Maya Azucena

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Maya Azucena
Maya 1.jpg
Background information
Genres R&B, Soul, Acoustic,
Occupation(s) Singer Songwriter
Years active 2001-Present

Maya Azucena is an American singer-songwriter and cultural ambassador from Brooklyn, NY. She attended the LaGuardia School of Performing Arts. She independently released her debut CD "Maya Who?!" at shows and from her website.[1]

Musical career[edit]

Solo Work[edit]

  • Maya's first release was her 2003 album Maya Who?!. The album was independently released and was followed by American and European tours. CD BABY said of the album, "Deep and soul-bearing, she sings like she's been everywhere and seen it all. This soul/R&B/hip hop album is a fantastic launching point for a young woman with a bright and long career ahead of her." [2] The album featured guest artist Neal Evans of Soulive. Maya Who?! reached number 15 on CMJ's 2003 New Music Report.[3]
  • Her 2007 single, Make it Happen, combined various styles into a track that peaked at #3 on Billboard's Hot Club Dance Chart.[2] The track was released on a CD by Kult Records that featured several remixes.
  • Maya's second major release was her 2007 album, Junkyard Jewel on Purpose Music Group Records. The album is an all acoustic performance of vocals, guitar, percussion. The album also featured cello and violin on certain tracks. The song "Set You Free" was used in a Ford Motors Podcast.[4] The song "Down, Down" was used in an episode of HBO'S The Wire.[5] The album was nominated for Best Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year at the SoulTracks Reader's Choice Awards.
  • In 2008, Taste This, a mix CD made by AMORE was released into circulation. The CD featured Rich Medina, Stephen Marley, Buckshot and many others.
  • In 2009, she released a Video for her song Get it Together. The song was inspired by the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. The video was directed by Seth Kushner.

Collaborations[edit]

Maya sang a duet with Stephen Marley on his 2007 record Mind Control. Her performance helped the album win the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.[6]

Maya performing live with Gibonni, September 2007

Maya has developed a successful musical relationship with Croatian singer Gibonni. She sang on his 2006 album Unca Fibre, which garnered two Croatian Grammy Awards (aka 'Porin'). Aside from appearing on two his records including aforementioned album and Acoustic/Electric, Maya has joined him in extensive touring and television appearances throughout Europe. She has also collaborated with album On je moj Bog, by Croatian musical group "Emanuel" and on album Veliki umovi 21. stoljeca, by band "Bolesna braca". Maya also participated on live concert of Oliver Dragojevic in Pula Arena 2007.

Maya sang with Peruvian American rapper Immortal Technique on the track 'Crimes Of The Heart' from the 2008 album The 3rd World.

In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Maya sang with emcee Cormega on his tribute song I Made A Difference. The song also featured Redman, The Revelations, and various other artists.[7]

She sings on the new Fitz & The Tantrums album Pickin' Up the Pieces. Maya's Vocals are most prominently featured on the tracks Breakin' The Chains Of Love and Winds Of Change. The album has received critical acclaim and has reached #2 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart.[8]

Maya sang on the 2002 Norman Brown album Just Chillin'. The album won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.[9]

Maya also collaborated with Jonathan Peters with the song "Music".

Acknowledgements[edit]

  • Her song “Make It Happen” made it to #3 on the Billboard Dance chart.
  • She was named Best Alternative Artist by AllHipHop.com
  • She won three awards including Best Female Vocal in the international competition for ABC Radio Network Fame Games Effigy Awards
  • Nominated for Best Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year at the Reader's Choice Soul Tracks Awards
  • The Network Journal's 13th Annual List of outstanding business, leadership, and community Service recognized Maya in the Top 40 Under Forty Achievement award.

Activism & Human Rights[edit]

Maya has devoted a significant amount of her career to human rights participation. In 2006, Maya sang at the ‘’ Save Darfur: Rally to Stop Genocide" on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in solidarity with Barack Obama, Paul Rusesabagina, George Clooney, Elie Wiesel and numerous other performers, activists, and celebrities.

Maya recently performed as a part of Marcus Miller's concert for Japanese tsunami relief. She sang alongside bassist Marcus Miller, keyboardist Robert Glasper, and rapper Q-Tip.

She wrote two songs for the IFC documentary Lockdown USA, which examines the 1972 Rockefeller Drug Laws. USA

She provided music for Emmy-Winning UN documentarian Lisa Russel's latest film Not Yet Rain, regarding the advancement of Women's health laws and reproductive rights in Ethiopia.

Maya performed two years in a row at the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in NYC Central Park. The race is a massive fundraiser for breast cancer research.

Maya produced Hope Night, a concert event devoted to domestic abuse awareness. The event brought together several nonprofit organizations and speakers, including Governor ’’David Paterson’’.

In 2008 Maya and her band did a 5-week US State Department-sponsored tour of Burma, China, Philippines and Sri-Lanka as part of The Rhythm Road/American Music Abroad Program, performing concerts and workshops while appearing national press in an effort to create cultural exchange.

Since then, in 2009, Maya did a similar tour for cultural exchange in Honduras and El Salvador, and will be returning to Honduras for another program.

In response to tours of this nature, Maya was invited to the White House to celebrate the Global Cultural Initiative.

Azucena is currently in the final stages of completing her newest CD titled “Cry Love”.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Maya Who?! (2003)
  • What You Don't Already Have (2005)
  • The Rooftop: A LIVE SHOT (2006)
  • Make It Happen (Gotta get up) (2007)
  • Junkyard Jewel (2007)
  • Taste This (2008)
  • Cry Love (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "maya azucena". mayaazucena.com. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Maya Azucena | Maya Who?! | CD Baby Music Store". Archived from the original on 2003-08-14. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  3. ^ CMJ New Music Report. CMJ Network, Inc. ISSN 0890-0795. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  4. ^ "Life and Soul Promotions - Support to Independent Soul Music | Mike Ashley – Indie Soul Mixer – Life and Soul Promotions – Soul Freedom- SoulFreedom Live | Page 56". mikeashley.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  5. ^ "Soundtrack-the-wire". u-subtitles.com. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  6. ^ GRAMMY Winners Search
  7. ^ "Audio: Cormega "I Made A Difference" f/ General Steele, stic.man, Lil' Fame, Redman & Maya Azucena - Okayplayer Okayplayer". okayplayer.com. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Norman Brown - Just Chillin' CD Album". cduniverse.com. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 

External links[edit]