for “exploring” (as she puts it) inspires her music. Cuevas was just finishing a two-month sojourn to Turkey and India with her partner and chief musical collaborator Jeremy Ledbetter and their five-year-old daughter Leila before she returned to Canada to tour. “We like to visit other places, to learn about other cultures and to expose our daughter to new things,” she says. “We like to do it every other year. Last time we backpacked through Thailand.”

You can hear her musical curiosity take hold on Espejo, her impressive, lively third album and most elaborate, eclectic recording yet. Touches of Brazilian and Cuban music, blues and pop find their way into its Latin jazz sound, with a cast of 20 friends and guests. Ledbetter arranged most of the tunes and played keyboards. The couple has been together for about a decade after meeting at a Toronto concert, but for most of that period they followed separate careers, Ledbetter with his Caribbean jazz group CaneFire, and Cuevas with her music or guesting with artists like Jesse Cook, Alex Cuba or Jane Bunnett. That changed around the time their daughter was born.

“On Espejo, it was seriously intense working together, a completely different dynamic but Jeremy understood exactly what I wanted to do. On previous CDs, I focused on my live ensemble. But this time I decided to bring in more musicians so there’s more variety in the sounds and I explore my vocal range more. And in the songwriting this album is more personal.” Tracks reference her father (who died when she was 11), her mother and daughter, and themes like the afterlife. While most songs are in Spanish, one number, El Tucusito, features her amazing wordless vocals in a melody inspired by a Brazilian birdsong.

Despite the wider range of musicians on the album, she has been pleased to see how the tunes translate well to live performance with a smaller group. Her fan base keeps growing, with nods from the Canadian Folk Music Awards and just recently, two more nominations from the Independent Music Awards. The album title came from the phrase “espejo frente a espejo” or “mirror in front of mirror.” “When you put a mirror in front of another mirror, you get infinite reflections and that’s how I see the possibilities of what we can do with the music. We have to take chances and explore, just as we do travelling and in life.”

After growing up in a musical family in Venezuela, Cuevas came to Canada in 1996 to study English. She quickly made friends on Toronto’s music scene and found herself performing in varied situations, leading up to her 2004 debut disc Ventura.

Former Edmonton bassist George Koller has been part of Cuevas’s music from early on (he produced her second album Vidas), and he’s in her band again when she returns to the Yardbird with Ledbetter on piano and drummer Daniel Barnes.

Cuevas plays the Yardbird Suite (102nd Street at 86th Avenue) at 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $20 for members, $24 for guests, from Ticketmaster or at the door.
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ELIANA CUEVAS MAKES AN IMPRESSION ON ESPEJO: CD REVIEW

By Peter Goddard, THE TORONTO STAR, August 7th, 2013cd2013cover

For a CD that’s so obviously heartfelt, it nevertheless feels contrived to dazzle — which it does — more than move you.

About halfway through Espejo (Mirror), Eliana Cuevas’s fourth CD since her 2002 debut Cohesión, the Venezuela-born Toronto singer hits warp-drive speed with “El Tucusito,” a dazzling bit of Latin scat bopping that showcases her remarkable range of talents as a singer and composer. The problem is, the performance feels as if it’s mostly about making an impression, which it does. Had “El Tucusito” been slightly slower and less showy, its inner structure and dramatic ending would be more apparent as would the true depth of talent involved. (Cuevas has won just about every indie award in Canada over the years for a reason, including a 2009 National Jazz Award for Latin Jazz Artist of the Year.)

A lot of Espejo feels that way. For a CD that’s so obviously heartfelt — “Melancolía” might be about immigration while “Antito” is about her “sweet girl” daughter — the 10-tune collection nevertheless feels contrived to dazzle more than move you, despite the efforts of its crackerjack band led by Jeremy Ledbetter, her partner, producer, arranger and pianist. But maybe that’s where you find Cuevas’s real genius, in creating an impressive album for her fans and to equally serve as a calling card for the music industry to recognize a major international talent that’s on its way.

Eliana Cuevas is appearing at Hugh’s Room as part of Jazz FM91’s World Music Festival on Wednesday, Aug. 7.

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WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL SHOWCASES A UNIQUELY TORONTO SOUND

By Trish Crawford, THE TORONTO STAR, August 1st, 2013 cd2013cover

Toronto is changing the world — one note at a time.

Venezuelan-born Eliana Cuevas has been singing and performing her nation’s music in Toronto for more than a dozen years, but a funny thing happens when she returns to her homeland.

“My music has been influenced by something else,” Cuevas says, adding it doesn’t sound like the other Venezuelan music being played there.

“Everything I have learned, and that has happened to me, is in my music. Toronto is a multicultural city; it is a wonderful place to make this music. Toronto is in my music.”

Cuevas and other local artists performing at the Jazz FM91 World Music Festival at Hugh’s Room from Aug. 6 to 10 sing the same refrain: world music is being enhanced by the many vibrant cultures in our city.

Venezuelan-born singer Eliana Cuevas presents songs from her new CD, Espejo, at the Jazz FM91 World Music Festival at Hugh’s Room.

Rez Abbasi, a Pakistani-born guitarist based in New York, will perform “Music for Snake Charming” with his trio

Cuban-born pianist Hilario Duran, who has lived in Canada since 1998, will be performing with trumpeter David Buchbinder at the Jazz FM91 World Music Festival. The pair collaborated on a CD of Jewish-Cuban music.

Certainly, there will be jazz musicians who hail from afar: Pakistani-born Rez Abbasi, now living in New York, will perform “Music for Snake Charming” with his trio.

But most of the performers in the five-day event are Canadian — either born here or brought to our shores from elsewhere — who’ve sought to bring the world to our doorstep through their music.

Cuban-born Hilario Duran, for example, has lived in Canada since 1998 after years of performing around the world. This pianist-composer says living and working in Toronto has been as eye-opening as travelling.

