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SÍLVIA PÉREZ CRUZ & MARCO MEZQUIDA: MA

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Live in Tokyo_3

Sílvia Pérez Cruz-Marco Mezquida: MA

Sílvia Pérez Cruz (vocals, guitar), Marco Mezquida (piano)

Having toured for two years, Sílvia Pérez Cruz and Marco Mezquida decided to record a live album in Japan. Entitled MA, it was recorded at Tokyo’s Blue Note club in 2019. While MA is an everyday concept for the Japanese, there’s no equivalent term that fully explains it to westerners. Its original meaning is “a space between things close to one another. When referring to time, it is the interval or pause between two phenomena”. MA literally means “between”. MA exists between people, between moments, between spaces, between sounds, between us… MA can join/separate two opposing worlds, or it can mean the transitory passing from one mental state to another.

Referring to the album’s timely nature, Sílvia Pérez Cruz says: “When we decided at the start of confinement that the time to release this album was precisely now (given its sincerity, rawness, transparency, having been recorded live at a small, intimate club), we re-read the meaning of MA, and suddenly it felt as though it also defined this very special moment. It spoke about a pause, about knowing how to stop and look around us. Knowing when to take a break.

Stop.

Don’t do.

Be.

Exist.

Feel.

The two musicians, Sílvia and Marco, have been learning and growing all their lives to give a concert like this, where everything they have learned surrenders to song, to silence and emotion, no matter whether the lyrics are in Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese or English.

Since her early days, the Catalan singer Sílvia Perez Cruz has pursued an unfaltering course. If anything strongly captures the attention it is her astonishing ability to tackle different styles, with her unmistakable personal touch. Folk music provides the basis for jazz, tropicalia, flamenco, fado, classical music and the stamp of the habanera strains heard from the cradle. She has a prodigious vocal register and natural stage charm, but most importantly, she is a unique artist. Her concert last year with Toquinho and Javier Colina in the Plaza de la Trinidad was one of the highlights of the 54th Heineken Jazzaldia.

At the peak of his youth, the pianist and composer hailing from Menorca, Marco Mezquida, has already amassed an impressive catalogue of works and accolades which would represent a life’s work for many artists. Today Mezquida is a cult musician on the international stage. He is a versatile improvisor and arranger who has written works for ensembles large and small, theatre and cinema. He usually plays with his own trio and collaborates with symphony and chamber orchestras. He was first seen in San Sebastian in 2016 performing in 12 Points, the European festival for young jazz acts which ran at the same time as the Heineken Jazzaldia, returning the following year with a fascinating project alongside the flamenco guitarist Chicuelo.

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