Mauricio Andres Velez Sierra
- function: artist
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- WOMEX 2011
- WOMEX 2012
MAURICIO VELASIERRA is one of the worlds' most consummate players of traditional Andean flutes. Probably the only musician in the world to be able to play the kena as a fully chromatic instrument, this has allowed him to develop a truly original musical language. With influences ranging from African music to jazz, his compositions are a rich mixture of largely unexplored Andean rhythms combined with contemporary melodies and harmonies. Entirely self-taught on the kena and sikus, his childhood and teen years living in Medellín were spent immersed in the beauty of the traditional Andean music. In 1991, aged 17, Mauricio left Medellín for London, where he has lived intermittently during the last seventeen years. It was in London that he first became interested in other musical genres and started to explore Jazz and the music of Zimbabwe and West Africa. This disciplined exploration has allowed him to truly understand the African element of Afro-Andean rhythms and perfect his natural talent for improvisation. He has studied instrument making at the London Guildhall University and has carried out extensive research in both construction and technique allowing him to explore other musical styles and ideas. As an instrument maker he has made over one hundred prototypes in his quest for the perfect Kena, and as a musician he has been pushing the boundaries keyless flute playing for the last decade. Mauricio has turned a diatonic keyless flute into a fully chromatic instrument, allowing him to take the melancholic sounds of a millenary tradition and manipulate them through his natural ability to improvise, and understand the complexities of modern harmony…
Currently he is performing as Mauricio Velasierra Quintet having a great success in UK (among other, they have performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Barbican, Womad , St. Ethelburga's) and Europe. He has been nominated for Best Artist and Best New Comer on SONGLINES AWARD 2012 (his last album RODAR was given max 4 stars review by the Magazine).
He is also teaching master classes in Latin folk and jazz music, featuring his own distinctive flute playing as well as a quintet that includes cello, upright bass, drums, charango, tiple and his own assortment of flutes and pipes (workshops offered: Rhythms of Columbia; Improvisation, composition and performance; Instrument making).
D I S C O G R A P H Y:
Tatenda © 2007 Collaboration
Tomoss © 2007 Album
Ascension Trio ©2008 Album
Stories of I ©2009 Album
Limonero ©2009 Single Featuring Zoe Rahman
Rodar ©2010 Album