Five-time Juno Award winner, Jane Bunnett has turned her bands and recordings into showcases for the finest musical talent from Canada, the US, and Cuba. She has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, received The Order of Canada, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and, most recently, The Premier’s Award for Excellence.
With Maqueque, Bunnett has created something new and phenomenal in the world of jazz. What started out five years ago as a project to record and mentor young brilliant Cuban female musicians, has become one of the top groups on the North American jazz scene. In the last year, they have played in major jazz festivals like Newport and Monterey, been featured on NPR’s program Jazz Night in America, were nominated for a Grammy Award for their newest release, Oddara, and, most recently, were voted as one the top ten jazz groups by the prestigious DownBeat magazine’s critics poll.
An internationally acclaimed musician, 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 ground-breaking. She has toured the world bringing her own special sound to numerous jazz festivals, displaying her versatility as a flutist, saxophone player, and pianist.
Two documentaries have been made about Bunnett’s work: Spirits of Havana by the National Film Board was presented at numerous film festivals internationally, on television (CBC, PBS), and in Europe. A more recent film, Embracing Voices, has been shown at film festivals and is awaiting commercial release.
This concert reunites Maqueque with one of the founders of the group, Daymé Arocena (courtesy of Brownwood Records), who has gone on to international stardom and is one of the brightest lights in Cuban music today. The group will be recording its third CD in the days following a concert programmed for next November 30, 2018 at Toronto’s magnificent venue: Koerner Hall (The Royal Conservatory).
As an educator, spokesperson, and social activist, JANE remains unafraid to explore uncharted territory in her quest for excellence.
Maqueque are: Jane Bunnett, soprano saxophone & flute; Melvis Santa, vocals & percussion; Mary Paz, congas & vocals; Dánae Olano, piano; Tailin Marrero, acoustic & electric bass; Yissy García, drums.