When an artist makes their debut as a bandleader, they often appear into our consciousness seemingly out of nowhere. Their faces, voices, instruments, and musical approaches all serve as new discoveries awaiting our attention. Sometimes we indulge our curiosity and spend some time listening to this new artist; other times our busy lives dictate our schedule, driving our attention away from the artist. A lot of times we miss the obvious in this situation though – musicians don’t simply appear out of thin air and there’s a good chance that we may have encountered them in the past. Building a strong artistic concept requires years of musical development through diverse performance experiences. Younger musicians generally apprentice with more experienced artists as members of their bands. They absorb interesting compositional and arranging ideas, they learn to execute complex performance techniques, and they see what it takes to stand in front of an ensemble and lead other musicians. While artists may look like “new faces” to us, we might have encountered them as part of another group. If these artists reside in our local communities, there’s a good chance that they’ve jumped through the area’s various groups. When you encounter a new artist, it’s always worth a double take – if they inhabit the same musical circle, you may have heard them before.
I experienced this phenomenon first-hand when I heard vocalist Sofia Tosello earlier today. Raised in Cordoba, Argentina, Tosello grew up around a wide variety of music, from the Brazilian swing of Gal Costa and Caetano Veloso to the soul of Luthor Vandross and the straight-ahead jazz of Duke Ellington, not to mention to traditional folk music of her home country. After some early performance experiences, Tosello engaged in some deep study with vocalist Marcela Benedetti at La Colmena Instituto de Musica in Cordoba. As her musical palette began to widen, Tosello moved to New York in search of a richer jazz experience, where she studied extensively with singer Sheila Jordan. Tosello built a serious set of skills that might draw some major attention – and in the New York area, it certainly did . . . still I remained unfortunately unaware of Tosello’s work. A Facebook announcement about her new release, Alma Y Luna, piqued my curiosity, but quite honestly, I came pretty close to passing it up. Something steered me in that direction though, and it proved to be my lucky day – Tosello is quite an artist. Some research opened my eyes and made me rethink my decision; I’ve heard Tosello with Pedro Giraudo’s Jazz Orchestra. All of a sudden, I couldn’t get enough and I was tracking down Tosello on every video I could find.
In honor of my latest discovery, today’s Weekly Latin Jazz Video Fix is dedicated to Tosello’s work both as a leader and a side person. The first clip finds Tosello performing the title track from her album Alma Y Luna with her band. The next video places Tosello in the Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra singing “Ese Grito” while the next selection pairs Tosello with guitarist Julio Santillán on a piece entitled “Destello.” In the last video, Tosello sings “La Formula” as a part of the salsa group Cocomama. After seeing the wide range of talent in Tosello’s work across these several groups, I’m very excited to hear Alma Y Luna, seems like it will be worth the listen – enjoy!
Sofia Tosello Performing “Alma y Luna” From Her New Album
Sofia Tosello Performing “Ese Grito” With The Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra
Sofia Tosello Performing “Destello” With guitarist Julio Santillán
Sofia Tosello Performing “La Formula” With Salsa Band Cocomama
Want more from Sofia Tosello? Check out these albums:
Alma Y Luna
Do you have a video to contribute to satisfy our weekly Latin Jazz video fix? If so, send it in – it’s time to feed our addiction. I’m looking for live performances, from any context. I’ll most likely be posting one video per week, but if you’ve got another idea, let’s talk. So come on Latin Jazz videographers, musicians, and fans – let’s share some of our memorable videos! Get my contact info HERE
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