Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, a jazz group led by five-time Juno Award winner Jane Bunnett, have become a prominent force in the North American jazz scene. Bunnett, who has received numerous accolades including Grammy nominations, The Order of Canada, and The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, has dedicated herself to showcasing exceptional musical talent from Canada, the US, and Cuba.
Maqueque was initially conceived as a project to record and mentor talented young Cuban female musicians. However, it has evolved into one of the most acclaimed jazz groups in North America. Since 2015, they have performed at renowned jazz festivals such as Newport and Monterey, and they have been featured on NPR's Jazz Night in America. Their debut album, "Jane Bunnett and Maqueque," earned them a Juno Award, while their second release, "Oddara," received a Grammy nomination. Their latest album, "On Firm Ground/Tierra Firme," was also nominated for a Juno Award. Notably, the group was voted one of the top ten jazz groups in the critics' poll conducted by DownBeat magazine.
Jane Bunnett, known for her creative integrity, improvisational daring, and fearless artistry, is an internationally acclaimed musician. Her exploration of Afro-Cuban melodies showcases the universal nature of music, breaking new ground in embracing and highlighting the rhythms and culture of Cuba. With her versatility as a flutist, saxophone player, and pianist, she has captivated audiences worldwide while performing at various jazz festivals.
Bunnett's work has been the subject of two documentaries. "Spirits of Havana," produced by the National Film Board, has been screened at numerous film festivals globally and has been televised on CBC, PBS, and in Europe. Another film, "Embracing Voices," awaits commercial release and has already garnered attention at film festivals.
In addition to her musical pursuits, Bunnett is an educator, spokesperson, and social activist. She fearlessly ventures into uncharted territory, continuously striving for excellence in her endeavors. The members of Maqueque include Jane Bunnett on soprano saxophone and flute, Joanna Tendai Majoko on vocals, Mary Paz on congas and vocals, Dánae Olano on piano, Tailin Marrero on acoustic and electric bass, and Yissy García on drums.