“After I was based here, I was exposed to so many cultures: Indian, African, Chinese,” he says. “They brought a whole new palette and influenced how jazz is played.”

American-born, Toronto-raised trumpeter David Buchbinder has long been fascinated with his Jewish roots, particularly traditional klezmer music.

He and Duran have just collaborated on their second mash-up of Jewish-Cuban music with a newly released CD, Odessa Havana. Together, in Toronto, these two have created a hybrid, says Buchbinder — something totally new as opposed to two distinct music types mashed together.

“The music is reinvented and recorded in a Toronto way,” says Buchbinder, who with Duran will be playing tracks from the new CD at their Aug. 6 concert opening the festival.

“Slapping music together — that is kindergarten. All of this music is original,” Buchbinder continues.

Both artists have songwriting duties in which “we’ve created an original sound,” he says,

Putting Cuban and Jewish music together isn’t as far-fetched as it may sound. According to Buchbinder, both have roots in southern Spain and have common influences, including flamenco.

Canadian-born Roberto Occhipinti, who produced and plays bass on Odessa Havana, compares world music to food. “When you eat pasta, are you eating Italian food or are you eating pasta?”

Occhipinti grew up in the Toronto home of Sicilian immigrants, where his mother and the Indian next-door neighbour swapped pasta and chicken recipes that were then modified by the homemakers.

Music is just like that, he says, adding, “Bach took folk dances and wrote a cello suite.”

“All music is world music,” says the classically trained musician, who used to play bass with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.

Currently, world music is a term used to describe “the exotic,” says Cuevas, who came to Canada at 17 to study English and ended up exploring her love of music here.

She will be performing songs from her latest CD, Espejo (meaning “mirror”), which contains all original material. Produced by her husband, pianist Jeremy Ledbetter, who also plays, the record’s music is a challenge, Cuevas admits.

This is her first record since her daughter Leila was born four years ago. “I tried to challenge myself, so I could learn and grow,” she says.

One of the greatest challenges is a song, written by Ledbetter, which has Cuevas singing notes as if her voice were a trumpet.

“It was scary at times,” admits Cuevas, of her third album. Her daughter plays a role in this music in two ways.

First, there is the song “Antito” — Leila’s baby word for elefantito, meaning little elephant. This hearkens back to Cuevas’s childhood, when elephants were a common cultural reference. Her daughter also gets a tiny singing role on the album.

That’s the special Toronto ingredient that Cuevas has added to her Venezuelan music — a mother’s love.

Also appearing at the festival are Bruce Cassidy (South African music), Lyne Tremblay and Amy McConnell (French music) and Eric St-Laurent (South American music).

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ELIANA CUEVAS – ESPEJO – ALBUM OF THE WEEK

By Raul da Gama, LATIN JAZZ NETWORK, June 2nd, 2013cd2013cover

With her album Espejo the Venezuelan-born singer/songwriter Eliana Cuevas is somewhat deeper into her life as a musician. It is clear from the music on this album that Ms. Cuevas has matured considerably since her 2002 debut Cohesión.

The singer is more self-assured, as she digs deeper into her soul and, as a result, it is clear that she now writes music that is more complex and makes fuller use of the folk music of Venezuela with greater intellect; in subtler ways both rhythmically as well as in terms of the rich and undulating melodic inventions that it is known for. Moreover Ms. Cuevas can be heard here to sing not so much within a zone that she is merely comfortable with, but as she pushes herself to capture the music with a greater sense of urgency and with a great deal more nervous energy. She is also in touch with the spirit realm where she appears to navigate with sublime femininity as well as with a certain shamanistic zeal.

Of course while pushing herself beyond such limits as she is seen to have done here Ms. Cuevas has had to make certain musical decisions that have made the album under review somewhat all-inclusive. Consider: Ms. Cuevas has pushed her skills to the limit. As a result she seems to have ended up fusing some elements of popular music into what would have been simply beautiful music that should have stood on its own, basking in its wonderful folkloric rhythms. “Estrellita” is one such song. It begins with an intricate melody interwoven into an equally complex rhythm, but then loses itself in what becomes a bit of pop over-kill, especially in the middle eight of the song when the changes become a bit simplistic. However, Ms. Cuevas quickly picks herself up and delivers a stellar performance in the elegiac “En Un Pedacito De Tu Corazón”. The song is exquisitely paced and Ms. Cuevas’ voice rises and falls in oceanic waves as she breathes an elemental sadness into the melody, which pirouettes in ever-widening circles around the hypnotic rhythm and the tantalising harmony of the keyboards.

The high point Ms. Cuevas’ vocalastics comes immediately thereafter in wave after wave of near-perfect music. Beginning with the ballad, “Nacerá” Ms. Cuevas shows herself to have a deep and almost umbilical connection to seemingly all South American music (the Brazilian foray here is palpable and divinely executed with touching affectation). Ms. Cuevas then continues her Latin odyssey with another superlative (melding of Venezuelan and Brazilian maracatú and marcha) performance in “Llegó”. All of the singer’s brilliance comes together in the breathtaking scatting of “El Tucusito”. It is in this song that the full impact of Ms. Cuevas’ vocal range as well as her true ingenuity shines through. The absolute brilliance of her control and expression as she races through the joropo is without compare. So wonderful is her performance that she almost surpasses the ingenuity of the melodic content of the song, which is owed to pianist Jeremy Ledbetter. Ms. Cuevas work is framed by an equally wonderful cuatro break by the matchless Aquiles Báez.

It is in the realm of music profoundly touched by her folk roots that Ms. Cuevas really outdoes herself. Her vocal gymnastics is not only on display with the speed and dexterity with which she executes the vocal (in the case of “El Tucusito,”) but also in the depth of her reading of the lyric (as in songs such as “Llegó” and “Nacerá”). Elsewhere Ms. Cuevas shows that she has the power to hold her own with the various textures and timbres of horns—both brass and the softer woodwinds—(on “Agua”), as well as when the arrangements call for strings (on “Lamento”). Despite its pop appeal, Espejo is a wonderful revelation of the artistry of Eliana Cuevas. It is indeed a wonderful reflection of her expressive musicality as well as the depth of her spirituality and soulfulness.

