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Uruguayan Madrid-based musician Jorge Drexler won wide acclaim after becoming the first composer ever to win an Academy Award with a song in Spanish: “Al Otro Lado del Río” from the film The Motorcycle Diaries. In the last few years he has received nominations in three consecutive Grammy Awards and four consecutive Latin Grammy Awards, and has won two Spanish Music Awards. Drexler is beloved for the beauty and intricate construction of his music and for the deft poetry of his lyrics. Critics have also hailed him as a keen observer of complex, timely themes such as technology and global interconnectedness, in addition to romance. Drexler’s songs have been featured in numerous other films, including James Ivory’s The City of Your Final Destination, which he scored. His original song for the Spanish/Brazilian co-production Lope, directed by Andrucha Waddington, earned him the GOYA Award (Spanish Arts & Cinematographic Academy award) for Best Original Song in 2011.
Diego Garcia knows how to mine romantic yearning in his work. His acclaimed 2011 solo debut Laura was the ultimate bedroom recording, an intensely focused and utterly entrancing chamber-pop song cycle about unrequited love, his own. The titular Laura was a woman he fell for in college but lost during a hectic period a decade ago when he was fronting Elefant, a New York City-based rock band that toured the world with artists like Interpol, The National and Morrissey. By the time Laura was finished, Garcia accepted the fact that she might only exist in his life as the subject of these songs. Then he miraculously won her back (and later married her). But those years of estrangement left an indelible mark and continue to inform his work.
Garcia’s new album, Paradise, continues to expand upon the romantic sound he had begun to shape throughout his work on Laura. The album’s hybrid of influences, from the late-sixties ”Anglo” crooners like Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsborg, Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker to the early-seventies passionate balladry of Latin American artists like Roberto Carlos, Jose Feliciano, Piero, and Spaniard Julio Iglesias, is a musical reflection of who he is: a U.S.-bred son of Latin American parents who thinks in English, but can speak fluently in Spanish.
Danay Suárez, was born in Havana, Cuba in 1984. Whereas her application to Cuba’s musical conservatory was denied, she never gave up on her dream. Danay joined “Opera de la Calle” in 2003 which allowed her to train and further expand her sound spectrum. She later went on to become one of the principal figures in Cuba’s underground Rap movement. Danay’s ability to adapt has allowed her to thrive in different genres such as Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Dub-Step and traditional Cuban music. Her collaborations as a Havana Cultura solo artist took her to international stages and between 2009 – 2012 participated in shows in Paris, Manchester, London, Amsterdam, Turkey and Leeds. In 2013 she headlined Colombia’s famed festival “Hip Hop al Parque” where she sang before an audience of 120,000 fans. She has shared the stage and collaborated with Omara Portuondo, Roberto Fonseca, Robert Glassper, Gilles Peterson, X-Alfonso, Raul Paz, DJ Mala, Roberto Carcase & Interactivo. Danay’s latest album “Palabras Manuales” will be released this spring.