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Live at the Gantries: Claudia Valentina
July 16, at 7pm
Equal parts singer, dancer and jaranera, Claudia epitomizes the mélange parfait of modern New York as a California-born, New York-raised daughter of Mexican and Jamaican immigrants. Her current project includes an array of music (and dance) that spans all regions of Mexico and the United States. Boleros, rancheras, son jarocho, cumbias, indigenous, bossas, blues and jazz, with original, soulful arrangements of songs she grew up listening to in both English and Spanish, with everything from José Alfredo Jimenez to Pablo Milanés, The Beatles to Caifanes, Bob Marley to Nina Simone.
As said by her 2017 Latin Grammy award winning producer and percussionist, Felipe Fournier:
“If you melded Chavela Vargas, Ella Fitzgerald and Gal Costa together, you’d find her voice there somewhere in between…”
As a singer, Claudia has toured internationally to China, to perform at the Shanghai Expo as one of the soloists for the United Nations Singers. As a musician and dancer, she has recorded and toured the US and Mexico, as lead singer, playing the jarana (a string instrument from Veracruz) and doing traditional percussive dance on a tarima (wooden box) with the Afromexican NY-based Jarana Beat, winners of the 2015 Mexican Music Award for Best Contemporary Folk Band.
Collaborations have included Claudia on guitar, vihuela and vocals with the likes of 2017 Latin Grammy Award winning all female band Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Grammy Award winning group Dan Zanes And Friends and children’s educational groups Bilingual Birdies. She was also co-founder, outreach director, dancer and teacher with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company.
Claudia has studied voice, music and dance with renowned teachers in their own right, such as Gema Corredera, Ilana Martin, Barbara Maier Gustern, Rubi Oseguera, Sonia Olla, Ismael Fernandez, Torombo Suárez, Claudio Vega, Andrés Flores among others. She is currently studying with Mr. Don Lawrence.