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ESPEJO / ELIANA CUEVAS / INDEPENDENT EC003 

By Dianne Wells, WHOLENOTE MAGAZINE, MAY ISSUE, 2013cd2013cover

In continuing her stellar trajectory as an awardwinning songwriter and vocalist (2007 — Toronto Independent Music Award for World Music Artist of the Year, 2008 — nominated Canadian Folk Music Awards for Best World Music Solo, 2009 — National Jazz Award for Latin Jazz Artist of the Year), Eliana Cuevas spent the past three years creating this dynamic and soulful fourth CD release. Her partnership with producer/pianist Jeremy Ledbetter, along with a great line-up of Latin and jazz musicians including George Koller and Mark Kelso, makes for an eclectic mix of styles performed with artistry and heart. The vocals are rich with new experience, the musical arrangements sophisticated and savvy. From the sultry blues/torch song Lamento to the quirky, playful and humourous El Tucusito with its traditional Venezuelan joropo rhythm performed at lightning speed, she and her collaborators move deftly through a great variety of moods and tempi. The first track Estrellita is most danceable — full of joy and exuberance — and the penultimate track, Melancolía, is the jewel in the crown, evoking a wistful yet deeply powerful longing in its portrayal of the hardships of immigration. All in all, a collection of songs fairly bursting with life and energy. I can’t wait for the live show.

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REFLECTIONS OF MOTHERHOOD – SINGER’S WARM VOICE GLIDES THROUGH MUSICAL TRIP TO SOUTH AMERICA, THE CARIBBEAN

By Errol Nazareth, THE TORONTO SUN, May 10th, 2013cd2013cover

TORONTO – Eliana Cuevas’ new album is a fantastic musical trip through South American and the Caribbean, but it’s also deeply personal in that it reflects how her approach to making music has evolved since becoming a mom.

“Absolutely!” the singer says when asked if motherhood has impacted her creative process. “I have a completely different perspective about the world and my place on this planet than I did before. Art has to carry an emotion to really mean something, and since I gave birth to my daughter (Leila), my emotional vocabulary has increased immensely.

“I have learned some important lessons about life and about myself, and music is a great way of expressing all of this.”

Naturally, Cuevas dedicates Antito, a song on Espejo, to Leila.

“She was trying to say ‘elefantito’ — which means little elephant — and in her baby talk that became ‘antito’. While I was growing up, some of my relatives would always tell me how elephants were a symbol of good luck. In this song, I playfully share that belief with my daughter while I encourage her to follow her dreams.”

Cuevas, whose warm, expressive voice is the disc’s centrepiece, says Espejo is the most eclectic album she’s recorded, adding that it has more of a Venezuelan influence than the last three.

“I’ve included a song called El Tucusito which is based on the traditional Venezuelan joropo rhythm mixed with jazz. And in it I feature Aquiles Baez, an incredible cuatro and guitar player from Venezuela, as well as Manuel Rangel, who’s a great maraca player from there.

“I’ve also included a song called Llegó that mixes funk with Afro-Venezuelan rhythms,” she says.

“There are also some Caribbean and Brazilian rhythms, the blues and there’s even a bit of electronica in a couple of songs — that’s something I haven’t done before.”

Pushing the proverbial musical envelope isn’t the only thing she did on the record.

“I used a wider spectrum of my vocal range on it,” she explains. “I explored my voice more than I have in the past and it felt great. I felt like I was at a point where I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone to allow myself to learn and grow, and I think I achieved that. Recording this album was a totally different experience and it taught me a lot.”

Which brings us nicely to the album’s title and how it mirrors changes in her personal life and evolution as a singer.

“Espejo Frente A Espejo was the working title of the album and it means Mirror in Front of Mirror, which to me symbolizes the infinite,” Cuevas says.

“Never ending reflections, never ending possibilities, never ending amount of creative paths that can be explored.

“On this album, I explore new sounds, new ways of writing songs and new ways of using my voice. My dream is to explore as many creative paths as I can in order to keep growing as an artist.”

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ELIANA FRENTE A ELIANA – LA CANTANTE VENEZOLANA NOS DEJA MIRAR SU ESPEJO
Por Silvia Mendez, EL CORREO CANADIENSE, 9 de Mayo del 2013cd2013cover

Confiada. Completa, Feliz. Así se ve… y se escucha Eliana Cuevas en el ESPEJO, su tercer álbum. No ha dejado de ser la chica venezolana; el espíritu aventurero no se lo quita nadie. Desde que llegó a Canadá y se ha parado en los mejores scenarios, ha probado su talento y passion. No por nada la llaman la Reina del Latin Jazz Canadiense.

Ahora, en su tercer disco, la Eliana cantante nada en agues nuevas. Toma aire y se lanza (como dice una de sus canciones) al agua con cangrejos y sal. Y parece que la sal le ha curtido bien la piel, porque ahora nos muestra el reflejo de la otra Eliana. La Eliana compositora y madre que da vida y alma a diez grandes canciones que nos llevan por un camino de crecimiento artístico y personal. ¿Su inspiración? La pequeña Leila y sus ‘antitos’.

“Leila es pequeña, llena de imaginación. No puede decir elefantitos, que son animals relacionados con la suerte y la fortuna. Esa canción de Antito es para ella y por ella, pues al final mi hija canta una parte de la canción”, comenta Eliana.

La creatividad es infinita como el reflejo que nos muestra un espejo frente a otro. Y eso lo sabe bien ELiana, pore so canta: ‘Espejo frente a espejo perdido en la eternidad’. En la música, como en la vida, hay infinidad de posibilidades, animate a mirar el ESPEJO de Eliana Cuevas. El lanzamiento sera el 15 de Mayo en Lulaworld.

