Christmas with “Paz y Alegria”
(Joy & Peace) is the theme from California based singer Juanita Ulloa’s brand new Latin Christmas CD Release. Her new CD and Christmas show features a celebratory “pan-Latin sound” with Latin dance rhythms interwoven into Ms. Ulloa's original compositions, traditional folkloric villancicos (Christmas songs) from Spain and Latin America, and a couple of US holiday favorites. Songs are presented bilingually, in Spanish or in English. The CD will be released by Ms. Ulloa’s independent recording company, Ulloa Productions.
“Paz y Alegria” is Ms. Ulloa’s seventh CD project, one she has wanted to release for a long time "due to the plethora of Latin American Christmas music that has not only not been modernized for contemporary audiences, but has never been introduced formally in the USA", she says.
She felt motivated as the Iraq War initiated when she saw a plunge in people's morale and thus began composing and envisioning new music in a desire to share music that was rooted with a message to uplift people with tranquility, hope and love.
There is a unique mix of rhythms on "Paz y Alegria" from the Carribean, Argentina, Peru and Mexico. They range from the new rage blend called "reggaeton" (reggae with merengue and Hip Hop) on the song "Campana sobre campana" (Pealing Bells), ranchera “valseada” (Waltz) on Ms. Ulloa's original "Canto a la paz" (Song for Peace), Afro-Peruvian lando rhythms on "O Holy Night" and others, a cha-cha-cha " entitled "Baby Santa", and even an Argentine tango rhythm set to a lesser known contemporary and funny Santa song from a Broadway musical entitled “Surabaya Santa”.
The CD features a warm acoustic sound recorded live with the following acclaimed recording artists: accordeon sounds from Colombia played by Rich Kuhns, acoustic bass player, Ayla Davila from Ms. Ulloa's “Mariachi Picante” and “Los Mocosos”, guitarist Camilo Landau, performer with “Dr. Loco” and “Quetzal”, (who also edited and mixed the CD), as well as top world ranked Peruvian artists, Raul Ramirez and Lalo Izquierdo from the world famous group “Peru Negro”, playing the “cajon” or the box percussion.
Ms Ulloa's 21 year old daughter, Cristina also sings on the song "Baby Santa" in a duet children will love which speaks of Santa's mischevious activities as a child. Cristina Ulloa works professionally as a voice-over artist at "Creativity" and is the voice of many toys for children.
This new Latin American fusion represents a new style for Ms. Ulloa. "Whle I continue to adore singing mariachi, I am thrilled to have learned how to improvise as a rhythmic Carribean singer", she says, "not a small feat for a former opera singer and Classical pianist who has always leaned on sight-reading exact music text".
Juanita Ulloa’s vocal range varies between sultry to opera, zarzuelas, rancheras and boleros and her career spans twenty years of extensive music training and performances in Europe, Mexico, Peru and the USA. With degrees from Yale and UC Berkeley in music and ethnomusicology, some of Ms. Ulloa’s previous works include an award-winning bilingual children’s CD/songbook series “Canta Conmigo” or Sing with Me, plus a CD of Mariachi songs by women “Mujeres y Mariachi”, and two bolero and ballad CDs, “Mujeres” and “Nostalgia”.
The Cd offers more than forty one minutes of music. CDs can be found distributed through Hear Music, Rounder Kids, CD Baby.net, Amazon.com and Ms. Ulloa's own official website www.Juanitamusic.com. For more information call (510) 632-6296.