Cellist, vocalist and composer Ana Carla Maza today releases the single ‘A Tomar Café’, from her new album, Bahía, which comes out on 25 February 2022 on Persona Editorial Records.
Bahía is a beautiful mix of classical cello and vocals, drawing on Cuban son, samba, bossa nova, tango, jazz and chanson. It opens with ‘Habana’, where she was born 26 years ago to a musical family - her father acclaimed Chilean pianist Carlos Maza and her mother Cuban guitarist Mirza Sierra. The tittle track ‘Bahia’, is an ode to the district in Havana where she spent her childhood and built her memories, translating the crazy sensation of Cuba into her music. The album travels through Latin America – ‘Huayno’ is based on a Quechua rhythm and dance from Peru, ‘Todo Irá Bien’ (‘Everything will be fine’), written during lockdown, draws on Cuban son and ‘Astor Piazzolla’ on tango, which she composed originally for a quartet in celebration of the centenary of the Argentinian composer.
The album was recorded acoustically in Barcelona in one take: “direct, simple, sincere in one go, one afternoon was enough”. For Ana Carla it is a post-pandemic album where the importance of the present cannot be overstated. For example, there is no sub-text in ‘Petit Français’: “At one point I was in Paris, going to a café, the Saint-Regis, and exchanging love letters with a boy.” That is all.
At 5, Ana Carla began to play the piano, taught by Miriam Valdés, sister of pianist Chucho Valdés. Miriam Valdés died of Covid-19 in October this year and Ana Carla has dedicated the closing track on Bahía to her: “when I was recording I imagined her in front of me, sitting at the piano in her Cuban chair. It is said that to be an artist you have to know how to express pain and that singing is a relief but for me it’s also a way of capturing moments of love”.
Ana Carla started the cello at 8 and appeared on stage for the first time in Havana when she was barely 10. At 13 she participated in an album with the project Carlos Maza en Familia and at 14 she played on the album Quererte. She moved to Paris in 2012 to study at the Conservatoire and embarked on a solo career, performing throughout Europe, meeting the inspirational cellist Vincent Segal during that time. In 2016 she released Solo Acoustic Concert, inspired by the musical traditions of her childhood, from Brazilian bossa nova to Cuban habanera through a larger musical vocabulary and in 2020 she released La Flor. Both albums incorporate Latin rhythms, pop tunes, jazz harmonies and classical techniques. Bahia, to be released in February 2022, is another step on that musical journey.
« I don't know what the future of jazz and its cousin music will be, but what is certain is that with personalities like Ana Carla we don't have to worry about it: it will remain lively, innovative and radiant! »
Président Europa Jazz
"Seule avec son violoncelle, elle cultive l'ingénuité des premiers émois et l'espièglerie primesautière de pizzicati maîtrisés, mais jamais démonstratifs. Ses chansons sont d'une grande fraîcheur et leur maturité, des plus prometteuses". Anne Berthod
" Un petit bijou de délicatesse qui s’écoute avec gourmandise. Une « Estrella » est née !"
Jazz Rhône Alpes
"...la violoncelliste la plus créative parmi les jeunes musiciens formés dans l'Ile du mojito, Ana Carla Maza » Christian Larred
Son du Monde
« ...Omara Portuondo est la tête d'affiche de la soirée, ouverte par la convaincante chanteuse et violoncelliste cubano-chilienne Ana Carla Maza. »
«Une voix magnétique, des pizzicati percussions et un archet aérien» Radio Télévision Suisse RTS.CH
« La violoncelliste et chanteuse cubaine, Ana Carla Maza, l’avenir du jazz. » Radio Belge Francophone RTBF
« Le sens de la pureté et du minimalisme. » Binar
« Cellist and vocalise extraordinaire, Ana Carla Maza »
Womex Official Selection 2020