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LO MARAVILLOSO DE ARRIESGARSE – LA CANTANTE VENEZOLANA ELIANA CUEVAS CUENTA DETALLES DE “ESPEJO”, SU DISCO MÁS ARRIESGADO.
Toronto Hispano Magazine, 5 de Mayo del 2013 cd2013cover

El riesgo solo lo corren los valientes, aquellos que se atreven a ir más allá de lo que conocen con tal de mejorarse a sí mismos aun siendo conscientes de que la jugada les puede salir mal. Eso es precisamente lo que ha hecho la cantante venezolana Eliana Cuevas con su nuevo disco “Espejo”, que lanzó esta semana a la venta en iTunes y que presentará el 15 de mayo en el Lulaworld, y el resultado ha sido absolutamente satisfactorio para esta artista, que es de las más prometedoras de Canadá.

En su tercer disco, Cuevas se ha probado a sí misma como compositora y artista para crear diez temas nacidos de su alma que expresan la madurez de una cantante fulgurante de ternura al dar a luz a su hija Leila, y al mismo tiempo estremecida de añoranza ante la ausencia de su padre, artífice de una familia decicada a la música también en su Venezuela natal. “Espejo” es en esencia el resultado de un viaje de cuatro años en la experimentación de sonidos y en la asunción de nuevos estilos que han llevado a Eliana Cuevas a madurar como artista.

Toronto Hispano entrevístó a la cantante y reveló más detalles de su “Espejo”.

TORONTO HISPANO: ¿Cómo se lleva que te llamen “la reina canadiense de la música latina”? ¿Es un honor o una responsabilidad?

ELIANA CUEVAS: Agradezco mucho el apoyo que los medios de comunicación me han brindado y acepto sus halagos con mucha responsabilidad. Si de alguna forma yo puedo representar a mi país Venezuela y a nuestra comunidad latina, lo haré con mucho gusto y orgullosa de mis raíces. Siempre trato de dar lo mejor de mí, busco aprender y crecer como artista para luego poder compartir con ustedes y con el mundo un trabajo honesto, hecho con mucho esfuerzo y con mucho corazón.

T.H.: ¿A qué se debe el nombre de “Espejo” en tu nuevo disco?

E.C.: El nombre del album, ESPEJO, lo tomé de una frase de mi canción ‘Agua,Cangrejo y Sal’. La frase dice: “Espejo frente a espejo perdido en la eternidad…” Para mí esto significa que la creatividad es infinita como lo son los reflejos que se ven cuando se pone un espejo frente a otro. En la música hay infinidad de posibilidades, como en todo arte y como en la vida…

T.H.: ¿Cómo fue el proceso de creación?

E.C.: Fue largo y requirió mucha paciencia, esfuerzo, amor, pasión, perseverancia y valentía, como todo lo mejor en esta vida. Antes de comenzar a trabajar en él sabía que era hora de hacer algo diferente y sentí la necesidad de experimentar con sonidos, ritmos e intrumentos para crear algo desconocido para mí. Al estar en un ambiente desconocido uno está más alerta y se gana una perspectiva diferente, lo cual es esencial en cualquier tipo de arte para lograr expresar algo nuevo. Necesitaba incrementar mis habilidades como cantante y compositora y trabajé con el productor y arreglista perfecto para esta tarea: Jeremy Ledbetter, quien jugó un papel funtamental en la maravillosa expedición que representa mi nuevo disco. Me ayudó a darle a cada tema una identidad propia y a sacar provecho a mi voz más que nunca, por lo que le estaré siempre agradecida.

T.H.: ¿Qué buscas expresar con “Espejo”?

E.C.: Cada canción tiene un mensaje diferente pero pienso que, más allá de las canciones, lo que quiero expresar es mi deseo de crecer y mejorar como artista. Mi deseo de arriesgarme y hacerme más vulnerable para poder entregarme más a mi arte. La idea es crear música que nazca del alma y música que llegue al alma.

T.H.: ¿De qué forma sientes que has evolucionado como artista desde que te iniciaste en el mundo de la música hasta este momento?

E.C.: He aprendido muchas cosas durante mi carrera y algo especialmente importante que he aprendido es que tengo derecho a equivocarme como cualquier otro ser humano. Yo confío en mi capacidad musical y la de mis músicos, así que debo darme la libertad de cantar lo que me nazca no solamente en una grabación sino también en el escenario. A veces da miedo arriesgarse y salirse del plan en pleno concierto por temor a equivocarse, pero hoy en día sé que puede suceder algo maravilloso y mejor que lo planificado si se toma el riesgo.

T.H.: ¿Qué géneros has escogido para expresar esa madurez como cantante que haces gala en el disco?

E.C.: En realidad no pensé en ningún género en específico cuando comencé a trabajar en el disco. La prioridad fué siempre experimentar con varios estilos en cada uno de los temas con el objetivo de buscar la combinación perfecta y el resultado final ha sido una fusión de música venezolana, brasileña, funk, jazz, blues y pop, entre otros estilos.

T.H.: ¿Ser madre te ha hecho cambiar tu percepción como artista? ¿De qué manera te influyó?

E.C.: Sí, definitivamente. Yo comencé a preparar este disco poco después del nacimiento de mi hija Leila (ya tiene 4 años), y ella me ha regalado muchísima inspiración. Su presencia en mi vida ha sido lo más bello que me ha pasado y eso me ha motivado a mejorar como ser humano y como artista.

T.H.: ¿Qué ritmos te gusta rescatar de tu memoria para recordar tu infancia en Venezuela?

E.C.: Las gaitas navideñas venezolanas que escuchamos para celebrar la Navidad y el Año Nuevo. Esa música me trae muchos recuerdos maravillosos junto a mi familia en Venezuela y en especial junto a mi mamá y mi papá cuando yo era niña, antes de que mi papá falleciera de cáncer. Esa fue la época más feliz de mi niñez.

T.H.: ¿Por qué elegiste el Lulaworld para lanzar este disco?

