Enigma From Barcelona: Who is Lucrecia?

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She is gradually becoming a recognized presence in U.S. stages. Kathleen Battle meets Sade and sings boleros as “lieder.” A version of the following article appeared in Media3 publications.

For the second year in a row, Cuban-Catalan diva Lucrecia, has peeked the interest of the American music world. During the most recent installment of Festival Miami, jazz critics, the Hispanic press, and loyal fans jammed the University of Miami’s Gusman Hall for a bolero recital.

Lucrecia turned the bolero into an art song (lied, canzone d’arte). William Hipp, dean of the School of Music recognized in the singer “a privileged voice and great musical intelligence.”

After her U.S. debut with celebrated saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, Lucrecia was noticeably absent from the American music scene. She was consolidating her Spanish career especially on TVE (Television Espanola), recording for Warner Records and working on the documentary Balseros. The Academy-Award nominated soundtrack “La noche de la iguana” would jump-start her career internationally.

In the context of an exclusive gala, the singer packed Coral Gables Merrick Park surprising and delighting an audience that included pop mega star Gloria Estefan and Pedro Knight, widower of the legendary Celia Cruz. The media in singing her praises declared her the “successor of Celia Cruz.” A cautious Lucrecia declared: “I do not want to be typecast within an established parameter.”

In a coup, the diva returned to Florida this year to perform accompanied by renowned jazz pianist Michel Camilo. She was again invited to the annual “Voices for Children” benefit. By now a South Florida household name, loved by Hispanic radio stations, she sang at “Carnaval de la Calle Ocho.” These various contexts and challenges established her musical versatility.

Lucrecia is a well known figure in Spanish television. Her recently published children’s book proved a successful venture. A soon to be released CD has her performing with international musical luminaries.

The Barcelona singer had already entered the realm of the bolero in a live recorded performance. It was her Festival Miami recital’s fresh and stylized approach to the genre that proved of great impact to serious jazz critics and the specialized press. Accompanied by Michel Fragoso, the singer offered a streamlined yet bold reading of the staples “Tu no sabes nada” and “La gloria eres tu.” Her penchant for boleros-turned-lieder reaffirms the diva’s often used characterization: “Kathleen Battle meets Sade.”

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Nostalgia and Cuban Interiors
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Miguel Florido: A New Cuban Voice

1 Comment

  1. ildvr

    July 25, 2008 @ 8:14 am

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    Lucrecia is a warm personality, gifted singer with a future. With Michel Camilo their both are stars, as like Ildvr