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Singer-songwriter Montez began her musical career at age six, joining the world renowned children's choir, El Coro de Ninos de San Juan. She studied voice and violin, and later taught herself to play guitar. Still a child, Montez even won the attention of famed producer Full Force, with whom she worked until 2000. At the age of fourteen, Montez began playing the New York City open mic scene, sharing the stage with legendary songwriter Chip Taylor, and opened shows for Matt Nathanson / Jessie Bailyn and Kaki King / The Mountain Goats. Over the years she's honed her songwriting skills and vocal style and eventually she released her debut EP, Of Tears and Honey on Radian Records.
Currently, Montez performs with a group that consists of amazing session players who dominate the late night NYC music scene. I love her Kickstart video: a rallying cry to help her prove the entrenched music establishment wrong in their judgment of her as "unmarketable." Actually, that judgmentwhich no doubt feels like a curse to her nowis actually a blessing, as it raises her to the ranks of many legendary artists whose platinum records were hard fought and originally denounced as unmarketable. I'd like to see her persevere. Check out her entry, "Red Moon," at Indaba Music and her own FaceBook page.
Like I said, it's good to be back at All About Jazzwithout a doubt the best jazz site on the internet! I can't wait for you to hear Kaela, Allison, and Soniasuch promising talent! I hope to hear more of them in the future, and, of course, I hope to hear some of their jazzier recordings as they get the opportunity to record them, as that's where their talents will really shine to their fullest. It's a delight to hear such fresh, unspoiled talent. And kudos go out to Indaba Music for putting together this opportunity, and their sponsors for helpingespecially Dean Markley for enabling at least one woman to attend this first annual Indaba Music Women's Music Summit who may not otherwise be able to. And my gratitude to the wonderful, hardworking editors of All About JazzMichael Ricci and John Kelmanfor pushing the deadline to get news of this opportunity to AAJ readers in time to enter the scholarship contest!
My best wishes go out to all the women at AAJ who read this in time to win the scholarship, as well as to those who've already entered!
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.