“Afro-Cuban, booty-shaking world jazz that would have made Dizzy smile.”—DownBeat
An all-female septet led by the exploratory soprano sax of Jane Bunnett, Maqueque derives its name from the Afro-Cuban word describing the energy of a young girl. The group channels that energy into manic, percussion-driven overtures that mellow into soaring freefalls. Melodic scat singing traces the band’s tropically-spirited rhythms, diverting into loungy coves that tease the armchair travel of ‘60s exotica. A Juno-award winning musician who has explored Afro-Cuban melodies for decades, Bunnett culled Maqueque from female Cuban musicians whom she sees as overshadowed by their male counterparts. “Cuba’s very macho,” Bunnett says, “and it’s very hard for women to get ahead in the music scene there.” With Maqueque, Bunnett hopes to send a message to young women everywhere about the possibilities of music.