Maria Bacardi Debuts “Deseo”


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Listen to a song from Deseo.

Cuban-born, New York-based musician, artist and performer, Maria Bacardi, released her debut album of traditional Cuban ballads entitled, Deseo on March 21 with a live performance at The Kitano in NYC.  The sold-out event was attended by members of the Bacardi family as well as Maria’s extensive community of celebrated actors, actresses, musicians and artists.

Female Jazz Vocalist - Maria Bacardi

Deseo, which translates to Desire in English, is a collection of traditional ballads of love and longing performed in the Cuban Bolero style and sung in Spanish, French and English. Born in Cuba in 1957, Maria Bacardi was raised in Europe and given an “A-patrida” (no country) passport when she and her family were forced to flee the country when Fidel Castro nationalized all private businesses. Maria Bacardi’s great-grandfather was the founder of the successful Bacardi rum company, which was deeply embedded in the socio-political and economic fabric of the nation since its inception in 1860. This special selection of tracks featured on Deseo were chosen by Maria Bacardi, as they are the songs her mother sang to her while exiled in Spain.

“My art and music are both fed from my desire for looking for the truth in beauty, despite the forces of pain and grief.” — Maria Bacardi

Maria Bacardi honors her personal Cuban history by treating the traditional scores on Deseo with the intended notes. The musical arrangements for Deseo are by David Oquendo and Carlos Gomez. Maria Bacardi’s singing is accompanied by Cuban and Latin American musical luminaries including David

Oquendo, guitar; Vicente Sanchez, percussion; Alex Hernandez, bass; Onel Mulet, saxophone and flute; Pablo Vergara, piano; Roman Diaz, percussion; Yunior Terry, bass; and Duo Carlos y Marta, guitar and vocals.

Maria Bacardi (AKA Maria Pessino) is an actress, singer, artist and poet who was born in Cuba in 1957. She left Cuba as a young child to be brought up and educated in Europe. She currently lives and works in East Hampton, New York where she has raised her family since 1990.

Maria Bacardi has been an actress and an artist her whole life and she now embarks on the path of a new creative endeavor, which takes the form of song. This venture adds to her oeuvre and marks her first professional foray into singing. Beginning with the traditional Cuban songs her mother sang while in exile in Spain, Maria Bacardi will release her first, full-length album, Deseo, which will debut in early 2013.

“I am not in Cuba. Cuba is in me.” – Maria Bacardi, from forthcoming album, Deseo

Maria Bacardi is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Oddfellows Playhouse, a not-for-profit artist’s theater company, which instigates new work and uses alternative indoor and outdoor stages throughout many locations in the Hamptons.

In the past thirty years, she has played numerous roles in many theater productions in New York City and in the Hamptons including Woyzek by Georg Büchner, at BAM directed by Robert Wilson. Maria Bacardi has acted in and directed many productions of Oddfellows Playhouse including One Thousand Avant Garde Plays, by Kenneth Koch, Cote d’Azur Triangle, by Harry Kondoleon, Joan of Arc, by Uni Dahr and John Morrow, Behold and Reflect and Systole and Diastole by Maria Pessino (Maria Bacardi). She recently performed in The Lost Lesson by Joan Marie Moossy.

In addition to singing and developing theater works, Maria Bacardi constructs magic environments inside boxes –Troves-, shown in numerous galleries of the Hamptons and New York City.

Maria Bacardi is founder and honorary co-chair of the Community Board of Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center and spearheads a multitude of theatrical workshops involving the East End youth. She serves on the board of Performa.

She holds a Bachelors Degree of Arts from New York University in Drama Therapy and Psychodrama.

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