Claudia Acuña

A true Cinderella story of jazz

Santiago, Chile

Claudia Acuña

...The Chilean-born vocalist [is] luxuriating in the breadth of her powers, whether covering Abbey Lincoln or unveiling her own compositions; she’s equal parts taut rhythm, flowing largess (think Cassandra Wilson in the 1990s) and sky-seeking mountain folk.

Mentored by Chilean artists Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, and Spanish singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat along with American jazz vocalists Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, Etta Jones and Dianne Reeves, Acuña is a true Cinderella story of jazz. Starting off with no training in English or in jazz, she has emerged as one of the most intriguing and original vocalists on the scene. Abbey Lincoln remarked of Acuña, “She sings in the tradition of the great ones. Her sound is her own.”Acuña established herself on the Chilean jazz scene in her early 20s. When she arrived in New York City in 1995, Acuña quickly gained recognition as a leading voice on a scene rapidly being transformed by a wave of brilliant Latin American musicians. She plunged into collaborations with masters, such as Jason Lindner, Harry Whitaker, Arturo O’Farrill, Guillermo Klein, and bassist Avishai Cohen, who co-produced her critically hailed 2000 debut “Wind From the South” (Verve). Her five albums as a leader established Acuña as a creative force, from 2002’s “Rhythm of Life” (Verve) and 2004’s “Luna” (MaxJazz) through 2008’s “In These Shoes” (Zoho Music) and 2009’s strikingly beautiful “En Este Momento” (Marsalis Music).

 20 years later, she has released Turning Pages, an exquisite reintroduction to a singer who has thrived at the cusp of jazz and Latin American music. The project captures an artist in the process of both reintroducing and reasserting herself, with a program of strikingly melodic original songs expressing her singular vision. Acuña’s first new recording in a decade makes a compelling case that while keeping a lower public profile she’s been exploring new emotional depths.

Are you on our list?

Be the first to learn about our lineup, festival additions, and upcoming events.

Photo Credits

Site-wide photography by the inimitable:
Julian Parker-Burns
Home page image by:
Alyssa Pratt 
Additional photos by:
Kim C-G
Henry Amistadi
twitterinstagramfacebook-official linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram