Jane Bunnett and Maqueque Give You A Sneak Peek At Tomorrow

The Toronto jazz ensemble share the latest highlight from their Playing With Fire LP.

Jane Bunnett and Maqueque remind you there’s nothing to fear from Tomorrow in the haunted and homespun new video for their latest single — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

“We are extremely pleased to present the first video from our new CD Playing With Fire,” Toronto jazz veteran Bunnett says in a press release. “The piece we chose is Tomorrow as it has an uplifting narrative. It features our violinist, 20-year-old Daniela Olano, the newest member of Maqueque as the actor. The second star of the video is me, playing the apparition. The mask l am wearing is from the Embera people, the indigenous people in Panama on the Chagres River. This came about when we were playing at the invitation to Danilo Perez’s Panama Jazz Fest.

“We thought that now is the time to present a positive storyline where a young woman goes from a haunting darkness into light and freedom. As well, it is the first time we have produced a video with a story format. The video was conceived and directed by filmmaker Carlos Coronado. We were pleased to use our home of 41 years as our set.”

Photo by Lauren Deutsch.

Speaking of Playing With Fire: It could refer to the feeling emanating from any member of Maqueque, the all-female band formed by Bunnett with young female grads of the Cuban conservatory. A decade ago, Bunnett met the core of the band at a jam session with her band Spirits of Havana at the Cohiba Hotel in that city. A decade later, Maqueque have created opportunities for composing and performing extraordinary jazz that has taken the pioneering ensemble around the world. They have expanded to include vocalist Joanna Majoko from Zimbabwe, musicians from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Spain and Lebanon, and guitarist Donna Grantis, who performed for many years with Prince as a member of 3rdeyegirl.

Maqueque have won a Juno, been nominated for a Grammy and tour Europe, Latin America, the U.S. and Canada. They been wildly successful in their mission, which is to elevate the profile of women musicians in Cuba. “There was so much creative energy there,” says Bunnett, “but not many outlets. We also realized that many of the girls at the conservatories were not really encouraged to take the stage in a male-dominated scene. We witnessed this firsthand while taking technicians, jazz materials and instruments to Cuban conservatories — that the best way to solve this issue was to create a performance opportunity, which became an all-female ensemble.”

Watch the video for Tomorrow above, sample Playing With Fire below, and keep up with Maqueque on Jane Bunnett’s website and Facebook.


Photo by Lauren Deutsch.