Cecilia Zabala


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Guitarist, singer, composer Cecilia Zabala was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1975. Throughout her career, she has expressed her musical creativity using her guitar and her voice, creating original compositions that blend sensitivity, emotion, technique and intuition. Her music draws on a rich mixture of influences, from Argentinian folklore, the contemporary language of the twentieth century, jazz, tango, and Brazilian music.

Cecilia is an active participant in the musical scene of Buenos Aires, with a variety of projects as a performer, composer and arranger. She plays as a soloist and was also a member of several different chamber ensembles, such as the guitar quartet “Cuatro en punto”, the tango group “Mala Junta”, and the duos “Las Morochas” and “Alvarezabala.” With “Alvarezabala”, she released the album “Halo de luz” -2004- and with “Las morochas” she released “Milonga sin palabras” -2005-

With this duet she made two tours in U.K., performing at the National Theatre, the Royal Pavilion and the Lewes Guitar Festival in 2006 and at the National Portrait Gallery, Haendel House and the Royal Albert House in 2008.

Her solo recordings highlight her as an original, deep and “feminine” songwriter, a virtuoso guitarist performing the 7 strings guitar. In a tradition of guitarists and writers her roots are from Atahualpa Yupanqui to the minimalism of Juana Molina, Zabalas work combines traditional, classical and pop elements.

Her first solo recording, “Aguaribay” (indie 2007), mixed Argentinian folklore repertory with original instrumental and vocals compositions, creating a new sonic landscape. Special guests for this recording include Juan Falú, Quique Sinesi and Silvia Iriondo

Soon after, Zabala released “Pendiente” (MDR Records 2008) with original compositions and her arrangments of works by contemporary composers. Pendiente mooves away from pure folk roots to reveal unusual rhythms and unique melodies with contemporary compositions by American-Russian Regina Spektor, Marcela Biasi (Brazil) and David Aguilar (México). Special guests include Marcelo Moguilevsky (bass clarinet) and César Lerner (accordion). With her second release Zabala consolidates herself as an unusual creator, singer and guitarist.

Since 2006 she has been playing at international venues with her duo “Las Morochas” (UK) and as a solo artist in Germany, Switzerland and Spain. In 2008-2009 she was part of “International Guitar night”, a project created by American guitarist Brian Gore wherein four internationally renowned guitarists offer an evening of their own music as well as collaborations among themselves. She participated in three different tours – UK, Canada, United States – the last sharing the bill with renowned guitarists Benjamin Verdery (USA), Pierre Bensusan (France) and Brian Gore (USA).

In 2010 she did her first solo tour in the United States with concerts in New Orleans, New York City and Boston. She also taught master classes on Argentine music for Guitar at the New York City Guitar Society and Yale University. In her fourth European tour in 2010 she introduced her music in new venues in Paris (France), Fribourg (Switzerland) and Leipzig (Germany) and she also taugh master classes in Geneva (Switzerland)

In 2011, after long journeys which took her to different places all over the world, sharing her music during almost three years, Cecilia released her third solo album called “Presente Infinito”. In this recording her guitar and voice are part of a group, developing new textures for the music. The band is conformed by winds, bass and percussion. This album is the result of the different tours, and celebrates the opportunity to be able to collaborate with other artists, making eclectic creative societies: She wrote melodies for lyrics from the songwriter Gabo Ferro and Adrián Abonizio (from Argentina) and also wrote lyrics for music by Pierre Bensusan (France), Joe Deleault (Usa) and Luiz Simas (Brazil).

"Violeta" her fourth solo album was released in 2013, this time dedicated to the guitar work from Violeta Parra, the great Chilean poet and songwriter. This disc was produced by Leon Gieco, and for its live presentation, she created the show "Secret Violet" along with the multi-artist Fernando Noy. The show combines the recited tenths with "classic" songs from Violeta Parra and a visual setting which, along with the music for solo guitar, weaves a framework as a powerful, austere and feminine ritual.

In 2015 she performed at Exib Música (Bilbao, Spain) and was selected to make a Show Case with her band at Circulart (Medellín, Colombia). She also took part of LAMC (Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York) and did a recording of her own music with two musicians from Boston, the pianist Joe Deleault (www.joedeleault.com) and the wind player Don Davis (www.myspace.com/dondavis), this album is going to be released in 2016.

In October of 2015 she released ¨Fronteras¨ her seventh album, in duo with the brazilian pianist and composer Philippe Baden Powell. The recording began in March 2013 in Paris and was completed in Buenos Aires in December 2014. It consists of original music and features a special guest: Brazilian cellist and arranger Jaques Morelenbaum.

Cecilia also writes original music for plays. In 2011 she wrote the music for “Sade” (from Alejandro Tantanián, directed by Ernesto Donegana). She also was part of the “musicians on stage” from “Las Islas” from Carlos Gamerro, directed by Alejandro Tantanián at the Alvear Theatre in Buenos Aires.

participating in

  • WOMEX 2016
  • WOMEX 2014

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