E.C.: Lulaworld es el festival organizado por el equipo de Lula Lounge, que no es solo un lugar, sino una comunidad, un grupo de gente maravillosa que le dan verdadero apoyo a todos los artistas latinos y de otros países. Son gente preparada, talentosa, y extremadamente dedicada a su visión. Ellos están haciendo un trabajo increíble para nutrir la cultura latina no solamente en Toronto sino en todo Canadá, asi que me pareció el lugar ideal para celebrar el lanzamiento de mi nuevo disco “Espejo.”

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ELIANA CUEVAS PRESENTA “MELANCOLÍA” EL VIDEO DEL PRIMER SENCILLO DE SU NUEVO ÁLBUM
Toronto Hispano Magazine, 28 de Febrero del 2013

La cantante y compositora de raíces venezolanas nos sorprende con un interesante y bien logrado Melancolíavideoclip.

El destello radiante de la armonía de Eliana Cuevas vuelve a ser protagonista en el ambiente musical canadiense. La combinación sutil del Latin Jazz y la energía incansable de esta artista de raíces hispanas nos presentan el lanzamiento del primer sencillo de su nuevo álbum ‘Espejo’ titulado ‘Melancolía’.

‘Melancolía’ es la primera canción del álbum que hará su aparición este próximo 30 de abril y una muestra de la madurez artística alcanzada por Eliana en estos últimos años en donde pudo vivir nuevas experiencias como el matrimonio y la maternidad. Esta canción evoca los momentos angustiosos por los que atravesó la artista durante su temporada como estudiante llegada de Venezuela y los problemas que enfrentó al tratar de reunir a sus familiares en una tierra lejana como Canadá.
Las voces de angustia y desolación que se ejecutan en este marco musical no son solo más que una fuente de expresión de los difíciles momentos que recuerda la artista.

Con tonos grises y sombríos que develan el sentir de la canción, Eliana Cuevas, presenta este videoclip en un formato de alta calidad que invita a internarse en el profundo sentir del canto de la artista y dejarse llevar por una amplia variedad de sentimientos.

La sentida influencia con los ritmos caribeños, trova con ritmos cubanos, peruanos, venezolanos invitan a un extenso viaje artístico dentro del mundo de la artista. Con más de 10 años en la escena musical de Canadá, Eliana Cuevas sigue demostrando su alta calidad interpretativa y de composición.
El notable talento de Eliana Cuevas ha podido conseguir importantes distinciones a lo largo de su carrera como Toronto Independent Music Award for Latin Artist of the Year y el Latin American Achievement Award for Vocalist of the Year, así como el haber ganado la competencia del Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Songs from the Heart Award en el 2004 con su tema ‘Rompe mi alma’ y haber compartido roles con importantes artistas de la talla de Alex Cuba, Jesse Cook y Jane Bunnett.

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Vidas – ELIANA CUEVAS – DISC REVIEW
By Dianne Wells, WHOLENOTE MAGAZINE, DOUBLE ISSUE!, DEC 07 / JAN 08

Eliana Cuevas - VidasWith a stellar band behind her, and highly sophisticated arrangements by members of her ensemble as well as other artists such as Aaron Davis, this CD serves as a tribute to her accomplishments as a gifted songwriter. From a biting portrayal of homelessness in the Toronto winter to the trials and celebrations of life and love to humour, innuendo and vivid fantasy, her lyrics and rhythms are absolutely engaging. Her hypnotic interpretation of Alfonsina and the Sea (Ramirez/Luna) is prefaced by George Koller’s eerie improvisation evoking the allure of the sea as a perfect alternative to a life of pain. The last song in the Album, Infinite Solitude (Eliana Cuevas) is as heart-wrenching as it is a poetic mystery.

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POETRY AND RHYTHM
THE LIVE MUSIC REPORT – June 2007
Eliana Cuevas at the Toronto Jazz Festival
June 22, 2007, Primus Stage, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto
by Joyce Corbett with photo by Roger Humbert

Eliana Cuevas Subtle, strong, elegant, sophisticated yet simple and honest, that is how I would describe Eliana Cuevas’ singing, stage presence and music. She impresses with her strength but is never forceful. South American rhythms, flamenco, poetry, jazz harmonies are all elements of her music which obviously flows from the core of her being. Almost all of the songs she sang on this occasion were originals, most in Spanish, a couple in Portuguese. When asked if I understood the lyrics, I realized that if you don’t you are missing out on an important part of her art, the poetry of her lyrics. For example, she sang a beautiful song about a waterfall in her native Venezuela. In the pool of the falls the water is so sweet she wishes to be transformed into a fish and immerse herself in it. But although understanding the lyrics completes the appreciation of her art, one can enjoy the purely musical aspect of her singing — the sound of her voice, its rhythmic flow, the smooth modulations of pitch and the use of dynamics — and feel the emotions behind it. On this perfect afternoon her voice was complemented by her regular quintet, a stellar group of musicians. The poetry of the music and the excitement of its rhythms needed no translation.

The one long set was very much all of one cloth but contained much variety from the celebratory folk feel of “Luna Llena” (Full Moon), through the drama and sensuality of “Irracional (Como un animal)” and the soaring sailing-on-air feel of “El Susurro el Aire”, with its powerful rhythmic base. There were piano passages of exquisite beauty and solid, complex percussion with a particularly jaw-dropping cajon solo from Luis Orbegoso.

Eliana Cuevas’ original treatment of the South American classic “Alfonsina y el Mar” was sublime. Written about the suicide of Ibero-American poet Alfonsina Storni, the lyrics speak of a path of pain and suffering leading to the sea and of Alfonsina lulled by the songs of the conches as the phosphorescent sea horses swim around her and the sea creatures play at her side. Not only was Eliana Cuevas’ interpretation of it wondrously sensitive but the entire composition was poetic. In his opening and concluding solos, George Koller extracted sounds I have never before heard emanating from a bass, sounds of wind and waves, of whales and dolphins playing.

