Attempting to define the sound of Eliana Cuevas might just be an exercise in futility. This Venezuelan-born, Toronto-based singer/songwriter/bandleader has such a richly varied musical background and such genuinely eclectic listening tastes and musical influences that placing her in just one genre category is simply impossible. Eliana considers herself "a Latin American songwriter, but one with many different flavours in my music."
The sonically rich Espejo features 20 A-list musicians from both Toronto and Venezuela. Jeremy Ledbetter handles the arranging as well as contributing tasteful piano and keyboards, melodica and mandolin, while other musicians include drummer Mark Kelso (Holly Cole), bassists George Koller (Loreena McKennitt), Ross MacIntyre (Emilie-Claire Barlow), and Rich Brown (Bruce Cockburn) and percussionist Daniel Stone (Nelly Furtado). Espejo was recorded at Toronto studio The Driveshed, with the recording and mixing done by award-winning engineer John “Beetle” Bailey (Serena Ryder, Molly Johnson).
Espejo is an album full of twists and turns, but it is Eliana's warm, melodic and supple voice that is always in the driver's seat. Hers is a voice versatile enough that, over the past 15 years, she has sung in such notable jazz and world music groups as Latin-jazz combos Cruzao and CaneFire, reggae band Tabarruk, Latin-alternative band Plan C, salsa powerhouses Cimarrón and Caché, Brazilian outfit Pedras da Rua (who once opened for the legendary Cesaria Evora), flamenco guitarist Jorge Miguel, and with Maqueque, a project from long-time Cuevas fan Jane Bunnett.
"An eclectic mix of styles performed with artistry and heart."
The Toronto Star
"Musical class on an international level meets driving South American rhythms and first class Latin."
The Toronto Star
WINNER: Best Latin Album
2014 Independent Music Awards
WINNER: Latin Jazz Artist of the Year
2009 National Jazz Awards