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).