Composer, performer, educator Sofia Rei to perform in Putney

Composer, performer, educator Sofia Rei to perform in Putney

PUTNEY — Next Stage Arts presents a performance featuring Sofia Rei on Saturday, May 22, at 6 p.m., in the field behind the Putney Inn.

The performance is the third of the arts nonprofit's outdoor, socially distanced Bandwagon Summer Series, designed to bring diverse artists and their cultures to Windham County, “from around the world to our region,” Next Stage Executive Director Keith Marks said in a news release.

“It's an opportunity to see artists that one would have to travel to New York to experience,” he said. “Sofia's work touches on virtuosic, folk, and ethnic sensibilities that create something much larger than the sum of its parts.”

Rei, professor at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, teaches “New Perspectives in Latin Music,” a course she created that explores rhythmic training and the broad stylistic diversity of Latin American music.

Artistically, she explores the connection between folklore and futurism with virtuosic precision and spontaneous exploration, merging diverse Latin American traditions from her native Buenos Aires to the multi-cultural mecca of New York City, where she's fused those sounds with jazz, experimental music, pop, and electronic music influences.

Rei has been named “an ambassador of Latin America's experimental voice in the contemporary international circuit,” and her frequent collaborations with John Zorn and the downtown music scene have led to five releases on Tzadik records and four independent albums under her name.

Those recordings have received international acclaim, including a Grammy nomination and six Independent Music Awards.

Rei, an advocate of South American culture through her work, is the co-founder of El Colectivo Sur, an arts collective that increases public awareness of South American arts embracing contemporary and experimental works, bringing together diverse communities.

In 2019, she was presented the Spirit of Folk Award by the International Folk Alliance (Montreal), for her active involvement in the preservation, presentation, and promotion of folk music, community building, and demonstrated leadership.

Rei's latest recording, Umbral (Threshold), is set to be released later this year. This project grew out of a soul-searching trip to the Elqui Valley in Chile where Rei, armed with only two backpacks of recording equipment and her charango, created the core of the album.

“Her unorthodox compositions are built almost exclusively from vocal loops and incorporate the series Cinco poemas cínicos (Five Cynical Poems), in which the songwriter displays her natural inclination towards lyricism,” the news release describes. “Incisive and imaginative, Sofia's poetry responds to heartbreak, deception and disappointment with unrestrained candor, elegant humor and a heavy dose of sarcasm.”

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