Carmen Lundy began her professional career as a jazz vocalist and composer when there were very few young, gifted and aspiring jazz vocalists on the horizon. Three decades later, Ms. Lundy is celebrated throughout the world for her vocal artistry and is highly regarded for her jazz innovation. Her contribution of over 80 self-penned published compositions now comprises the New Jazz Songbook.
Having recorded more than twelve albums as a leader, Carmen has also performed and recorded with such musicians as brother and bassist Curtis Lundy, Ray Barretto, Kenny Barron, Bruce Hornsby, Mulgrew Miller, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kip Hanrahan, Courtney Pine, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Cobb, Ron Carter, Marian McPartland, Regina Carter, Steve Turre, Geri Allen, Robert Glasper and the late Kenny Kirkland. Ms. Lundy’s 2005 release, the critically acclaimed “Jazz and The New Songbook-Live at The Madrid”, features some of the jazz world’s best known musicians paying tribute to Ms. Lundy.
Carmen Lundy’s work as a vocalist and composer has been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, as well as numerous foreign publications. As a composer, Ms. Lundy’s catalogue numbers over eighty published songs, one of the few jazz vocalists in history to accomplish such a distinction, and has led to the first publication of the Carmen Lundy Songbook (2007). Her songs have been recorded by such artists as Kenny Barron (“Quiet Times”), Ernie Watts (“At The End Of My Rope”), and Straight Ahead (“Never Gonna Let You Go”).
Of course, her songs can also be found on her own recordings “Good Morning Kiss” (CLR/Afrasia Productions), “Moment To Moment” (Arabesque/Afrasia Productions), “Night And Day” (CBS/SONY), “Old Devil Moon” (JVC), “Self Portrait” (JVC), “Something To Believe In” and “This Is Carmen Lundy” (both for Justin Time), “Jazz and The New Songbook – Live at The Madrid” (2-disc set and DVD, Afrasia Productions), “Come Home” (Afrasia), “Solamente” (Afrasia) and her latest release “Changes” (Afrasia Productions).
Mayra Casales Born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Miami, Florida, Mayra’s early influences began with the Afro-Cuban musical culture of her surroundings. She has studied with Carlos “Patato” Valdez, Julito Collazo, and several of the great percussionists of Cuba. Before long she was performing with some of the biggest names in Afro-Cuban music including Celia Cruz, Machito, Joe Cuba, and Miguelito Valdés.
In 1978, Mayra moved to New York City where she continued her musical journey playing with the soulful vocals of Phyllis Hyman, Carmen Lundy, Jon Lucien, and Angela Bofil, as well as jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Walter Bishop Jr. and Ray Barretto. The list of legendary musicians that Mayra has played with and the styles of music she has mastered are exhausting, yet they seem only to fuel her passion.
Mayra has a fiery and loving spirit, which can be felt undeniably in her playing. While her roots as a Cuban percussionist are strong and refreshing, Mayra is one of the most versatile and well rounded percussionists of her generation.