Concerts Concerts CMF 2012: Alejandra Ribera at Czehoski

CMF 2012: Alejandra Ribera at Czehoski

Alejandra Ribera at Czehoski
Alejandra Ribera
Czehoski in Toronto, ON
March 23, 2012

Review by: Lee Fraser
Photos by: Allison Janzen

Alejandra Ribera spins her magic at Czehoski.

Alejandra Ribera

During a multi-day event like Canadian Music Fest, a couple of phenomena come together. First, every audience is a mix of fans, bands and industry types; second, with so many bands booked at so many venues, there's a very wide variety of genres represented; lastly, with so many people giving so many recommendations, it's hard not to take a chance and check out an act you know nothing about.

Occasionally, this whirlwind comes together and presents a highlight of the festival.  Such was the case for those in the elbow-to-elbow crowd who were experiencing Alejandra Ribera for the first time. Czehoski's was ridiculously packed, but that's the result of the kind of buzz surrounding Ribera. With fellow musicians and industry reps suggesting that she is an act not to be missed, it seems that a lot of folks took the advice to heart. And it's great to see, for an act like this.

Part jazz, part Spanish story-telling, part French café and all goodness, Ribera's sound is smooth and sultry. Her voice is milky and deep. Her band play up a perfect balance between standing out and putting the spotlight on the singer. Alejandra herself, barefoot and with her hair tied up loosely, makes you feel like she's invited you into her own personal space. The sensuous qualities of her music are remarkably accented by the passion of her singing.

With a focus on Spain and Latin America this year, it's a bit surprising that the festival organizers planned to have this local talent in such a small venue.  Regardless, for those of us who managed to get as close to the stage as we could, this was a unique and wonderful highlight.

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