Chilean vocalist Natalia Bernal, keyboardist Mike Eckroth and seven-string guitarist Jason Ennis blend the infectious rhythms and nuanced songwriting traditions of Latin America, original compositions and picks from the great American songbook into a surprising improvisational texture.
A singer whose entrancing voice evokes the dramatic landscape of her homeland; a formidable pianist who knows the Jazz and Cuban music idioms intimately and grooves unwaveringly; a guitarist who slides fluidly between classical and blues-based phrasing on an instrument borrowed from the Choro traditions of Brazil. These three voices comprise the unique sound of New York City-based world jazz trio, La Voz de Tres.
Since the 2010 release their self-titled CD La Voz De Tres, the band has appeared at some of the top jazz venues on both the east and west coasts, including Zinc Bar and Smoke (NYC), Ryles Jazz Club (Boston), The Nash (Phoenix, AZ) and the Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA). The CD received extensive national airplay, including being played on Jim Wilke’s nationally syndicated Jazz After Hours on PRI. The group has also appeared live on air on several major NPR affiliates. La Voz De Tres was also invited by the municipal government of Iquique, Chile to conduct a week of workshops and performances in April of 2011.
The title of the trio’s newest recording, Sueños y Delirios (Dreams and Deliria), derives from a common theme of dreams. Utilizing many rhythms of the Americas, the trio weaves material from all parts of Latin America (and the U.S.) into a new entity that speaks to dreams both waking and unconscious. In addition to further exploring their unique trio sound, La Voz de Tres is also joined by two special guests on this new release; Chilean percussionist Yayo Serka appears on two tunes and saxophonist Michael Zsoldos lends his beautiful soprano sound to one selection. Sueños y Delirios includes an original composition by Ennis as well as new arrangements of the music of Silvio Rodríguez, Milton Nascimento, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Guinga, Arsenio Rodríguez, Stevie Wonder, César Portillo De La Luz, and Pablo Ara Lucena.
“These are players who seem born to work together, who listen intently, and respond in fresh and original ways…. La Voz de Tres is a singular group no true music lover will forget.” -Patrick Gaffey, cultural program supervisor for the Winchester Cultural Center (Las Vegas NV).
“The musicianship is impeccable and Ms. Bernal’s voice is a revelation.” -Richard B. Kamins, Step Tempest
“…exceptional originality and style…” -All About Jazz
Chilean born vocalist Natalia Bernal hails from Iquique, a city nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Atacama Desert. Now based in New York City, her sound retains and embodies the drama and intensity of the natural surroundings of her homeland. Her early musical training was informal, yet rich; she learned Latin American folkloric songs from her father, great tangos from her Uruguayan mother and grandmother, and assimilated styles of “Música Popular” from Chile, Argentina, Cuba, Peru and Brazil. As her music evolved, she taught herself classics of the great American song book and modeled herself after singers like Barbara Streisand and Shirley Bassey to deepen an already broad vocal palette.
Natalia studied at Escuela Morderna de Música in Santiago before leaving Chile for Boston to continue her studies at Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, Bernal spearheaded and co-produced the vibrant “Latin Culture Celebration” concert series and performed with some of the leading figures on the Jazz and Latin scene such as Danilo Perez, Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Juan Luis Guerra, Ruben Blades, Gloria Estefan, Paquito D’Rivera, Oscar Stagnaro, Mark Walker and Francisco Mela. Since moving to New York City, she has attracted the attention of musicians and fans alike with her rich, expressive voice as well as her strikingly lyrical songwriting. She performs regularly as a member of the Mary Ann McSweeney Group, The Layla Angulo Band, Los Chamanes and many others.
May of 2010 saw the release of La Voz de Tres, the debut CD of Bernal/Eckroth/ Ennis (www.bernaleckrothennis.com), a trio she co-leads with pianist Mike Eckroth and guitarist Jason Ennis. The recording includes four Bernal originals as well as songs from Brazil, Cuba, the Andes plains and the United States, seamlessly bridging styles between North and South America. For more information and a current listing of upcoming performances, please visit www.lavozdetres.com or www.facebook.com/nataliabernalmusic.
Michael Eckroth, pianist and keyboardist, is a native of Phoenix Arizona and currently resides in Brooklyn NY.
Within the past two years Michael has toured extensively with the John Scofield new quartet featuring alternately Greg Hutchinson and Bill Stewart on drums and Ben Street on Bass. This group has played in most of the major club venues in the United Sates as well as numerous venues and festivals in over 20 countries. He has also appeared on NPR radio and in a french-produced DVD in live performances with Scofield’s quartet.
Michael is also currently working on his PhD at NYU and leads/coleads a variety of groups. Recent audio/DVD recordings include Mike Eckroth Group “Sombrío”, Bernal.Eckroth.Ennis “La Voz De Tres”, Ron McClure Quartet “Crunch Time”, Travis Sullivan Quartet “New Directions”, Greg Diamond “Shift”, a live DVD filmed in Brazil with Paul McCandless and Alieksey Vianna, an experimental Hammond organ record and a soon to be released album with Eliot Zigmund, Chris Cheek and Morrie Louden. His upcoming recording project is a descarga/traditional Cuban album featuring NY latin heavies.
In recent years, Michael has performed at the Jazz al Parque Festival in Colombia, the Havana international Jazz Festival in Cuba, the Savassi Jazz festival in Brazil, the Lagos Jazz series in Nigeria and the Jazz Improv Festival in NYC. Currently the group “La Voz De Tres” is preparing for a west coast U.S. tour.
New York City-based Guitarist Jason Ennis is an exciting up-and-coming voice in the world of Jazz guitar. His unique sound, deep groove and sensitive feel, along with a diverse background in Jazz, Blues, Brazilian Music and Classical Music have made him highly in demand as a soloist, sideman, bandleader and musical director.
A graduate of Middlebury College (BA in music), Jason attended Berklee College of Music (Boston) and The San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Ennis has performed and/or recorded with Tessa Souter (Motéma Music), Charles Neville (The Neville Brothers Band), The Sonya Kitchell Band (Velour Music, Starbucks Hear Music), Todd Reynolds (Bang on a Can, Steve Reich), actor and musician Joe Morton, The Ramón Ángel-Rey Trio, New Orleans vocalist Samirah Evans and her Handsome Devils, Freddie Bryant, Trio Jota Sete and Bernal/Eckroth/Ennis, a trio he co-leads with vocalist Natalia Bernal and Pianist Mike Eckroth. This trio released its debut CD, La Voz de Tres, in May 2010.
Ennis recently finished a project editing and transcribing a collection of solo guitar arrangements by his friend and Mentor, Gene Bertoncini, which will be published in early 2012 by Hal Leonard Publishing. Following the release of La Voz de Tres, his first recording as a leader, he has begun work on a recording of his trio, Trio Jota Sete, as well as a recording of his own solo arrangements of Jazz and Brazilian classics. Jason teaches guitar privately, is a faculty member at Interplay Jazz in Woodstock, Vermont, and endorses K and K Sound pickup systems and Sauvé Guitars of North Adams, Massachusetts.
For more information and a current listing of upcoming performances, please visit www.jasonennis.com.
Hear what people are saying about LA VOZ DE TRES:
“I still have a bit of a buzz going on from your performance here last Friday… In thinking about why your performance was so great, it comes down to one word…passion, the passion that you gave to the music both individually and collectively.”
-Concert Attendee, Bellow Falls, Vermont
“These are players who seem born to work together, who listen intently, and respond in fresh and original ways. They are filled with respect for each other, but, more important, for the music. They are rare players who are capable of brilliance, and who possess immaculate taste.”
-Patrick Gaffey, program supervisor of the Winchester Cultural Center, Las Vegas, NV
“The beautiful voice of Natalia Bernal, combined with the sensibility at the piano by Mike Eckroth, and the dynamic seven string guitar of Jasson Ennis makes [La Voz de Tres] worthy recipients of this award and many more to come.”
-Musico Pro Magazone, Indi Star Award
“Absolute purity… a flawless record in every aspect.”
-Raul de Gama, Latin Jazz Network
“The musicianship is impeccable and Ms. Bernal’s voice is a revelation.”
-Richard B. Kamins, Step Tempest