Cocomama JazzDeLePena.com

Cocomama featured at JazzDeLePena.com

Read the full article and interview at: Jazzdelapena.com

Where does Cocomama come in?
The group dates back to 2005, when we got a call to perform at a fundraiser for then New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The success of the performance led to other gigs and from this Cocomama was born. The band was never anybody’s idea, it just happened. In 2006, we all decided it was something we wanted to pursue. At the time, there was no Musical Director and the rehearsals were leaderless. In one of those moments when the rehearsal was particularly chaotic someone said, “We need a Musical Director.” I had done most of the charts, so I got elected. Prior to Cocomama, I was involved with small groups, so it has been a great learning experience.

Who came up with the name? What’s the significance?
Cocomama is the Incan goddess of good health. We thought this was a really good name because it has such a positive connotation, and the sound of it was “exotic” but easy to pronounce regardless of whatever language you speak. Me, bassist Jennifer Vincent, vocalist Sofia Tosello and percussionist Mayra Casales.

The group started out as a dance band.
When we started out, we tried to fit into a specific style of music but now it’s a musical portrait of everyone in the group. Everyone brings their influences, which includes dance music but also includes classical music, Afro-Caribbean music, Brazilian music, Latin American music, jazz, soul, R&B and beyond.