Magela Herrera is a vocalist, composer and flute player. Born in Cuba, Herrera is based in Miami. After years of ensemble playing, Herrera presents a debut album full of fresh and stunning ideas. “Explicaciones” the new album from Herrera, is due for release Jan. 21, 2019.
About Magela Herrera
According to Herrera, music came to her during her earliest days. “My parents exposed me to all kinds of music and my mom told me that as a baby, I would wake up from my naps singing – -which is why they enrolled me in music school.”
Herrera has come a long way from her days of singing after nap. The flutist didn’t want to limit herself to Cuban music and went to Norway to study music. There, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Jazz Performance from the Norwegian Academy of Music. This was after she had earned a bachelor’s degree in classical music from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA). She also studied classical music in her native Havana previously.
Claiming to be too shy to have recorded an album before now, Herrera spent the last two years gigging in Miami’s vibrant jazz, r&b/funk and electronica scenes. Herrera is well-versed in playing flamenco, Latin music, Afro jazz and electronic music.
Herrera is joined on the album by some of jazz’s most talented players. Tal Cohen is on piano, Greg Diamond is on guitar, David Chiverton is on drums, and Nestor Del Prado and Dion Keith Kerr play bass.
About “Explicaciones” by Magela Herrera
The debut album is full of eight expressive tracks. Each has its own identity and flair. Listeners will come to appreciate Herrera’s fluid, ethereal, and melodic flute playing. The rhythms are strong and persistent.
“Two Sidewalks” opens the album and it is full of Herrera’s signature style. It opens with a swift rumble of bass. The flute darts in and out with quick notes. The drums clatter effectively. The piano then copies the lines of other instruments. The song gives the impression that small animals are chasing each other. That is the kind of music Herrera makes- – that which moves and inspires movement in others. The end of the song is a wild flurry of sound, until the flute plays its final measures and the album is whisked to another song.
“Principios” and the title track, “Explicaciones,” are also standout tracks.
On her debut album, Herrera sings and plays. Her version of jazz mixes smooth sounds with Latin rhythms, a fluttering flute motif with a gently thundering drum beat. The sounds are pleasant without being sleepy. They are innovative without going too far afield.
“Explicaciones” will be available in stores and online.