Canary Islands Jazz singer Anna Rodriguez and her debut album What We Are

Introduction to Canary Islands jazz singer Anna Rodriguez

Please introduce yourself to my readers.

Hi there everyone! My name is Anna Rodriguez. I’m a London born, Tenerife bred singer…I love singing jazz standards, bossanova, blues, swing and more. At present most of my spare time is spent promoting my CD “What we are” which I recorded with my brilliant jazz guitarist, Eliseo Lloreda.

Photo of Anna Rodriguez and Eliseo Lloreda

Anna Rodriguez and Eliseo Lloreda
Anna Rodriguez and Eliseo Lloreda

You Don't Know What Love Is by Anna Rodriguez and Eliseo Lloreda

Interview with Anna Rodriguez

Please say a bit about the sort of songs you are currently performing.

I basically sing songs that I like (smile). If I don’t like it, I won’t sing it, no matter how popular it may be. Fortunately that means a lot of songs of completely different styles. I keep discovering new standards all the time and falling in love with them…and also am recovering songs from the 80s and adapting them to my style and interpreting them. There is no definite style I can actually say I prefer…anything from jazz standards to bossanova, passing through funk, blues, swing, boleros, samba, pop…you name it!

What acts and styles of music are you influenced by?

I’m influenced by so many styles and so many singers! The people I’m listening to a lot lately are Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sarah Vaughan, Mark Murphy. Then we also have the Brazilian music that I love, and there are singers like Elis Regina, Rosa Passos and Leny Andrade that I listen to a lot. I also enjoy listening to people like Ledisi, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu. And then there’s Concha Buika, who is brilliant in my opinion. I’m also listening to the Purple, Green and Gold album by JazzyBrown, which is a group from Las Palmas. Their singer, Cris Zarallo, is fantastic. I love their sound. There is no specific sound or style I actually prefer, it just depends on my mood.

Please tell us about your new album and about how it came to be recorded and released?

Our new CD “What we are” was recorded live at Multitrack Studios on the 1st and 2nd of September 2010. Eliseo and I have been playing together as a duet for almost four years now, and right from the start there was an incredible musical connection between us, which has kept growing and getting better the more we played. And play we have, a lot, because our shows have become increasingly popular. We wanted to make a disc almost from day one, and we did record quite a few demos, but finally we got the chance to make the album we’ve been dreaming of for so long.

We chose songs of different styles to represent a little of what you would hear in any of our concerts. We wanted to bring our concert atmosphere to the CD, and I believe we succeeded in doing this. We really enjoyed recording it, and you can hear that…we were both very relaxed and actually kind of forgot that we were making a CD. We were just having a lot of fun, doing what we love. Our concerts are very much like that, we’re just enjoying ourselves and this makes the audience enjoy themselves too.

There’s always a lot of laughs and fun going on…but there are also very emotional moments. Eliseo said in one of our radio interviews that this was the CD he’s enjoyed making most…and he’s made quite a few, especially in the last few years! The thing is, he feels very free to play as he likes nowadays, and he can do that with me because he knows I understand and “get” what he’s doing. And vice versa. He’s amazing, he knows exactly what harmony to play for me, and believe me, at times I don’t even know what note I’m going to hit…but he’s got such an affinity with me now that he knows instinctively. It’s just amazing and can’t be explained really. Because another thing about our duet, we never, ever play/sing a song the same way.

We released “What we are” in February 2011 and have sold it in many countries all over the world, even as far as Australia! The feedback has been amazing, people really appreciate and love what we’ve done on this album. Eliseo is an amazing guitarist, which many people know as he’s pretty famous and recognised as one of Spain’s top jazz guitarists. But it’s been lovely to hear people’s comments about my singing too…the vast majority love it, so I must be doing something right (laughs).

 Any forthcoming festivals or other important gigs lined up?

Yes, we do have a few concerts lined up; we’ve got a concert at the Abaco (Puerto de la Cruz) on the 13th of May, then we’ve been chosen as part of the Realejofusión programme on the 17th of June at Casa de la Cultura in Los Realejos. And the next week we’ll be playing at the Bogui Jazz Club in Madrid (23rd of June). There are another few very important events we have that are still not 100% confirmed, but I’ll let you know as soon as I know for sure.

Where to find out more about Anna Rodriguez

Anything else you would like to add or promote? Include links here.

We’ve been classified as the number one jazz act on the reverbnation.com Spanish scene www.reverbnation.com/whatwearejazz. On this page you may listen to one of our songs from “What we are” and see all our videos. There are another four tunes from our CD on www.myspace.com/annaandeliseojazz which you can also listen to.

We’ve also got our own webpage www.whatwearejazz.com. If you’re interested in buying our CD, you can write to info@whatwearejazz.com, and will receive information as how to do it. You can also buy the digital download here http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/annarodriguezeliseollore2.

Here’s a link of a review which jazz and bossanova expert Wilbert Sostre did regarding our disc: http://jazztimes.com/community/articles/27335-cd-review-anna-rodriguez-eliseo-lloreda-what-we-are

Other links: www.twitter.com/annajazzsinger, www.myspace.com/annajazzsinger

I would like to ask your readers to please give us their support by becoming fans on our reverbnation.com page.

Finally I would like to thank you again for your unconditional support over the years, Steve! Love to all those who listen to us and appreciate our music!

© 2011 Steve Andrews

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Comments 4 comments

Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 5 years ago from Cape Cod

I like her look and her sound. The tough acoustics in the venue did not do her any favors. I would love to see her with a piano, slap bass (not a guitar) and sax. I realize that she has been working with Lloreda for years and is comfortable...but I just don't like the blend. This is not a knock on the very talented Senor Lloreda for I also did not like singers when accompanied by masters like Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, or Howard Roberts. Jazz for me has to have an upright bass, piano and sax. Trumpets and trombones too. But for the intimate Jazz like Anna sings...bass & piano would be enough. I do not mean to be too critical and yes, I would like to see more of this talented young musician.


Anna 5 years ago

Aw thanks for the comment Bill! I really do appreciate it :D Hope to see/meet you too one of these days :D


Miriam Rodriguez 5 years ago

What a suiper interview, and it is marvellous that you are number one in Jazz - you really are on you rway to the top, Anna.

Good Luck


Tenerife Islander profile image

Tenerife Islander 5 years ago from Tenerife Author

Thank you, Bill, Anna, and Miriam for your comments!

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