Magos Herrera

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Magos Herrera
Born Mexico City, Mexico
Genres Jazz, Latin jazz, pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Years active 1997–present
Labels Okeh, Sony, EMI, Sunnyside
Associated acts Javier Limon, Tim Ries, Alex Kautz, Aaron Goldberg, Lionel Loueke

Magos Herrera (born 1970s) is a Mexican jazz singer who sings in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Early life[edit]

Born in Mexico City in the 1970's and currently based out of New York City, Magos Herrera, is a jazz singer-songwriter, producer, and educator with a 20-year career. Magos is regarded as one of the most expressive, beautiful voices and most active vocalists in the contemporary Latin American jazz scene. She is best known for her eloquent vocal improvisation and her singular bold style, which embraces elements of contemporary jazz with Latin American melodies and rhythms singing in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, in a style that elegantly blends and surpasses language boundaries.

Music career[edit]

Herrera started her work as an artist upon graduating in 1992 from the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. Following this, she continued her studies under Russian opera teacher Konstantin Jadan, perfecting her vocal technique, and later moved to Boston, for specialized instruction on contemporary improvisation.

While in Mexico City, Magos released five albums: Orquídeas Susurrantes (2000), País Maravilla (2002), Todo Puede Inspirar (2004), and Soliluna (2006), the latter recorded with Mexican singer Iraida Noriega. She was also part of the compilation album series Mexican Divas (2001 and 2003).

In 2008, Herrera moved to New York. She promptly became part of the local scene after a highly successful performance at the New York Winter Jazz Festival. Since then, she has recorded and participated in multiple projects including the album Stones World: The Rolling Stones Project II (2008) for saxophonist Tim Ries, The Music of Chick Corea with pianist Elio Villafranca and for contemporary composer Paola Prestini for VIA project, among others. She collaborated with former Kronos Quartet cellist Jeff Zeigler in Lens Vivant, created and directed by Mexican visual artist Erika Harrsch, and later again with Harrsch, in the multimedia project, Dream Act.

In 2009 she released her album Distancia (Sunnyside Records) to wide critical acclaim. Co-produced by Tim Ries, featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg and guitarist Lionel Loueke, the album quickly became a top hit on the iTunes jazz category.

In 2011 Mexico Azul (Sony Music) was released, once again co-produced by Ries and recorded with John Patitucci, Luis Perdomo, Adam Rogers, Tim Hagans, Rogerio Boccato, and Alex Kautz. The album is a tribute to Mexican composers from the Golden Era of the 1930s and 1940s and earned rave reviews. In 2012, her compilation album, Lo Mejor de Magos Herrera was released. Later, in the summer of 2013, Magos recorded Dawn, with multiple Grammy winner, producer, and guitarist from Spain, Javier Limón, released in 2014 by Sony's OKeh Records label. From this celebrated collaboration, Magos and Limón decided to join forces to record a second album-DVD for Sony Music and UN Women, to invited international top artists like Fito Páez, Eugenia León, Grégoire Maret, Chabuco, to mention a few, in support of the United Nations "He for She" campaign, promoting gender equality. The effort, as expressed by Magos, "embodies an invitation of the possibility of opening this conversation between a man and a woman to change paradigms, through a beautiful Latin American repertoire of classics and originals."

Herrera recorded a tribute to renowned Mexican poet Octavio Paz, by composer Felipe Perez Santiago, in a project that brought together singers Eugenia Leon and Regina Orozco and was invited as a guest artist in La guitarra vuela, a documentary honoring the great flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía. Along with a diversity of top performers from the New York artist community, and under the artistic direction of Paola Prestini, she is a curator for the "National Sawdust", one of Brooklyn's most innovative venues.

Magos's career has led her around the world, including some of the most memorable venues, such as New York's Lincoln Center and UN Headquarters, Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center, Chicago's Millennium Park, SFJazz in San Francisco, Teatro de la Ciudad de México and Zocalo in Mexico City, Palau de la Música in Valencia, Sala Galileo Galilei in Madrid, London's Union Chapel, and Paris' famous and leading jazz club, Duc des Lombards.

She has participated in leading world jazz festivals, including Montreal's International Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Barcelona's International Jazz Festival, and the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival, just to mention a handful of the more than 600 forums and international festivals in US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, England, India, China, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore.


