Toronto-based Laura Fernandez writes music from the heart, a natural expression of her highly artistic nature and obvious compassionate feeling for music that emanates through each of her songs. As a singer, songwriter and pianist, Laura paints her emotions with colorful notes, lyrical hues and artful dimensions, a medium that comes naturally to this talented and gifted artist.
Born in Madrid, Spain and raised in Switzerland and Canada, Laura Fernandez began a successful career in commercial illustration and design after graduating with honors from the Alberta College of Art. Her illustrations include commissioned work for prestigious companies such as Estée Lauder, Coca-Cola and Microsoft, to name a few...and some of her commissioned portraits hang with the permanent collection of works at the Royal Geographic Society in London. All this, including her extensive illustrations in children's book, have resulted in honorable accolades, medals and awards for her excellent artwork both internationally and in the U.S. Quite impressive!
So why does an extremely successful, commercial artist turn the corner and transition into becoming a singer/pianist/songwriter/recording artist, plus producing and hosting Café Latino on Toronto's JazzFM91? "Painting, and especially illustrating for 25 years, had become limiting for me," says Laura, "and wasn't answering all my creative questions."
The fact is, Laura Fernandez is an explosive ball of creativity energy in every respect, having previously completed piano studies at The Royal Conservatory of Music. "Music has become a voyage of self-discovery for me. There are no rules here, and this is exciting and liberating for me," she says. "I love the social aspects of making music, and the fact that it is a more direct route to the heart than painting."
With that emotional and creative philosophy, Laura plunged head first into the music world, performing concerts & touring extensively in New York, Canada and Cuba. Now with the release of her second CD, Un Solo Beso, Laura Fernandez lays claim to a very successful musical career that reaches beyond the basics of creativity, into a world of media, major festivals, tours, philanthropic organization endeavors, even to sitting on the Board of Directors for the Association of Artists for a Better World. This is one busy lady.
Un Solo Beso is a palette of musical diversity sung in Laura's native tongue, celebrating the underlying emotion of her most treasured birthright and experiences. Sharing the joy of such a compilation, Laura relishes her association with Billy Bryans (Toronto's leading Latin promoters/co-leader and percussionists of the band, The Parachute Club), plus the outstanding lineup of many musicians on the CD that share Laura's Spanish heritage. Ten tracks express a wide spectrum of Latin American styles, plus a couple of pop-folk songs thrown into the mix, widening the approval of a diverse audience of listeners.
The CD starts off with a bang... the very, very, sexy and rhythmic "Mi Amor," which just happens to be my favorite song of the album. Laura's vocals are enticing and so simpatico with the musicians on this cut, especially the trumpet of Alexis Baro who blows the doors open with his customized P maureat trumpet and Hilario Duran on keyboards, both who appear on"Mia Amor" and the smooth, intriguing title track "Un Solo Beso." Both songs have a defining depth and real jazz flavor that have me shouting bravo! Another intricate interplay is track six "Inolvidable," a slow, beautiful bolero, the only cover song on the album. Here we hear Elmer Ferrer with a fantastic guitar solo and again the outstanding Baro on trumpet, Luis Deniz on alto sax and Frank Duran on drums. Sheer heaven!
Laura Fernandez wraps up Un Solo Beso with the lamenting and beautiful "La Barca." You can hear the emotion as she sings...even envision a tear with the ethereal moment of a long remembered special person from a time gone by. Even without understanding Spanish, Laura's vocals transcend language with poignant sensitivity. I especially love the accompaniment of just piano and guitar backing Laura's vocals on this cut, lending a very soft, reflective sentiment to the song.
While I believe two of the song selections did not seem to fit the ebb and flow of this fine CD, Laura explains her philosophy regarding her play list. "We wanted to give every song its own personality. Instead of focusing on a record that would sound the same, I made a record that has a variety of characters. I don't stick to convention in my life, so why should I in music? I have to write what I feel inside and I also want to reach out and bring people and elements together." So that explains it. Laura is a unique, creative artist that writes songs, plays and sings as she feels it, whether it be soft rock, folk, pop, or Latin jazz. And as a song writer, Laura displays her passion, experiences and soul to all who will listen.
All lyrics and songs on the CD are Laura's with the exception of "Inolvidable" lyrics and music by Julio Gutiérrez; "Oue Linda es La Noche" music by CD guitarist Noah Zacharin; Red Red Bird lyrics and music by Noah Zacharin.
Un Solo Beso can be purchased through CDbaby.com and Itunes.com, and you can hear excellent tracks from the album on youtube.com...a fine listen of a remarkably talented artist and CD.