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Venissa Santi / Press

“Her ability to expressively shape a melody gives her work emotional depth and Santi maintains a subtle command over each song, keeping her presence consistent regardless of the stylistic context. Her arrangements put a unique spin on each song’s history - placing traditional Cuban songs into a swing context or a bolero into a raucous blues shows Santi’s transparent vision of each song. Her choice of fantastic compositions overrides stylistic history and places each song in a modern context.”

“Each track on Bienvenida just shines with originality and depth, making it an addictive and meaningful recording.”

“Vocalist Venissa Santí gives us a good indication that the future of the style rests in good hands.”

“The music is highly listenable and, in many ways, speaks for itself—even to an English-speaking audience.”

“With it's unique combination of flavors, its accessibility, and Santi's warm way of communicating, this pleasurable CD may well hit the charts in a big way, which is a nice thing to be able to say about music which has integrity and does not compromise the jazz idiom.”

“By integrating the Cuban idiom with jazz, Santi has at a young age already earned herself a place in jazz history, developing an approach which requires great skill to execute, not to mention the ability to impart the strong, spicy elements that electrically charge up any song.”

“Santi is a sublime artist whose voice floats on the lyrical music that it inhabits. She can flutter like a bird, often appearing to glide on the song like as if she were on the wings of the songs thermal—it's burning, beating heart. She often performs unbelievable vocal gymnastics shooting, in a rush of apparently hot breath, ever so high, soaring momentarily before diving on the slide of a sudden glissando to hover and ululate in a throaty gush of scatted babble. But all this is performed with so much apparent mathematical precision so as to appear to conjure the ancient wellspring of pitch and tonal color. And speaking of pitch, Santi appears to pay little heed to convention. She does not need to; she can break fresh ground in chromatic harmony, as she is capable of singing myriad quarter notes, diving into the very heart of each note's tone, hitting them with the precision of a sorceress.”

"...Then, local singer and composer, VENISSA SANTI, comes into the studio to explain how she integrates her Cuban background into original songs and creative arrangements of jazz and Cuban standards. In 2008, she received the prestigious Pew Fellowship in folk and traditional arts. We'll listen to a few songs from her upcoming release, "Bienvenida," a bilingual album of Afro Cuban, jazz and pop soul songs. It will be released April 21st on Sunnyside Records"

“Venissa Santi is a young Cuban American vocalist based in Philadelphia. She's said her music is one-half jazz and one-half Cuban. And though the mixing of Cuban music and jazz dates back to the 1940s, Santi is on a very short list of vocalists who have taken on the musical challenge of mixing jazz and Spanish. To my ear, you can't always cut and paste English lyrics over a song structure that was written in Spanish, or vice versa -- it doesn't always work out mathematically. But I think she can. On "Tu Mi Delirio," a very old bolero, she works rolling R's and multi-syllabic words into an uptempo, almost bebop delivery. more here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106999442”

“What do radio show host and jazz expert Bob Parlocha, Latin music icon Ruben Blades, the legendary promoter Dick LaPalm, and pianist Danilo Perez all have in common? They all agree that singer-songwriter Venissa Santi has a very bright future. In this engaging and candid interview, Venissa speaks about her family's legacy, her search for her identity, her musical training in the U. S. and Cuba, and her debut recording, Bienvenida. More: http://www.jazz.com/features-and-interviews/2009/6/24/in-conversation-with-venissa-santi”

"The album is a stunning combination of American jazz standards, traditional Cuban tunes and Santi’s own compositions. Her clear and dreamy vocals are almost languid at times, while billowing with restrained passion at others. Her attention to detail and nuance is apparent, and Santi readily admits she takes her work quite seriously." Read more: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/music/umm-drop/Venissa-Santi-01-44817752.html#ixzz1DDCp3qGH

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