Management & Production
SOUTH AMERICAN FOLK / EXPERIMENTAL-ELECTRO POP
Folklore and futurism, graceful elegance and raw passion, virtuosic precision and spontaneous exploration – all merge together in the music of award-winning vocalist, songwriter and producer Sofia Rei. Redefining authenticity from an intensely personal perspective, she’s carried diverse Latin American traditions from her native Buenos Aires to the multi-cultural mecca of New York City, where she’s fused those sounds with jazz, experimental music, pop, and electronic music influences.
With a voice that’s been hailed for its captivating beauty and versatility by such prestigious publications as the New York Times and DownBeat Magazine, Rei’s talents fit comfortably into any number of genres. A self-described “frog from another pond,” Rei’s natural inclination is to leap, an instinct that has taken her on a circuitous route from early classical training and Argentinean folk music through the punk rock nightlife of Buenos Aires, into some of the most prestigious venues in the U.S. and on to a wealth of festival stages around the world. Rei has been named “an ambassador of Latin America’s experimental voice in the contemporary international circuit”. Her frequent collaborations with John Zorn and the downtown music scene have led to 5 releases on Tzadik records and 5 independent albums under her name, which received international acclaim including a Grammy nomination and 6 Independent Music Awards. Rei has been an advocate of South American culture through her work. She is the co-founder of El Colectivo Sur, an arts collective that increases public awareness of South American arts embracing contemporary and experimental works, bringing together diverse communities. In 2019, she was presented the Spirit of Folk Award by the International Folk Alliance (Montreal), for her active involvement in the preservation, presentation, and promotion of folk music, community building, and demonstrated leadership. Rei is currently a Professor at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute and teaches New Perspectives in Latin Music, a course she created that explores rhythmic training and the broad stylistic diversity of Latin American music.
Sofía Rei, Tiny Desk meets globalFest
Sofía Rei, "LIVE at WOMEX"
Sofía Rei, "La Quinta Pata"
Sofia Rei "Un Mismo Cielo"
Sofia Rei "Negro Sobre Blanco"
Sofia Rei LIVE at Paste Studio on the road NYC
In her most recent project, an exhaustive exploration of the voice as an instrument of texture and expression, Sofía Rei breaks away from the established continuity of her work, creating a daring new soundscape that blends South American folk with pop, electronic music and improvisation.
A soul-searching trip to the Elqui Valley in Chile Sofía, armed with only two back packs of recording equipment and her charango, she created the core of her newest musical venture: “Umbral” (Threshold). Her unorthodox compositions are built almost exclusively from vocal loops and incorporate the series “Cinco poemas cínicos” (Five Cynical Poems), in which the songwriter displays her natural inclination towards lyricism. Incisive and imaginative, Sofia’s poetry responds to heartbreak, deception and disappointment with unrestrained candor, elegant humor and a heavy dose of sarcasm.
In 2019, Sofia was awarded the Cafe Royal Cultural Foundation Music Production Grant, to help finish the recording of Umbral. Produced by world music luminary and long-time collaborator JC Maillard. Umbral was released in June 2021 and has been receiving raving reviews among which, The New York Times, NPR, Songlines, Rolling Stone Magazine, Flood Magazine, BBC Radio 3, Página 12, Billboard Magazine and it was included on the top 20 albums of 2021 by NPR Alt Latino, #6 on the European World Music Charts and #1 album of the year on Mixed World Music Magazine.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Jean-Christophe (JC) Maillard, is a French composer, guitarist, pianist, electronic musician, producer and arranger native of Pointe-à-Pître, Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. For the past 20 years, he has been touring, producing, arranging, acting as musical director and recording with all the great names in the world music and world jazz scene. He has collaborated with Grammy wining artists such as Lisa Fischer, Angelique Kidjo, Richard Bona, Toure Kunda, etc. JC is also known for mastering and being the first player of the SazBass, a new 8-steel string instrument of Turkish origin.
Produced by JC Maillard
Mixed by Fabrice Dupont
Mastered by Bob Power
Sofía Rei: Lead vocals, backgrounds vocals, loops and charango
JC Maillard: Electric and acoustic guitar, ukelele, bass, charango, background vocals
Jorge Glem: Cuatro ("La Caída" and "Negro Sobre Blanco")
Jorge Roeder: Uprights Bass ("Helvetica 12" and "La Quinta Pata")
Leo Genovese: Synthesizers and piano ("Helvetica 12" and "Un Mismo Cielo")
Franco Pinna: Drums and percussion ("Negro Sobre Blanco")
Tupac Mantilla: Drums, percussion and body percusiion ("La Quinta Pata")
Martin Bejarano: Colombian gaita ("Un Mismo Cielo" and "Escarabajo Digital")
Sofia Rei UMBRAL Tech Rider
"an album that explores the extremes of ones creativity” - Billboard (Argentina)
“Few Latin American artists have transformed their work as much as Sofia Rei. In seeking to explore new ways to share her perspective on the universe, Rei has delivered some of the most innovative albums in the region, and her most recent album, Umbral, is no exception. "
- Uriel Monterrubio, Rolling Stone Magazine
"Sofia Rei, an Argentine singer now based in New York, conjured a wildly eclectic, near hallucinatory international mix from her living room with her band: Andean, Asian, jazz, funk, electronics. True to Globalfest’s boundary-scrambling mission, she sang about living under 'Un Mismo Cielo': 'The Same Sky.’”
- Jon Pareles, The New York Times
“Flutes flutter over ricocheting synth bass, a stop-and-start beat and strummed charango, as Rei’s overdubbed voice harmonizes with itself in fierce exclamations, lapping at the sky like a flame”
- Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times
"It's a fascinating exploration of her own creative process, as well as a capsule history of musical traditions
from the southern-most tip of the Americas.”
- Felix Contreras, NPR “Alt.Latino”
“...award-winning Argentine vocalist and songwriter Sofia Rei provides a concert that blends South American folk traditions with experimental pop and electronic music. That mix of tradition and modernity extends to her surroundings, which features traditional iconography, robotic 'saints,' exuberant plants and looping pedals.”
- Bob Boilen, NPR “Tiny Desk Concert”
“Over booming drum beats and chirping flute embellishments, “La Otra” is an exciting tribute to Mistral with instrumentation based in Colombian dance music.”
– Margaret Farrell, Flood Magazine
“Umbral, is an álbum of Sofía Rei's sonic explorations, where she reinvents the sound of her own voice and recreates imaginary sonic landscapes, where her musical past mixes with possible futures of a kind of music that seems not to recognize the meaning of the word “limit”
- María Zentner, Página 12