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Azucar Quintet featuring
Alexa Weber Morales
January 03, 2013
Spicy salsa & Latin jazz divas
open dance floor!
Remy Rodriquez - keys, background vocals percussion
Robin Nzingah Smithflute - sax
Sue "Suki" Kaye - congas, background vocals, kalimba
Judy Graboyes - timbales, bongos
Lillie Robinson - bass
Alexa Weber Morales - lead vocals
Thursday, January 3
What better way to ring in the first week of the New Year than a sparkling, invigorating evening of music and dance with Northern California’s best-loved Latin divas? The Azúcar Quintet, with featured guest vocalist Alexa Weber Morales, is a mesmerizing multicultural ensemble of women who serve up the very best of salsa and Latin jazz, with compositions informed by diverse cultural traditions.
Azucar’s songs - performed in English, Spanish and Portuguese - are a spicy, spirited mix of original songs and tasty arrangements of standard tunes. Band members’ musical backgrounds draw from traditions originating in Africa, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Cuba as well as California. Equally at ease on major stages or performing at intimate gatherings, they have been specially featured at events such as the U.C. Berkeley “Empowering Women of Color” Conference, the Multicultural Community Center’s Night of Cultural Resistance and countless other large events and celebrations.
Since 2004, the Oakland-based multilingual (French, Spanish, Portuguese, English), songwriter Alexa Weber Morales has made 11 studio recordings, including three solo albums. In 2010, her vocals graced the Grammy-nominated Latin jazz album Bien! Bien! In 2012, she was commissioned to write and sing lyrics on Pacific Mambo Orchestra's debut CD. I Wanna Work For You is Alexa’s timely collection of her originals arranged by bassist Sam Bevan.
Percussionist, dancer, pianist and tree-climber, Alexa writes about love, layoffs and flying. Her lead singing and lyric writing on Wayne Wallace’s 2007 The Reckless Search for Beauty received wide acclaim. Alexa’s 2004 debut, Jazzmérica, was produced by five-time Grammy nominee Wallace and boasts an all-star band including John Santos, Frank Martin (Stevie Wonder), Ricardo Peixoto (Claudia Villela) and Edgardo Cambón. Vagabundeo (2007, Patois Records) included a renowned team, among them vocalist Kenny Washington, on the a capella rendition of "Calling You". Produced by Wallace and distributed via KOCH, the album received top-20 jazz radio play.
Alexa is a charismatic stage performer who has captivated audiences at Yoshi’s, Jazz at Pearl’s, numerous California jazz, salsa and blues festivals and shows in Seattle, Austin, Las Vegas and Boston. She has opened for Lenny Williams (Tower of Power) and Average White Band, and is lead singer for the 20-piece Pacific Mambo Orchestra, sharing the stage with Santana’s own timbalero, Karl Perazzo.
Tonight the Azucar Quintet returns to the Yoshi’s stage with a marvelous new show showcasing the enticing rhythms, stellar talent and high-energy delivery for which they are known. If you make one resolution for 2013, it should be not to miss this spectacular six-star party. We dare you to keep your feet still!