I look forward to hearing more of Eliana Cuevas with these musicians and to her soon-to-be released third CD.

The musicians
Eliana Cuevas – vocals
George Koller – bass
Luis Guerra – piano
Luis Orbegoso – percussion
Daniel Stone – percussion

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REINA LATINA – CANADA’S EMERGING LATIN MUSIC QUEEN
By: Patricia D’Cunha, 680 News, Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cuevas dazzles audiences with Latin vibes and English, Portuguese and Spanish melodies.

Toronto – On a blistery cold winter’s day, Eliana Cuevas approached the corner of Dundas and University streets and once again encountered the same homeless man who always sat on this block, wearing a smile on his face. She gazed into his eyes and wondered what it would be like for him to spend another night on the street, in frigidity. Another Night in -20 Degrees, loosely translated in Spanish as Otra Noche de -20 Grados, tells this story. Such moments of human frailty, emotional angst and interactions are what inspire this Latin singer-songwriter’s compositions.

While it would be easy to simply cover standards and music from other artists, Cuevas, 28, insists on writing her own material. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, she started writing music since she was eight-years-old – a talent she carried with her when she immigrated to Canada in her teens. “To me what is most important is to sing words that I mean…I love for my musicians to give my music a bit of who they are, their souls and personality coming through my music,” she said in a phone interview.

At a performance at Nathan Phillips Square last Friday, crowds of music enthusiasts gathered to hear this soulful Latin singer and her quintet chisel a mature sensibility that is often lost in today’s mass-marketed music. One of the other noteworthy songs – Un Nuevo Idioma (A New Language) – was a poem her father wrote to her mother, much before Cuevas was born. “My mother showed it to me long after he passed away, and so I decided to write music for it,” she said.

Growing up, her father, who played the piano and cuatro – a Venezuelan four-string guitar – was a huge musical influence in her life. “I used to sing with my father when I was little…he meant the world to me and still feel he is by my side all the time,” said Cuevas. “He had a lot of do with my love for music.” On her first album, Cohesion, released in 2002, she dedicated the song, Homero to her father. The beginning of the track includes a voice clip of Cuevas as a child, with her father, Homero, which was recorded in Caracas on Aug. 13, 1978.

Cuevas’ other musical influences include the popular Venezuelan band, Guaco, well-known Brazilian singer, Elis Regina, flamenco vocalist, Remeiros Amaya, Simon Diaz, a singer and composer in Venezuela, and Aretha Franklin.

She attended the music conservatory in Venezuela and took courses at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. Cuevas also studied Ibero-American history at the University of Toronto and graduated with a BA in 2002. But, what she really wanted to do was sing. After arriving in Canada, Cuevas was still under-age and was not able to get into jazz clubs. But, with her affinity for salsa dancing, she managed to get a fake ID and weaseled her away into a popular Latin club, called Berlin. A salsa band was playing and boldly asked them if they needed a singer. They did.

Soon, she began to accompany various ensembles, such as pop artist, Joée, Latin-jazz group, Cruzao, Latin-folk band Cassava, salsa heavyweight Marrón Matizado, flamenco guitarist Jorge Miguel and the Brazilian band, Pedras da Ruapop. When she started to work with the Brazilian band, Cuevas was nervous because she didn’t speak Portuguese, but soon, a passion for this music emerged. “The music we were doing was so wonderful, it was very fulfilling,” she said. However, when the band stopped performing, “it left an emptiness” in her.

But, with original material on hand, she decided it was time to make her first CD, which was produced by Canadian jazz trumpeter, Nick “Brownman” Ali. Cuevas has worked with many influential musicians, including Ali and bassist, George Koller, who played on her follow-up record, Ventura, released in 2004. “I love working with people that make music they love; when they are making music, they really put their heart into it,” she said.

The Venezuelan, Cuban, Brazilian, Peruvian and jazz overtones in her second CD, Ventura, steer away from the typical salsa sound, which most people misconstrue as Latin music. “It opened a lot of doors for me (because) the music could not be found anywhere else,” she reflected.

Cuevas has taken her true interpretation of Latin music across Canada and to the international stage, including her first performance in Venezuela at the Hatillo Jazz Festival, near Caracas, in 2006. Last year, she recorded a live performance at the Mod Club Theatre in Toronto, which was broadcasted nationally on CBC Radio. Cuevas is also popular on JazzFM91’s playlist, heard on Amanda Martinez’s Café Latino show.

But, there is more to come from Cuevas. She is currently working on a new CD due out later this summer, with a coveted gig with her quintet at the Courthouse on Sept. 21. Meanwhile, you can catch Cuevas performing with flamenco guitarist Jorge Miguel at various shows across Canada during July to August. Visit www.elianacuevas.com for show dates and audio samples and her spot on MySpace.com

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Eliana Cuevas at Birdland – A Fiery Blend
Hamburg’s Morning Daily, September, 2006

HAMBURG – Easy to see, the audience in the sold-out Birdland wants to dance and marvel at the same time. Canadian-based Eliana Cuevas’ music is no top-heavy Jazz, no pure Latin and especially no hackneyed Jazz-Pop. Good looking Eliana Cuevas and her four highly skilled musicians are playing two sets which are meant to be caught between those stools, the genres – which is how it should be since one can hardly move while sitting anyway.

Musical class on an international Jazz level meets driving Caribbean rhythms and first-class Latin-Pop. The secret behind that fiery blend lies in the stage performance of the Venezuelan born singer who gives herself away as a team player. Her touching voice, solid in every pitch, dominates the songs, but also withdraws to leave space for her musicians. That is how Luis Guerra’s virtuoso piano playing moves in the foreground as well as blind percussionist Luis Orbegoso’s impressive drumming using his bare hands. At the latest when you hear the splendid solo of bassist George Koller, who simulates the murmur of the sea with his instrument, you know that on that evening each instrument is a voice itself and each voice an instrument. The audience is marveling; there is not enough space to dance anyway.

