Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Web site: http://sofiamusic.com
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Sofia Rei Koutsovitis is one of New York’s most passionate, charismatic and inventive vocalists, but she brings more than the depth and fullness of a riveting voice to her second album, Sube Azul (World Village/Harmonia Mundi). She also serves as the album’s composer, arranger, lyricist and — with bassist Jorge Roeder — producer. Following up on Ojalá, her polyglot and multilingual debut, she offers this time a collection of mostly original Spanish-language songs, building on a new set of growth experiences since moving to New York in 2005.
Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, her project is grounded in traditional South American rhythms such as chacarera, zamba and vidala from Argentina, Afro-peruvian festejo and lando, Afro-Uruguayan candombe, Colombian cumbia and bullerengue and other genres that merge involving jazz harmonies, electronic sounds and rich improvisations. Singing in Spanish, Portuguese or English, Sofia's voice is so graceful as sophisticated, tying together diverse influences in a program full of rhythmic complexity, melody and romance. Her ensemble produces a range of textures as diverse as the cultural roots of its members, an international cast that includes some of the most exciting young talent from North and South America.
Sofia is a restless artist, one of the most versatile and in-demand singers on the New York music scene. In a short period of time she has recorded, performed and collaborated with renowned musicians and groups such as Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, John Zorn, Folklore Urbano, Lionel Loueke, Guillermo Klein, Geoffrey Keezer, Pavel Urkiza (Gema y Pavel), Eva Ayllon, Russ Ferrante (Yellow Jackets), Bob Moses, Aquiles Baez, Samuel Torres Group, Pedro Martinez, and Pablo Aslan’s Avantango. She toured Europe with the Grammy award winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and premiered with the group Cerulean Skies, a piece commissioned by the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna. Sofia has recently recorded a vocal quartet album for John Zorn’s “Book Of Angels: Masada Book 2” series, released on Tzadik records in January 2010. She is also the vocalist of Geoffrey Keezer's Aurea, whose self-titled 2009 release received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album. In December 2009 she was one of four featured vocalists chosen to premiere newly commissioned work as part of The Jazz Gallery's "New Voices" concert series. Sofia also contributed her vocals for Ljova Zhurbin’s premiere of Niña Dance at Zankel Hall, commissioned by the Carnegie Hall Corporation in 2009. She was recently featured with vocal giant Bobby McFerrin at Carnegie Hall in Instant Opera.
Sofia has toured Europe, Asia, North and South America singing at renowned international festivals and venues such as the Carnegie Hall (NYC), Kennedy Center (Washington DC) , Lincoln Center (NYC), the Blue Note (NYC), the Village Vanguard (NYC) the Chicago World Music Festival (Chicago, IL), Aspen/Snowmass Jazz Festival (Aspen, CO), the International Jazz en Lima Festival and Festival Internacional del Cajon (Peru), the Festival Iberoamericano de las Artes (Puerto Rico), Cite de la Musique (Paris, France), the Festival de Jazz de Barcelona , Festival KESSE and Festival Grec (Spain), Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), the IAJE Conference 2008 (Canada), Beit Avi Chai (Israel) the Lapataia Jazz and World Music festival (Uruguay), the International Jazz and Modern music Festival (Bogota, Colombia), and the Buenos Aires International Jazz Festival (Argentina). Her debut album Ojala has received great critical acclaim and has been chosen a top 10 album of 2006 by the Jazz Journalists Association. She has also received the Best Latin Jazz Vocalist of 2009 Award by the Latin Jazz Corner.
Sube Azul, her second album as a leader has recently been released in the US an Europe by the World Village (Harmonia Mundi) label.