Julia Vari, the Mexican “Queen of Jazz,” brings her Manzanero tribute to Spain
EFE – Madrid, España The singer, pianist and composer Julia Vari, known in Mexico as the “Queen of Jazz,” arrives in Spain with her album “Adoro”, in which she honors two of her most admired composers, Armando Manzanero and José Alfredo, with songs well known by audiences throughout Spain.
This is told in an interview with EFE this young performer, who today and tomorrow performs in the Bogui Jazz room in Madrid, to continue her tour of the country through Galicia and Andalusia, after which she will perform in Florida and New York (United States) in November.
For “Adoro,” which has been among the five best-selling albums in Mexico for several months and is the third in a musical career that she resumed in 2011, she had the opportunity to collaborate with Armando Manzanero and José Alfredo Jiménez Jr., whose song “Se fue” sings in this work.
“It is a tribute to Armando Manzanero and José Alfredo, whose songs I have made jazz arrangements with a lot of love and affection, because they are two Mexican composers whom I admire,” says Vari, who will perform these songs for the Spanish public “De Toda la Vida” como “Contigo Aprendí,” “Media Vuelta,” “Somos Novios” and “Voy a apagar la luz”.
“These are very recognizable songs for the Spanish public. It is a very romantic show, very varied, with very different rhythms because jazz is a very broad genre where blues, country, bossa nova fit … It is very accessible for everyone,” details the singer.
She acknowledges that the greatest difficulty of this album has been to bring the songs of José Alfredo to jazz: “Armando Manzanero’s music lends itself a lot to making arrangements in jazz, but that of José Alfredo has been very difficult. It has been a great challenge, but also a very fun process.”
She will also perform songs from his previous work, “Lumea,” a selection of well-known international songs in jazz, bossa nova and funk versions, the styles in which her voice is expressed with all its power.
With dual Mexican and American nationality, Julia Vari offers her repertoire in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and Italian, based on jazz versions of great songs that she plays with a very personal style that has led her to success in Mexico, where she has performed in the main stages of the country.
Now she arrives in Madrid for the second time and, like the rest of the concerts scheduled in Spain, she is “very excited”: “I feel very honored, very happy to bring here a little of what I do. It’s a different audience, but it’s always interesting to leave Mexico. I already did it in the United States, where they don’t know these songs and it was a challenge.”
Her intention is to return to Spain and tour the rest of Europe in 2016 to show her musical progression with three albums on the market. «With each of them you learn and every time I am doing more fusion with other genres. I have grown as an interpreter and also as a pianist. I’m thinking of doing a solo project, voice and piano,” she announces.
For Vari, whose musical references are great jazz divas like Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan or Patricia Barber, it is an honor to be considered the ‘Mexican lady’ and the ‘female voice of Latin jazz’ in her country and expects to be recognized in the rest of America and in Europe.