Magos has also been a valued teacher since 2000, when she started teaching vocal technique and improvisation in music schools including Fermatta Music Academy and DIM Music School in Mexico City. Magos has been a guest professor for master classes and clinics at Berklee College in Boston, Berklee Latino in Colombia, Central College in Pella, Iowa, Miami Dade College, Kula Lumpur Music Academy, Escuela Superior de Música in Mexico City, JazzUV in Xalapa, and held academic residencies in Swarnabhoomy Academy of Music in Tamil Nadu, India, the Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange Program in 2012, and the Langnau Jazz Camp in Switzerland in 2016.

Nominations and grands[edit]

  • In 2015 was given the Berklee Latin Masters Award to Magos Herrera in recognition of her contribution to the development and exposure of Latin American and her original music in a contemporary context around the world
  • Shortlist nomination for the International Grammys for best jazz vocal album with “Distancia”
  • Nominated twice 2006-2009 as the “best jazz performance” by the “Lunas del Auditorio Nacional” in Mexico City along with Bill Frisell y Bobby MacFerrin.
  • Recipient of Mexico National Grant Program for performing Artist 2010-2013 given by National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA)
  • Selected as one of the most important women in 2011 among Michelle Obama and Michelle Michelet by “Siempre Mujer” magazine

TV & Radio shows[edit]

Magos Herrera has produce and host two musical television programs for Mexico’s arts and culture television channel, Canal 22 – Acústico and Jazz desde el bajo centro where her guests included Ute Lemper, Jerry González, Diego el Cigala, Francisco Céspedes, Arturo O’Farrill, among others.

Currently, in addition to her artistic tours around the world, she produces and hosts a weekly radio program from New York, titled La vuelta a la manzana for Mexico’s Public Radio, (IMER, Instituto Mexicano de la Radio), Horizonte Jazz 107.9 FM, where she shares her joy for music and chats with top artists of the international jazz-world scene the likes of Miguel Zenon, Antonio Sánchez, Peter Eldridge and Dory Caymmi, to mention a few.


In 2005 she was cast to be part of “Modelo para armar”, a play by Pablo Mandoki performed at Mexico City’s UNAM University Theater, Teatro Juan Ruiz de Alarcón.


Studio albums[edit]

Other albums[edit]

Recording collaborations[edit]

Main venues[edit]

  • Teatro de la Ciudad de México/ 2016
  • Americas Society, NYC / 2016
  • Montreux Jazz Festival, NYC / 2015
  • Lincoln Center, NYC / 2015
  • Carnegie Hall Neighborhood series, NYC / 2012
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center/ 2010-2012
  • New Delhi Jazz Festival / 2012
  • Albuquerque Journal Theatre, Roy E.Disney Center for Performing Art /2012
  • Festival Almas / 2012
  • San Miguel International Jazz Festival / 2010-2011-2012
  • No Black Tie jazz club, Kuala Lumpur / 2012
  • Festival Internacional Cervantino/2011
  • Montreal Jazz Festival / 2009-2011
  • Winter Jazz Festival / New York / 2008
  • Shanghai International Arts Festival / 2008
  • Millennium Park / Chicago / 2007
  • Sor Juana Festival / Miller Outdoor Theatre Houston / 2007
  • Jazz Standard / New York / 2008-09-2010
  • Lunario del Auditorio Nacional / Mexico City /


  • Teatro de la Ciudad de México / 2003/05/07/09
  • Zocalo, Mexico City, FCH / 2005
  • Espacio Santander / Porto Alegre, Brazil / 2007
  • SESC / São Paulo, Brazil / 2005, 2007
  • Museo Tamayo / 2006, 2007
  • Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico / 2005/06/07
  • Snugs Harbour Jazz Club / New Orleans / 2005
  • Sky Building / Osaka Japan / 2004.
  • Dazzle Jazz Club / Denver Colorado / 2004
  • Sala Galileo Galilei / Madrid, Spain / 2003
  • Anson Amphitheatre / LA, Cal / 2003
  • Mexican Festival in New Delhi / India / 2003
  • Lincoln Center / New York City / 2002
  • Mayan Amphitheatre / LA, Cal / 2002
  • Queens Festival / New York / 2002
  • Makor / NYC / 2002
  • Ryles Jazz Club / Boston, Mass / 2001, 2002
  • FNAC Callao / Madrid, Spain / 2003
  • Suristan / Madrid, Spain / 2003
  • Berklee College of Music / 2002
  • Festival Cervantino / Guanajuato, Mexico / 2001
  • Centro Nacional de las Artes / Mexico / 2001-


  • Festival Internacional de Jazz / Ribiera Maya
  • Among many other hundreds of festivals and venues in Mexico and abroad.