Latin jazz vocalist Jessie Marquez’s upcoming release, All I See Is Sky (Todo lo que veo es cielo), features lush harmonies and cool grooves that blend Cuban, Brazilian and pop sounds. Produced by pianist Clay Giberson (Upper Left Trio, Go By Train) and bassist Phil Baker (Pink Martini, Diana Ross), the release combines intimate, understated vocals and a rich, textured soundscape. Marquez, who co-wrote many of the songs on the new release, displays a poetic sensibility in both English and Spanish. While her themes revolve around love and longing, her soothing voice is a balm for any heart.
Marquez’s first release, Sana Locura (2004), recorded in Havana with members of the Afro-Cuban All Stars, reached the top of the Latin jazz and salsa charts in the United States and Europe. A frequent visitor to the island, Marquez has appeared on Cuban television and radio and performed widely throughout the country. Get the Feeling, a 2007 release recorded with Northwest jazz guitarist Mike Denny, draws on the Cuban jazz genre known as “feeling” music.
Marquez first visited Cuba in 1996. Her father grew up in Havana, and she was raised on Cuban cooking and stories of life on the island. Right away, she says, "there was something very familiar about it—the way people spoke, their gestures, their attitudes. I felt at home.”
"[This] American diva with Cuban roots went to Havana and won over some of Cuba's most prominent musicians with her singing and her interpretations of Cuban classics. The resulting collaboration is a musical gem—nostalgic and fresh." Latin Beat Magazine
"Jessie Marquez has become la reina of salsa and Cuban music in the Pacific Northwest and has helped turn her hometown of Eugene, Ore., into a tropical music oasis in the western United States." Latina Style, National Magazine for the Contemporary Hispanic Woman
"Great talent is where you find it, and in this case, the blessed zone is Eugene, Oregon. Far from the hotbeds of Latin music, singer and composer Jessie Márquez has carved out a niche for herself in the Northwest."