Marcela Pinilla will be joining members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra for an upcoming Opus One concert, featuring world dance rhythms that will get you off your feet and onto the dance floor.
Discovered at the ripe age of four in her native Colombia, Marcela’s singing career began in traditional style with a Spanish Musica de Tuna group in Bogota. Awards and accolades in various singing competitions followed until Dreams Machine recruited Marcela in 1995. Marcela joined Nueva Epoca and began gaining recognition as a Latin Pop performer. With Epoca, Marcela got her first taste of a grand stage performance, singing at Bogota’s Media Torta, a staple venue for established groups.
Marcela had found her calling, but wanted to share her music with the rest of the world. She joined Tropicaribe in 1998, and embarked on an 8-month tour of Southeast Asia. The trip introduced Marcela to an entirely new audience, and to the life of a road musician. It was on one of those tours in Asian that Marcela discovered Jazz, and her style changed forever.
“I just walked into this bar called Niche in Kuala Lumpur and there was this woman scatting,” Marcela said. “I had never heard that. I didn’t know you could make those kinds of sounds with your voice.”
Inspired, Marcela joined Jazz Latino and continued performing in both Asia and South America. During this time she attended collegiate classes in Kuala Lumpur and Qingdao, China. Marcela spent three years in Singapore learning from this melting pot of musicians before moving to Memphis, TN, to embark on yet another regional evolution.
In Memphis, Marcela met American blues and soul first-hand, and has incorporated them into her style ever since. “It’s very soulful here. I learned more about the emotion, about people playing from their heart.” She is committed to making music that brings people together.
“I love seeing how the audience in my concerts is so eclectic and for the duration of the performance we are all brothers and sisters living in peace, I love that and that is the reason why I write songs and sing” Pinilla said.
In addition to her solo projects, Marcela performs and records with several local Memphis bands and artists, including “A message from Memphis” with the Bar-Kays, Orquesta Caliente and Gerard Harris’ World Soul Project.
She currently lives in Memphis, TN with her husband, a piano, and a garden gnome.
Marcella will play with members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra at their upcoming Opus One concerts Thursday, March 1, 2012 and Friday, March 2, 2012 at 7:30pm at the Rumba Room. For tickets or more information, 537-2525 or visit memphissymphony.org/opusone. You can also visit her website at marcelapinilla.com.
60 Seconds with Marcela Pinilla from Live from Memphis: