Vivi and Ro Llama
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The first Latin Jazz composition "Tanga" was written by Cuban trumpeter Mario Bauza and recorded in 1943.

All over the world, music is a recognized art form that conveys our deepest emotions. Corina Bartra is one of those privileged individuals that can produce music that explores the nuances of our human experience.

Her music is universal, and yet it carries a distinctive traditional style with close ties to her Peruvian roots. Her music is a blend of Latin Jazz with influences from Brazil, Cuba and a combination of Afro-Peruvian rhythms that have become her personal stamp.

Culture and roots have shaped her music

Corina keeps her native country, Peru, close to her heart. She is inspired by its enigmatic culture, rich rhythms, colors, textures and flavors reminiscent of the direct influence of African culture in the region. As an independent musician, Bartra is a pioneer in her country as she seeks a new musical language every day. A lifelong student, she seeks to enrich her knowledge and experiments with every piece that she creates.

Pioneering woman in an environment of total competition

The genre Bartra plays is certainly not commercial. And, yet, Bartra has managed to gain a loyal audience in a competitive music environment. Part of her success may be attributed to how real and honest her music proposition is. It comforts the heart of her listeners with authenticity. She has become a prominent figure in Peru, as well as in New York; she is well respected among musicians, exponents and teachers of Jazz and fusion. And, she has earned this without much guidance from women role models.

She has paved a way for a new generation. Her electric rhythms bring together the two seemingly different worlds of North America and Latin America effortlessly. This is perhaps her greatest reward: She has been able to create her own sound.

We have some questions for Corina about her work:

Rocio: Many of your fans and listeners around the world know that you have worked on a variety of musical genres. Now your works are imbued with a dance electric influence. How did your current Prisma Project come to be?

Corina: Prisma Project was original acoustic and with 6 musicians: Charango, pan pipes, keyboard, guitar, electric drums, tabla, and a back up vocalist. In 2013 I did a concert with this project at the Huaca Pucllana of Miraflores, Lima, Peru. The project at that time was called: Corina Bartra & Saraswati Int Project. I recorded a CD: Celebrating Global Traditions with that project. Two years later, the name was changed to "Corina Bartra & her Prisma Project," I recorded the CD "Ocean Mundi" Two years ago, I started to get involved with electronic music and reduced the band to a trio of guitar, electronic tracks, quena with a guest percussionist. We recorded "Vibrant Heart Beats," also we did a Cosmic Dance Remix. Danilo Jara and Herrmann Hamman and invitado canonero, Art Miranda. It is a project which inspires and elevates the spirit. I also recently did a concert at Huaca Mateo Salado in Lima, Peru.

Rocio: This year represents the bicentennial of Peru. As a Peruvian American, how do you feel you're works relate to your Andean roots and American citizenship?

Corina: Yes, this year is the bicentennial of Peru. In my music, I celebrate the variety of roots and musical cultures from Peru. The Creole, Andean, Afro-Peruvian. My Afro Jazz projects which are: Corina Bartra and Afro Peruvian New Trends Orchestra also have a jazz blend which is music from the US. These are projects which are truly exciting, rhythmic and harmonic and melodically rich, and vital. I am one of the pioneers of Afro-Peruvian Jazz and also New Latin trends since I have written and performed music from Latin America which has strong African roots.

Rocio: You are of Peruvian ancestry. Can you tell us about your life back in your homeland and what brought you to the USA?

Corina: I came to the US to study music. In the beginning, I was very much concerned about making ends meet so I worked in a pastry shop and also started to perform in the city. The best lessons I got were playing and recording with great jazz luminaries living in New York such as Thomas Chapin, Kirk Lightsey, Sandy Debriano and Steve Berrios. Then went to Mannes College of Music and other schools in Manhattan. I had excellent teachers.

Rocio: My daughter Vivi who's six is taking piano lessons. As a professional musician what advise can you offer my budding "prodigy"?

Corina: Nice. Music is always nurturing to kids. I would advise your daughter to listen to all kinds of music attentively. Practice every week, even if it is twice a week for an hour. I would advise her to find her own style. She needs to explore her own way of playing and listen to her inner voice not just the sound of the instrument.