Interview with Magos Herrera
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
On November 15, during the International Jazz and Blues Festival, more than 400 listeners enjoyed Magos Herrera’s opening concert. Herrera is a jazz vocalist considered to be “one of the most beautiful voices in contemporary Latin American Jazz.” After her show, which featured music from Brazil, Mexico and the US, she talked to Atención.
Jesús Aguado: How do you feel here in San Miguel?
Magos Herrera: I feel at home. There is a great community of musicians here in San Miguel, so even when I was studying abroad I always used to come back here. I even started singing here. San Miguel has been a place I always come back to because it connects me with many things: with my beginnings, with a loyal and respectful audience and with my work. I love this city.
JA: Has it been complicated to make your own way in the jazz scene?
MH: It is a musical style with a very defined audience. If I would have selected any other activity I would have had to take a similar path of constancy, love and courage. Jazz is not something that is easy, but if you know it and accept it as it is, the good and the bad, it becomes a part of you.
JA: Does jazz need more promotion in Mexico?
MH: There is enough art, so all the initiatives targeted toward promoting any artistic expression will enrich the life of the inhabitants.
JA: There is a jazz-loving audience in Mexico, but you have been performing and living in other countries. Is that because you are looking for new audiences, or because it is easier?
MH: It is due to the necessity of moving and sharing what I do and expanding my reach; this musical style is not the most popular on the planet. I live in New York because I need to have more exposure in the world, but I always come back and perform in my native country.
JA: What would be a way to attract more young people to jazz?
MH: Jazz is a very “hip” thing. You do not need to analyze it—you like it or not, it moves you or not, it makes you connect with different frames of mind. You do not have to understand it. Jazz is not for everyone, nor is any other style of music, and it is not a matter of age or social status. Young people must listen to it and decide. In many countries where we have performed the audience is very young and they connect with the music.
Herrera she said that she will come back to San Miguel as many times as she is invited and that next summer she will come out with a new CD. “Estará muy padre” (It will be very cool),” she said.