Sep 17, 2014
I’ve wanted to interview Jane Bunnett for a number of years, and it was a pleasure to finally get the chance to talk with her about her love of Cuban music. You might not expect a Canadian flutist and saxophonist to be one of the most innovative performers of Latin Jazz, but with album after album, she finds new and glorious ways to make the music her own. In addition, her trips to the island have brought listeners the first chance to hear artists like Dafnis Prieto, Yosvany Terry, Pedrito Martínez, and David Virelles,
Her new sextet, Maqueque, allows her to continue those traditions by introducing the world to some of Cuba's most promising female musicians, injecting her own music with an invigorating dose of youthful energy in the process. The new CD, appropriately enough entitled Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, features Bunnett and the music of vocalist Daymé Arocena, pianist Danae Olano, bassist Cecilia Jimenez, drummer Yissy García, and percussionist Magdelys Savigne.
The band's name was provided by Arocena's grandmother, a practitioner of the Afro-Cuban Yorùbá religion. It translates to "the spirit of a young girl," which perfectly captures the vibe of the group and the song that shares its name. "I imagine that's what I was like as a ten-year-old girl," Bunnett says. "I was very energetic, I could be sweet and I could be feisty. That's Maqueque."
Podcast 44 features my conversation with Ms. Bunnett, including selections from the new CD like "Tprmenta" and "De La Habana a Canada" and previous Bunnett releases, including "La Luna Ariba"