Argentine singer-songwriter Cecilia Zabala and Brazilian pianist Philippe Baden Powell explore their latest duo project, which fuses Zabala’s folk-inspired songwriting with Powell’s música popular brasileira (MPB) sensibility. The duo met in the summer of 1995 in Brazil, where Zabala was studying MPB and Powell was performing with his father, the Brazilian guitar player and composer Baden Powell. The pair officially began performing as a duo in 2012, with several concerts in Paris, and they recently had a successful tour in Europe.
Guitarist, singer, and composer Cecilia Zabala has created original compositions that blend sensitivity, emotion, technique, and intuition throughout her rich career. Her music draws upon a diverse mixture of influence, from Argentine folklore to the contemporary language of the twentieth century to jazz, tango, and Brazilian music. Zabala frequently performs as a soloist and has been a member of several chamber ensembles, including the guitar quartet Cuatro en punto, the tango group Mala Junta, and the duos Las Morochas and Alvarezabala. Her first solo recording, Aguaribay (2007), mixes Argentine folklore repertory with original instrumental and vocals compositions, with guest artists Juan Falú, Quique Sinesi, and Silvia Iriondo. Zabala released her second solo album, Pendiente, in 2008, featuring original compositions and arrangements of works by contemporary composers, moving away from pure folkloric roots towards unusual rhythms and unique melodies with contemporary compositions. She recently released a solo CD of original music, El color del Silencio, which she celebrated with a series of concerts in Buenos Aires in June 2016.
Son of Baden Powell and brother of the guitarist Louis Marcel Powell, Philippe Baden Powell began his classical piano studies at age seven in Baden-Baden, Germany. He later relocated with his family to Rio de Janeiro and began performing as a pianist at age 15 both in Brazil and abroad, with his father and brother and also in solo acts. He studied at the Conservatório Brasileiro de Música and the École Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot (Paris). He was one of the winners of the 2005 Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Competition, and relocated to Europe to begin his career. He released his first album, Estrade de Terra (Dirt Road), on the AdventureMusic label in 2006, recorded Um Rio with Márcio Faraco’s ensemble in 2008; co-produced Afrosambajazz for big band with Mário Adnet in 2010; recorded a solo album for AdventureMusic on their Piano Masters series in 2012; and most recently recorded Ludere with trumpeter Rubinho Antunes, bassist Bruno Barbosa, and percussionist Daniel de Paula.