Rocio Guitard is a vocal powerhouse capable of delivering any style of music, defying categorization. Her voice will lead you to laughter, tears, and all points in between… including the frequent shake of your head as you marvel at the just-right phrase or the rare display of “because I can” fireworks. On “JazzDance”, her 3rd studio album, she takes on the task of reminding us that Jazz was the music folks used to dance to, and bringing it back into the mainstream.
Marking a departure from the original material of her first two albums (Jazz/Pop/World on "Mosaique" in 2002 and Neo-Soul/Smooth Jazz on "Windmills" in 2008), Rocio decided to return to her first love and re-visit Jazz Standards she could envision in contemporary mainstream arrangements, without losing the essence of improvisation that is typical of the Jazz genre. “I’m very driven by the content of lyrics. For me, the music has to reflect what the lyrics mean to me, regardless of any previous interpretation. I went through a lot of Jazz sheet music, looking for lyrics that really spoke to me. I would sit down at the keyboard to look at the melody and changes and see if they were conveying what I was feeling, and alter them if they didn’t, to come up with an initial arrangement idea.”
She hired Greg Sankovich, a recording, performing, composing and producing veteran for over 25 record labels, to co-produce the record. “He caught my attention on the very first gig”, she tells us. “During Jazz sets, his playing would surprise, inspire, and challenge me to continuously work on my phrasing and improv skills; during dance sets, he would take any groove to a whole new level. We can read each other’s thoughts when it comes to music.” Their common love for solid grooves and great Jazz music has yielded a collection of truly fresh, fun arrangements of mostly not-so-well-known Standards that both Jazz fans and mainstream listeners can enjoy.
Rocio Guitard is not afraid to take risks, and is inspired by any chance to make a leap of creative musical association. Not attached to outcome, she does naturally what the best improvisational musicians strive for – create music out of spontaneity of thought, context, melody/rhythm, and emotion.