Considered by the chilean press as one of the “most fresh and interesting musicians of the last years”, Camila Meza recently moved to New York City to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. As a vocalist and guitarist she belongs to a minority of jazz musicians who have the skills to play an instrument with great dexterity while at the same time maintaining a strong and prominent vocal presence. Camila Meza, age 24, has already recorded two albums under the the chilean record label Vertice Records and has performed in South America, Europe and the United States. This passed summer she was invited and performed at the Blue Note of Poznan, Poland and at the Swidnica Jazz Festival, venues which have had musical guests such as Chick Corea and Al Di Meola.
Born in Santiago de Chile in 1985, and influenced by the music her family listened when she was a child (rock, funk, pop, bossa nova, folkore, classical and jazz), Camila Meza began her musical career at the age of 16, composing and playing in a number of bands in Chile. At the age of 18, Camila began attending one of the few jazz schools in Chile, where her potential as a great musician was immediately discovered. Her tutors and professors, all well-known jazz musicians in Chile, began inviting her to perform with them, and encouraged her to develop her instrumental and vocal skills. Within a couple of years, she was already leading her own groups and ensambles with the best young musicians in Chile.
Camila Meza’s career and reputation in Chile grew quickly. Soon after establishing her own ensembles, she was invited to participate in jazz festivals all over the country, TV shows and radio stations. At the age of 22, she recorded her first album “Skylark” (Vértice Records 2007). In July of 2009, she recorded her most recent album “Retrato” ("Portrait", Vértice Records 2009), which exhibits a range of musical genres Camila has arranged into jazz compositions. From an intimate duo arrangement of “Poema 15”, poem by chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s and music by chilean folklore singer Victor Jara, to the acoustic sextet version of Bjork's “Isobel”, Camila's arrangements, performed in both english and spanish, convey her exceptional versatility and talent as an artist and musician.
Indeed, “Retrato” is a collaboration of some of the best jazz musicians in Chile. Pianist Felipe Riveros recently moved back to Chile after having lived and studied in New York City for eleven years. During his time in New York, he played and recorded with musicians such as Dan Weiss, Jay Anderson and Joel Frahm. Saxophonist Claudio Rubio graduated from William Patterson, New Jersey, where he studied with Rich Perry and Jim McNeely. Drummer, Andy Baeza, attented the Drummers Collective and CIM Workshops in New York, and has recorded with Ben Monder. Lastly, Bassist Pablo Menares has played with Randy Brecker, Claudia Acuña and Billy Cobham, and has toured with a number of bands throughout South America and Europe.
Since her arrival in New York City in January 2009, Camila Meza has had the opportunity to meet, play with and learn from great musicians and important figures such as Vic Juris, Billy Harper, Peter Bernstein, Charlie Persip, pianist Barry Harris, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Vijay Iyer and Cassandra Wilson. She also has had the opportunity to perform at a variety of venues in the city with experienced musicians such as Harry Whitaker, Pat O’Leary, Edward Perez and the peruvian percussionist Freddy ‘Huevito’ Lobatón. In the present, she has weekly performances in New York City jazz clubs and invitations to Summer 2010 music festivals in Croatia, Poland, Chile and Argentina.