Born July 3, 1971 in Santiago and raised in Concepcion, Acuña established herself on the Chilean jazz scene in her early 20s. When she arrived in New York City in 1995, Acuña quickly gained recognition as a leading voice on a scene rapidly being transformed by a wave of brilliant Latin American musicians. Part of the roiling scene centered on Small’s, she plunged into collaborations with masters such as Jason Lindner, Harry Whitaker, Arturo O'Farrill, Guillermo Klein, and bassist Avishai Cohen, who co-produced her critically hailed 2000 debut Wind From the South (Verve). Her five albums established Acuña as a creative force, from 2002’s Rhythm of Life (Verve) and 2004’s Luna (MaxJazz) through 2008’s In These Shoes (Zoho Music) and 2009’s strikingly beautiful En Este Momento (Marsalis Music). Whether putting her stamp on popular Latin American ballads, reimagining jazz standards from a South American perspective, or bringing infusing Afro-Caribbean material with a wide rhythmic sensibility, Acuña stands out as a passionate and emotionally incisive singer with a gleaming, burnished bronze tone.
Her most recent album, Turning Pages (2019) is an exquisite reintroduction to a singer who has thrived at the cusp of jazz and Latin American music. The project captures an artist in the process of reinventing herself, with a program of strikingly melodic original songs expressing her singular vision. Featuring a stellar cast of collaborators, this album was Acuña’s first new recording in a decade making a compelling case that while keeping a lower profile she was able to plumb new emotional depths. Ready once again to take on the world, she’s eager to reconnect with long-time fans and build new audience alliances.