A “Miramar” is a place from which you can see the ocean.
Miramar is a sextet (sometimes joined by a string quaret) that features the male-female singing duo of Rei Alvarez (Bio Ritmo) and Laura Ann Singh (Quatro Na Bossa). Backed by pianist/composer Marlysse Simmons-Argandoña (Bio Ritmo) who alternates between vintage organs and acoustic piano, guitarist Bryan Vargas (Fela! The Musical) and a rotating cast of percussionists including Meinl artist Hector "Coco” Barez and Giustino Riccio and bassists Rusty Farmer and Cameron Ralston. Members live between Richmond, VA and Brooklyn, NY with strong ties to Puerto Rico, Chile and Brazil.
Miramar draws its inspiration from the golden age of romantic music, primarily that of the Latin American genre known as the bolero. Originating in Cuba in the late 19th Century and made popular by Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican and New York combos of the 1940’s and 1950’s, the bolero, also known as trio music, was synonymous with songs about life’s misfortunes and the tragedies of romance. The groove was usually slow-medium in tempo and meant for couples dancing. Thru the decades the boleros popularity grew to be a world-wide phenomenon with new interpretations often recreated, fused and blended with newer popular rhythms of the day including salsa, disco, rock and jazz.
Miramar explores the tradition through their own interpretations and compositions, further experimenting and expanding the genre. Their 2016 debut album on Brooklyn’s Barbès Records highlighted songs by the legendary Puerto Rican composer Sylvia Rexach (1922-1961) and in 2019 the legendary Daptone records released a 45 that included two original bolero-rock songs which were recorded live at House of Soul in Brooklyn, NY.
Miramar has toured across the North America and France . Highlights include: NPR's Tiny Desk, Lincoln Center's Out of Doors, Brooklyn's BRIC JazzFest, NYC's globalFEST, Stanford University, Cleveland Museum of Art, The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, Lyon’s Les Nuits de Fourviere Festival and Paris’ Studio l’Ermitage. The are scheduled to tour Russia in March 2020.
Miramar is also a recipient of the 2019 USArtist International travel grant and together with their sister project Bio Ritmo, are included in the 2020 Virginia Commission for the Arts Tour Directory.