Featured Artist
Eliana Cuevas feat. Aquiles Báez
On her new album, El Curruchá, featuring Aquiles Báez, renowned Venezuelan-Canadian singer/songwriter Eliana Cuevas returns to her roots, offering up a nostalgic homage to the music she grew up listening to in her homeland of Venezuela. The result is a beautifully intimate performance, by turns playful and deeply emotional, featuring virtuosic guitar and vocal work.

The passion and soul at the heart of Venezuelan music is brought to vivid life here. These melody-rich songs will, at various turns, make you want to laugh, cry, dance and sing along, as they explore a full gamut of emotion in intoxicating fashion.

El Curruchá (set for a February 12, 2021 worldwide release on ALMA Records), is a generous 13-song collection featuring imaginative new versions of classic Venezuelan songs of the last 30-50 years. Eliana stresses that “the focus of this album is to showcase traditional compositions from Venezuela. Venezuelan music is a universe of sounds and rhythms as rich and broad as the music from Cuba and Brazil but not as widely known.”

Eliana’s collaborator on the album, Aquiles Báez, is more than an internationally renowned guitarist and composer who has worked with such artists as Paquito D’Rivera and Fareed Haque. He is also a household name and musical hero in Venezuela, one of the biggest proponents of contemporary Venezuelan music and a mentor and an inspiration to a whole generation of musicians there.

Eliana’s long-held dream to create such an album as El Curruchá owes a great deal to Báez, she explains. “Many years ago I listened to an album from a well-known Venezuelan singer, Ilan Chester. His 2001 recording, Corazón Navideño, much like El Curruchá, with just voice and guitar, which, as it happens, was played by Aquiles Báez, way before I met him. I loved and listened to this album many times, and from there came a dream that I’d love to do an album like this, with someone like Aquiles.”
Happily that opportunity came along later, as Cuevas recalls. “When I was recording my album Espejo, I e-mailed him from Canada, hoping that he would play cuatro on a song. He was very receptive to the idea, so we sent each other files, and he played on ‘El Tucusito’.”

“That was our first collaboration, without meeting in person. I then went to Venezuela where we met and collaborated further, and then he brought his trio to Toronto to play some shows with us at the Lulaworld festival. With Aquiles being here, I took the opportunity to record El Curruchá with him, and now the time is right to release it.”
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