Graciela Carriquí's bio
Singer and composer Graciela Carriquí creates modern Hispanic art songs, setting Spanish-language poetry to music. Classical music and Latin American influences meld seamlessly in her jewel-like settings of poems by authors such as Neruda, Mistral, and Storni. Her resonant, clear voice serves as a poignant conduit for the bittersweet beauty of the texts.
Carriquí distills her professional experience into compositions that are subtly informed by the diverse artistic paths she has traveled. Her musical style is rooted in her classical training and inspired by Latin American progressive folk, known as nueva canción. Her arrangements for voice, violin, cello, bass and guitar feature a syncopated counterpoint that is the natural result of her jazz-infused youth and years as a salsera, with clave and tango as common rhythmic bases.
Carriquí began singing as a teen in her father’s San Francisco Bay Area jazz band*, while studying vocal technique with operatic tenor, Allen Bonet. A month after her arrival in New York City she met Rubén Blades, who helped her record her first demo. Within six months she was singing backup for Willie Colón, performing in concert and on television in the U.S., Latin America and Europe. In addition to singing on seven records with Colón and such Latin music notables as Hector Lavoe, Ismael Miranda, and Soledad Bravo, she apprenticed on the production end of recording, and produced four of those albums with Colón. When not on the road, she devoted her time to writing poetry and music.
After leaving the band, she returned to singing jazz in New York City, and was a guest artist on the Italian cd Doctor in Jazz. Her preference for the swing era style drew her to cabaret’s more emotional approach to interpreting songs. She created one-woman shows at such venues as Eighty-Eights, Danny’s Skylight Room, and Don’t Tell Mama, and was a Fellow at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Cabaret Symposium. This in turn led her to study acting, and she ended up marrying her interests in theater and music by performing and touring with regional opera companies such as the Dicapo Opera, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, and Opera Northeast.
As a mother commited to the role of music in early childhood development, she created Música Para Mí, , New York City's original music-in-Spanish program for the very young, where babies and their adults make music together.
She is working on completing her first full-length solo cd.
* Her beloved father, the great saxophone player Hal Stein, died April 27th, 2008.
For more information about him, or to make donations towards the completion of a documentary being made about his life, visit www.halsteinjazz.com. You can listen to his last album, Spirit! (made at age 76, after a 50 year hiatus from recording!) available at www.cdbaby.com