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Ventura – ELIANA CUEVAS – DISC REVIEW
By Brent Raynor, NOW – VOLUME 24, ISSUE 4, SEPTEMBER 23, 2004

Toronto-based Venezuelan singer Cuevas shows remarkable maturity for such a young performer. Besides having a thoroughly engaging voice, she refuses to rely on classic covers, instead writing nearly all the songs on Ventura. These Latin jazz tunes have the typical maracas, shakers and cowbells aplenty to get you moving, but it’s Jorge Miguel’s nylon-string guitar work that steals the show, most notably on the sublime Luna Llena. Cuevas’s Spanish and English lyrics deal with love and nature but steer clear of the cheesy clichés that plague many contemporary jazz singers. She just might be the next Norah Jones. Cuevas launches Ventura at the Glenn Gould Studio Friday (September 24).

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NUEVO WAVE
By Errol Nazareth, EYE WEEKLY MAGAZINE VOLUME 13, ISSUE 51, SEPTEMBER 23, 2004

Like Colombian singer/guitarist Diego Marulanda, 24-year-old Venezuela-born singer Eliana Cuevas is battling the perception that Latin music is synonymous with salsa and Shakira. While Marulanda — who plays no less than 18 instruments and is an expert in Colombian music — prefers doing a war dance on stereotypes of Latin music in interviews, Cuevas’ criticisms are understated. Interestingly, this subtlety is reflected in Ventura, Cuevas’ first full-length album, which nicely ties together Venezuelan, Cuban, Brazilian, Peruvian and jazz rhythms. Or as she writes in the disc’s liner notes, “If you want to know more about me — listen to my music. It is as honest as I know how to be and reflects my thoughts and feelings better than I could ever articulate in a bio.” After reading this, you could be forgiven for assuming that Cuevas is a reluctant interview.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case. Reached by phone in Fredericton, where she and her band performed at the city’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, Cuevas speaks passionately about her creative process and musical philosophies.

“I wanted to move away from the typical salsa sound, not because I have anything against it — I love listening to it and dancing to it — but it’s just not me,” she says. “On my first EP [2002’s Cohesion], I had a bigger group. I had three horns and a drum set and it was good, but I wanted something more acoustic this time.

“I think that for my voice and the type of songs I write, it works better ’cause I like to focus on the lyric,” Cuevas says. “If there’s more space, the listener can pay more attention to the words and they won’t be overwhelmed by a big sound and intricate arrangements.

Cuevas credits this approach to her prior experience singing in a Brazilian group; the music really resonated with her because “there’s a gentleness to it and it matched my personality more. I think that a lot of times people’s personalities come through in their music and that’s why I wanted something more intimate and simple.”

The arrangements she favours perfectly complement this collection of personal songs. And the most personal of these is “Un Nuevo Idioma.”

“It’s a poem written by my father to my mother,” she says. “He wrote it to her before I was born. He was just expressing how much he loves my mother and wished he could create a new language to express that to her.” Cuevas is fond of saying she likes simplicity, but this shouldn’t be interpreted as a preference for music that doesn’t have brains. Veteran bassist George Koller, who plays on Ventura, raves about Cuevas’ compositional skills. “She writes all of her material and a lot of it involves advanced harmony and rhythm.

That’s very rare for someone her age,” he says. “As a musician, it’s very satisfying intellectually and rhythmically to play this music because you have jazz harmony and Latin rhythms so your whole body and brain is involved. “She’s got a lot going for her.”

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EN UNA NOCHE ESPECIAL ESTA VENEZOLANA LANZA SU NUEVO
CD. Por Ciro Alquichire V., EL POPULAR WEEKLY, TORONTO, THURSDAY, SEPT. 23, 2004

Su música tiene una mezcla de ritmos, brasileños, latinos, jazz y hasta de los llanos venezolanos, mezcla que se nota claramente en cada una de las canciones que contiene su CD, titulado Eliana Cuevas Ventura, del cual se realizará el lanzamiento en un evento de gala, que contará no sólo con la interpretación de la artista, sino con el respaldo de grandes músicos de diferentes partes del mundo, que ayudaron en la creación de esta obra discográfica.

Eliana Cuevas, es una de esas artistas premiadas en la vida, tiene voz y figura, pero lo mejor es que logra atrapar a su público con algo más que un buen ritmo, un son latino, una puesta en escena, lo atrapa en cada palabra que contiene las letras de sus canciones que ella misma compone en los momentos que la vida le regala. Esta venezolana, que se inició en carrera artística entre los sonidos del jazz, llega con un regalo para todos sus seguidores, su nuevo CD, que contiene 10 canciones de su autoría y que será dado a conocer en un gran concierto que se realizará el próximo 24 de septiembre a las 8 de la noche, en el Glenn Gould Studio, del 250 Front Street West. Para los que no conocen a esta cantante, ganadora en los premios Artista Latina del Año en el 2003, por su voz, Eliana Cuevas ha realizado una carrera ascendente desde que se inició cantando en diferentes afamados sitios nocturnos de Toronto, en donde con su música logró conectarse inmediatamente, no solo con el público de habla hispana, sino con todos aquellos que tenían la suerte de escucharla.

Con las ganas de éxito, pero más que nada con el deseo de dar a conocer su música, esta artista nacida en Caracas, tiene en sus composiciones esa misma mezcla que hace tan diferente a la ciudad que la vio nacer como cantante, Toronto, porque tiene ritmos latinos, con sonidos africanos, algo de jazz, mucho de son cubano y brasileño, algunas son acompañadas de violines, guitarras, maracas y el cajón, un instrumento de percusión utilizado especialmente en el flamenco, pasando también por ese sonido que hace especial a la música de los llanos venezolanos.

