Sunday 12 October, Magos Herrera
“Magos Herrera is the Cassandra Wilson of Latin America. There are similarities in their warm, sultry tone, their bluesy feeling and strong command of the jazz language. Herrera is without a doubt the best jazz singer out of Mexico, and with México Azul she is establishing herself among the best singers in jazz.” This is what jazz connoisseur and journalist Wilbert Sostre penned in his review about the album México Azul for the acclaimed music magazine Jazz Times.
Born in Mexico City and currently based in New York City, Magos Herrera is considered one of the most beautiful voices and most active vocalists in the contemporary Latin American jazz scene. She is known for her beguiling rhythmic scatting and deep captivating singing. Besides Herrera is a dazzling accomplished singer songwriter who is immensely popular throughout Mexico and Latin America.
Magos’ career starts in 1992 when she graduates from the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. Herrera stays firmly rooted in tradition of different Latin American and Iberic backgrounds. She blends them with the refinement and sophistication of jazz, interpreted through her unique artistic vision. Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and English, her repertoire is filled with the yearning romance, intimacy and enchantment.
While living in Mexico City, Herrera releases five albums including Orquideas Susurrantes (2000), Pais Maravilla (2002) and Soliluna (2006), the latter which she records with Mexican singer Iraida Noriega. Magos gets nominated twice for Lunas del Auditorio Nacional (2006-2009) in the category Best Jazz Concert Of The Year among the likes of jazz greats Bobby McFerrin and Bill Frisell.
Move to New York
In 2008 Herrera moves to New York, to develop her artistic ambitions. She promptly becomes part of the local scene after performing a highly successful concert at the New York Winter Jazz Festival. Magos records with saxophonist Tim Ries for his album Stones World: The Rolling Stones Project II (2008) and with contemporary composer Paola Prestini.
In 2009 Magos releases the album Distancia to high critical acclaim. Co-produced by Tim Ries featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg and guitarist Lionel Loueke, it becomes #1 in the iTunes jazz category and earns her a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. In 2011 México Azul sees the light of day, again co-produced by Ries and recorded with New York hot shots John Patitucci, Luis Perdomo and Alex Kautz. The album pays tribute to Mexican composers from the golden era in the 30’s and 40’s. It wins rave reviews.
In 2012 the excellent compilation Lo Mejor de Magos Herrera is released. In the summer of 2013 Magos records with multiple Grammy winner, producer and guitarist Javier Limon on the album Dawn due for release in the first half of 2014 by Sony’s OKeh Records label.
The success of Distancia and México Azul got Magos booked at important jazz festivals and venues around the world including The United States, China, Canada, México, Puerto Rico, Spain, The Netherlands, India, Malaysia and Singapore. In May 2013 she also performs with pianist Elio Villafranca at the Chick Corea Festival held in Lincoln Center, New York.
Hosting TV and radio
In New York Magos hosts her own radio show ￼’La Vuelta a La Manzana’ for Mexican public radio IMER Horizonte 107.9FM ￼in which she shares her joy for music and talks with the best ￼artists from today’s jazz scene. In México Herrera produced and hosted two TV shows for several seasons, promoting music for Mexico’s TV channel 22. It featured artists like Jerry Gonzalez, Diego el Cigala and Francisco Cespedes.
US latin magazine ‘Siempre Mujer’ featured Herrera along side Michelle Obama as one of the top 10 women in 2011 for her outstanding work as a musical ambassador for Mexican contemporary music. Currently Magos is a recipient of the Mexico National Grant Program for Performing Artist 2010-2013 given by the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA). She also supports as a spokesperson for the UN campaign UNITE to stop violence against women. In 2013 Magos is honored by Canal 22 to be part of the series ￼’Successful Mexicans’ with the beautiful profile show ‘Mexicanos Exitosos.’