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ABOUT

"Pianist and Composer Carolina Calvache Takes Her Lyrical, Individualistic Style to New Depths." - Delarue (New York Music Daily)

“An articulate, lyrical and imaginative voice in jazz that deserves to be celebrated.”- Tim Wilkins (WBGO)

 

Carolina Calvache, a Pan-American composer, seamlessly blends sounds influenced by jazz, classical, and Latin American folk music. Carolina has been engaging in and evolving a global music exchange that spans from her native Cali, Colombia, to New York City, and more recently, to the vibrant Caribbean sounds of Miami. An award-winning composer, celebrated jazz pianist, inspiring educator, and New World Symphony ambassador, she is deeply committed to fostering collaboration within the global music community.

Winner of the 16th Independent Music Awards for her song, "La Última Vez" featuring Camila Meza, Carolina has been making waves since her selection for the 2011 Mary Lou Williams Woman in Jazz Festival, where her talent garnered attention at The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Legendary pianist and composer, Toshiko Akiyoshi, has hailed her music as "Extraordinary and Marvelous."

Drawing from diverse influences, Carolina's music encompasses a wide range of genres. Her repertoire includes solo pieces, duets, chamber music, studio orchestra, and jazz big band compositions. Carolina is well-known for her trombone pieces, ranging from classical commissions to jazz pieces, including chamber works for brass that premiered at the Trombone and Trumpet International Festival. One notable commission include "Trombonsillo," which was recorded in the album, Ethereal by Canadian Brass Trombonist, Achilles Liarmakopoulos . The piece experienced worldwide success, became a standard in the trombone repertoire, and it is currently one of the required pieces for the Associate Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). Other noteworthy commissions include "Uncertainty," commissioned by Jennifer Wharton and her group Bonegasm, “Encuentros,” commissioned by Qatar Philharmonic member Sebastian Cifuentes; "Caminos," written for Cleveland Orchestra musician Shachar Israel; "Latin American Street Scenes," commissioned by Boston University Professor Don Lucas; and her latest piece, "Comienzos,” commissioned by "Slides in Harmony" and a cohort of twenty university professors as co-commissioners. Her upcoming orchestral work for trombone is set to premiere with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and Denis Jiron in March 2025.

Moreover, Carolina has written art songs for piano and lyric soprano commissioned by Anima Mundi Productions and a piece for baritone and violin for the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy. Her piano solo works are also included in the book Antologia de compositoress Vallecaucanos, Obras para piano, published by the University of Valle in Cali, Colombia. Her chamber works have been premiered worldwide at prestigious institutions such as the Juilliard School of Music, the Curtis Institute of Music, the New World Symphony, the Newport Music Festival, and Gravissimo Festival, among others.

In addition to her compositional work, Carolina's expertise as an arranger has led to collaborations with renowned musicians and institutions. This includes a collaboration with the New York Philharmonic string quartet, flute arrangements for Grammy Award-winning flutist Nestor Torres, as part of the University of Miami Fellowship Carolina wrote Big Band arrangements for the Brubeck Brothers, Grammy Award-winning drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington, and multiple arrangements for studio orchestra for the Henry Mancini Institute.

As a recording artist, Carolina has released two albums and multiple singles. Following her critically acclaimed album, Sotareño (Sunnyside, 2014), which earned a spot among the Best 10 Albums of 2014 by Latin Jazz Net, Carolina unleashed the resonating extent of her versatility as a composer, orchestrator, and formidable songwriter on her sophomore chamber album Vida Profunda (Sunnyside, 2020). Both albums engage a range of guest artist including legendary singer Ruben Blades, Grammy award-wining Antonio Sanchez, Jaleel Shaw, Michael Rodriguez, Claudia Acuña, Sara Serpa, Marta Gomez, Jonathan Blake, Gregoire Maret, among others. In addition, Carolina's compositions have been featured on various albums, including "Grit and Grace" by Jennifer Wharton, "Stranger at Home" by Shachar Israel, “Latin American Portraits” by Jaime Morales, “Day Break” by Vicenzo Paratore, and “Tendencias e Influencias Volumen 3: Compositoras Colombianas,” published by University Eafit in Medellin, Colombia. 

As a performer, Carolina has shared the stage with pioneering voices in the jazz music industry including , Thana Alexa, Jaleel Shaw, Michael Rodriguez, Endea Owens, Claudia Acuña, David Binney, Hans Glawischnig, Chembo Corniel, Samuel Torres, among others. She has performed with her jazz quartet and as a guest artist at the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland Jazz Club, Joes' Pub, and the Jazz Gallery in NYC to name a few. In addition, Carolina has performed at Walt Disney Hall with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra and the group People of Earth, promoting Pan-American initiatives and family concerts.

Beyond her artistic endeavors, Carolina is dedicated to music education. Her teaching engagements started as a teaching assistant at the University of North Texas where Calvache directed the Zebras ensemble, one of the laboratory jazz big bands, and taught a piano jazz fundamental class. She has delivered lectures and masterclasses both locally and internationally - in Colombia at Universidad del Bosque, Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Fundación el Colectivo, and Universidad de las Artes, among others. Calvache directed the first Summer Jazz Camp at Fundación Canto por la Vida in Ginebra, and San Pedro, Colombia. In 2015, Carolina held an international faculty appointment at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in Tamil, India. In New York city, Carolina taught at Laguardia College and Jazz Power Initiative promoting jazz education. Calvache has participated as a presenter at conferences such as the Jazz Education Network (2023), and the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers. As an adjudicator, Carolina has worked with Chamber Music of America selecting the 2022 New Jazz Works grantees, and with Banco de la República in Bogotá, Colombia in  the 2021 national composition contest.

Carolina holds a bachelor’s degree from Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, a master’s degree in jazz performance from the University of North Texas and  a DMA in Jazz Composition from the University of Miami. 

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“Her music is beautiful and challenging.” 

— Antonio Sanchez

“Vida Profunda” is a profound work of art. A supreme triumph for Carolina Calvache, a program that should be heard on concert stages around the world!” - Richard B. Kamins (Step Tempest)

"Her music is poetic."
-Ruben Blades.
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