Hispanic Life

Corina Bartra in New York

Art is expressed in different ways, for example, all over the world music is one of the most special ways and it’s without a doubt, a mix where everything fits. Corina Bartra is one of the privileged ones who understands music in her nuances and that makes her an original creator who has carried her distinctive style throughout the continent, and the whole world…

This Peruvian has brought mixes of Latin jazz with influences from Brazil, Cuba, and with her personal stamp she has combined her talents to perform unique samples. A pioneer of jazz fusion and Afro-Peruvian rhythms, Bartra not only stands out as a brave composer and vocalist, but also works closely with top-class musicians and gives us, as always, incomparable pieces and knowledge. In fact, she is one of the few Latinas who dare to experiment for a sophisticated audience.

Culture and roots have shaped her music

She has said it before, Corina enthusiastically celebrates her cultural roots. Peru, a country known for its enigmatic culture, full of majesty and just like many nations of America, received direct influence from African culture, bringing rhythms, colors, textures and flavors. Which results in who we are today; and of which, Bartra as a woman, as a Peruvian and as an artist has been aware of, knowing how to take advantage of all this heritage to create an original kind of art…

She is in fact a pioneer not only in her genre but within her country. As an independent musician, Bartra has been shaping her select audience and seeking new musical languages every day to create and enrich her knowledge.

Pioneering woman in an environment of total competition

The genre Bartra plays is certainly not the common one you hear on the radio. Bartra has managed to gain an audience that, like her music, stands out for being exclusive and authentic. However, that does not detract from the value or weight of the fact that the music environment is full with competition.

That is her benefit precisely, offering something real and honest, created with heart, with studies and above all, with authenticity; something that has taken it far into the Latin musical environment. She is a prominent figure in Peru, she is a reference in New York, among musicians, exponents and teachers of Jazz and fusion…

Being a woman, this is an achievement for her and for all of us, since she has been going strong for more than a decade and her work recognized… her greatest reward is being able to create something of her own and high quality. Her rhythms show us the electricity of North America and Latin diversity.

We have some questions for Corina about her work:

Rocio: Many of your fans and listeners around the world know that you have worked on a variety of musical genres. Now your works are imbued with a dance electric influence. How did your current Prisma Project come to be?

Corina: Prisma project was original acoustic and with 6 musicians: Charango, pan pipes, Keyboard, guitar, electronic drums, tabla, and a back vocalist. In 2013 I did a concert with this project at the Huaca Pucllana of Miraflores, Lima, Peru. The project at that time was called: Corina Bartra & Saraswati Int Project. I recorded a CD: Celebrating Global Traditions with that project. Two years later, the name was changed to “Corina Bartra & her Prisma Project,” I recorded the CD “Ocean Mundi” Two years ago, I started to get involved with electronic music and reduced the band to a trio of guitar, electronic tracks, quena with a guest percussionist. We recorded “Vibrant Heart Beats,” also, we did a Cosmic Dance Remix. Danilo Jara and Herrmann Hamman e invitado cañonero, Art Miranda. It is a project which inspires and elevates the spirit. I also recently did a concert at Huaca Mateo Salado in Lima, Peru.

Rocio: This year represents the bicentennial of Peru. As a Peruvian American, how do you feel you’re works relate to your Andean roots and American citizenship?

Corina: Yes, this year is the bicentennial of Peru. In my music, I celebrate the variety of roots and musical cultures from Peru. The Creole, Andean, Afro Peruvian. My Afro Jazz projects which are: Corina Bartra and Afro Peruvian New Trends Orchestra also have a jazz blend which is music from the US. These are projects which are truly exciting, rhythmic and harmonic and melodically rich, and vital. I am one of the pioneers of Afro Peruvian Jazz and also New Latin trends since I have written and performed music from Late America which has strong African roots.

Rocio: You are of Peruvian ancestry. Can you tell us about your life back in your homeland and what brought you to the USA?

Corina: I came to the US to study music. In the beginning, I was very much concerned about making ends meet so I worked in a pastry shop and also started to perform in the city. The best lessons I got were playing and recording with great jazz luminaries living in New York such as Thomas Chapin, Kirk Lightsey, Sandy Debriano, and Steve Berrios. Then went to Mannes College of Music and other schools in Manhattan. I had excellent teachers.

Rocio: My daughter Vivi who’s 6 is taking piano lessons. As a professional musician what advise can you offer my budding musical “prodigy?”

Corina: Nice. Music is always nurturing to kids. I would advise your daughter to listen to all kinds of music attentively. Practice every week, even if it is twice a week for an hour. I would advise her to find her own style. She needs to explore her own way of playing and listen to her inner voice not just the sound of the instrument.

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