Esa mezcla, se nota claramente en cada una de sus canciones que contiene el CD, titulado Eliana Cuevas Ventura, del cual se realizará el lanzamiento en un evento de gala, que contara no sólo con la interpretación de la artista, sino con el respaldo de los grandes músicos de diferentes partes del mundo, que ayudaron en la creación de esta obra discográfica.

Una de las características que también demuestra el empuje de esta latina y la credibilidad que tiene sus música, es que el gobierno canadiense patrocinó la producción de su CD, por intermedio de los auxilios que dan para apoyar las creaciones artísticas.

En los últimos meses esta venezolana, ha logrado penetrar en gran parte del público canadiense, porque su música la ha llevado a diferentes puntos del país, en donde en cada concierto demuestra, no solo que nació para la música, sino que el ritmo latino que lleva en la sangre le sale por todos sus poros a la hora de pararse en un escenario y frente a un público, ávido de buena música.

Eliana tiene una formación artística, que le permite pasar con gran facilidad de la música en español, al portugués y terminar con canciones en inglés, es tal su diversidad que en su nuevo CD, una de las canciones fue compuesta por ella primero en inglés y luego fue pasada al español.

“Para mí eso fue un gran paso, escribir en inglés, pero esa canción en especial, Rompe mi alma, siempre fue pensada en inglés y luego se pasó al español” dijo la artista.

Agregó que por ahora está concentrada en realizar presentaciones en Canadá y ganar el mercado norteamericano, pero que espera pronto poder ir a compartir su música con todos los latinos, en cada uno de sus países, especialmente en Venezuela en donde ella espera encontrar el respaldo de sus compatriotas.

Estudiante de música en Venezuela, Eliana vino a Canadá estudiar en la universidad de Toronto, de donde se graduó en artes y estudios iberoamericanos, pero paralelo a ello, la artista continuó con la música, logrando que fuera invitada a cantar con artistas reconocidos como Joée, Latín-jazz unit Cruzao, el grupo de reggae Tabarruk, la banda Cassava, el grupo de salsa Marrón Matizado, el grupo de Ritmo Azul, el guitarrista de flamenco Jorge Miguel, la banda de salsa Cache y el grupo brasileño Pedras da Rua, entre otros.

Para Eliana uno de los pilares más fuertes de su carrera ha sido su mamá, quien no sólo la respalda en este proyecto que se hace realidad ahora, sino que la anima a que siga adelante con su carrera artística, pero también su padre, que aunque ya muerto, ha sido una fuerte influencia para esta cantante, tanto que una de sus canciones es un poema que escribió su padre para enamorar a su esposa, y que ella le compuso la música, siento esta una de las melodías más especiales para la artista.

“Para mí todos los que me rodean, hacen parte de este resultado artístico, mi madre, mis músicos, mis amigos, mi novio, y mi público, por eso para todos ellos es mi música”, dijo la cantante.

Lo que vive y siente la artista

Para dar una versión más cercana a lo que es y siente la cantante, El Popular, retomando los nombres de cada una de las canciones de su nuevo CD, realizó esta entrevista rápida con la artista.

El Popular: Qué es el Perdón?

Eliana Cuevas: Es importante saber arrepentirse, saber perdonar y saber pedir perdón cuando uno se equivoca.

E.P.: Tu Objetivo?

E.C: La vida está llena de etapas y de cambios así que uno siempre tiene que trazarse nuevas metas y objetivos. Lo más importante para mí es conseguir el balance entre todos ellos.

E.P: Qué le significa una Luna Llena?

E.C: Para mí es sinónimo de pasión incontrolable y quizás irracional.

E.P: Qué es lo Irracional en Eliana?

E.C: Todos los seres humanos podemos ser irracionales y yo considero que eso a veces es algo muy positivo.

E.P: Cuáles son tus sueños?

E.C: Es bueno soñar, pero es aún mucho mejor despertar y conocer la realidad.

E.P: El samba la llama?

E.C: De esta canción sólo puedo decir una cosa: estoy enamorada de la música brasileña.

E.P: Qué fue un Nuevo Idioma?

E.C: Ese es el que le escribió mi papá a mi mamá.

E.P: Un Susurro del aire?

E.C: Todos tenemos una conexión con la naturaleza y a veces solo nos damos cuenta de eso cuando estamos totalmente alejados de otros seres humanos.

E.P: Sus mejores Treinta Horas

E.C: Las mejores treinta horas que recuerdo en este momento me llenaron de sorpresas y las viví llenas de espontaneidad.

E.P: Qué le Rompe el alma?

E.C: A veces vale la pena arriesgarlo todo por un minuto de gloria.

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THE LATIN TOUCH
Alliston Herald Newspaper, 2004-02-06

“The Latin touch — The Millpond centre swayed to the sound of Latin jazz Saturday as the Eliana Cuevas quartet performed to a sold-out crowd. The Venezuelan-born, Toronto-based singer, soothed…”

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SOL A SOLID SUCCESS
Fiesta del Sol’s founder says the Latin music fest has proved itself and there’ll definitely be more.
by James Reaney, Arts & Entertainment Columnist, London Free Press, 2003-09-01

“… Some day, the first Fiesta del Sol will also be remembered for bringing Toronto Latin jazz singer Eliana Cuevas’ group to London.

The Venezuelan-born Cuevas writes much of her own material. Even when Cuevas sings a standard, her approach is original.

Her afternoon set at the north stage closed with a completely fresh approach to Girl From Ipanema. The arrangement had beautiful passages with Cuevas singing wordlessly in a duet with trumpet/flugelhorn player Bob Rice, a Toronto musician who has worked with London performer Grant Smith.

Like many other fine singers, Cuevas can sound like a horn so it was fun trying to pick which of the intertwined lines were the vocalist’s and which were the brass player’s.

Cuevas also had a Cuban pianist who had played London before with a fine Latin singer. Luis Guerra, 20, had played a Sunfest Presents concert at the Hilton London hotel with Cuban jazz singer Mayra Caridad Valdes as a teenager… He is playing as well with Cuevas as he did with the Cuban star.”

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