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Album of the Week – ‘Uplifting Beats’ by Afro Peruvian New Trends Orquestra


This week we bring you an album that is full of life and energetic sounds, coming out of New York but taking sounds from the Spanish speaking parts of the world we are given an album that is bursting full of fresh Afro‐Peruvian Jazz with rhythms of Afro‐American Jazz. If you like tones to put you in the mood for some samba, rebalosa, festejo, bossa, and swing then this album is the one that you are looking for.

Released early this year it is another powerful project by the very talented Corina Bartra, known as the first vocalist to blend Afro Peruvian and Criolla music with Jazz she has given the world of Jazz her very own special touch which others have now followed. Being the artistic director of this new project we know that we are getting something that comes with the true sounds of Afro‐Peruvian Jazz, there is also some pieces which are Brazilian and Cuban influenced. Having worked on numourous amounts of albums and different projects such as her orchestras’, quartets’, Azu and Prisma project’s plus some solo recordings as well. It was her 2006 release ‘Bambu Sun’ that her part Jazz, part ethnic, part new – experimental vocals were picked up and she received an award at The Queens Council of the Arts award’s 2008.

The genre of Jazz is constantly being expanded as new unique touches are added and that is exactly what Bartra has done, bringing her home sounds of Peru to her talented work she is making Jazz even more international then it already is. With her Hispanic – American singing and her knowledgable composing it is really pleasing to hear sounds that are not too common. 

In this latest album ‘Uniting Sounds’ by Corina’s Afro – Peruvian New Trend Orquestra Bartra has taken a few tracks from her previous albums ‘Celebration’ (2009), ‘Son zumbón’ (2008), ‘Bambu Sun’ (2006), ‘Travelog’ (2003), ‘Sky Sandunguero’ (2011) or ‘Quartet’ (2012) and given us them again. Working across the 12 tracks with Corina is a host of talented musicians such as grammy nominated saxophonist Jay Rodriguez and multi award winning pianist Zaccai Curtis who are just some that are a part of this wonderful get together of a afro american jazz orchestra. Not only has Corina given us her distinct Afro – Peruvian Jazz sound there is even some Brazilian reggae sounding vibes on her track ‘More Than You Can Afford’, then we get some Cuban sounds in parts especially the very well arranged number Guajira Son’. Tracks such as ‘Come on and Dance’ and ‘A Saca Camote Con El Pie’would be the more up-tempo fast paced tracks that would make you just want to start samba dancing the night away.

An album that can be played in any setting, however if you are looking for a way to bring some Latin American feels to your night this is a project that will definitely tick all the boxes. The standard of the musicians and the thought put into the composing is top quality. To put a spring in your step around the house or to transport you to Peru and beyond Corina Bartra is truly leading the way in exploring and blending different styles of her home country with Jazz. It crosses and glides from romantic and homely but at the entire time remaining uplifting and energetic. 

Track Listing 

El Dorado


Magic y Ritmo Ancestral

Guajira Son


A Saca Camote Con el Pie

Minor Misdeaminor

Enlightened Heart

You Took Me By Surprise

More Than You Can Afford

Come On and Dance

Warriors of the Sun

You can follow Corina Bartra’s career at www.bluespiralmusic.com/Afro_Jazz/ . For an extended listen to the album, tune in on Thursday from 1.30PM – 2PM for ‘Album of the Week’ with Josh Crosbie. Don’t forget to also listen out for your opportunity to win a copy of ‘Uplifting Beats’ all week. You must be a supporter to win so make sure to sign up at http://eastsidefm.org/support-us-2/. You can also stream the station at WWW.EASTSIDEFM.ORG.


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