Luz Pinos is a bright new star of South American Pop

Luz Pinos is a hot new South American Pop (Pop Sudamericana) singer-songwriter from Ecuador based in New York City.

Her strong debut album Mariposa Azul (Blue Butterfly) is being released March 30, 2017 with a show at DROM in the East Village.

Check out the first video for the album’s first single Mozo. A “Mozo” is a handsome man, a fox. Come on Mr. Fox, you can’t possibly ignore a voice like that. The danzón features Cuban clarinet legend Paquito D’Rivera and Venezuelan master percussionist Luisito Quintero.

Luz Pino’s Mozo, the first video from her coming album Mariposa Azul
Download Mozo from CDBaby

Luz wrote the album’s title song for her grandfather when he passed away in Ecuador, but she could not say goodbye to him because she was in New York studying music. When Luz went to his funeral, giant blue butterflies kept coming around her. The song carries feelings that anyone who is far away from their loved ones will understand.

An acoustic version of Mariposa Azul
Luz was born in the Andes mountain city of Cuenca, Ecuador, but grew up in rural Cochancay and the port of Guayaquil. As a teenager she studied contemporary dance, but Luz really wanted to sing. She came to New York to study music at the New School.

Even though Luz is a new artist, she is getting the attention of some stars. When Luz uploaded a cover of Dominican singer Juan Luis Guerra’s Amapola to YouTube, she received a congratulations from the singer himself. Luz’ work is in the line of Colombian superstar Carlos Vives who makes pop music from folk rhythms. It’s a winning combination.

Luz Pino’s cover of Juan Luis Guerra’s Amapola
Pinos sings in Spanish, but her music grabs you even if you don’t understand a word of it. I haven’t heard a song from Luz that I didn’t like immediately. She has a gift for melody and a sweet sincerity in her voice that connects with your soul. In this way, Luz recalls the great Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa.

I’m trying to think which pop star Luz sounds like. Her voice is similar to Rickie Lee Jones, but Luz has a softer more angelic tone. That’s it. If an angel sang to you in church or temple or from the mountaintops, she might sound like Luz Pinos.

I wouldn’t classify Luz in any ethnic genre other than Spanish-language Pop, but at the same time there is something very Andean in her. Luz has the whistle of the wind and the breathless swaying of the trees in her voice. It’s the sound of a high mountain trail when all of creation opens its arms before you. Maybe she is the embodiment of her name which translates roughly as “pine light.”

There are many talented musicians in New York City, but Luz Pinos is one we expect (and want) to hear a lot more from.

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