Alejandra Ribera is an artist with international roots — born in Toronto to an Argentinian waiter and a Scottish actress, raised in the heart of the city’s gay village — and a style that seems to remind her listeners of Edith Piaf, Lhasa, Tom Waits, and Joan Armatrading.
She spent her teenage years listening to the music and the passion of such varied artists as Odetta, Mercedes Sosa and Jimmy Scott, and her evenings sneaking into seedy gay piano bars and cabarets. These artists — and dozens more — shaped the multi-dimensional, multi-genre repertoire that is Alejandra’s hallmark today, and is at the same time her greatest weakness and her greatest strength.
Ribera’s disarming humour — on and off stage — contrasts with her frequently dark material, and an unconventional life that’s been full of adventures and misadventures.
For every listener who can’t come to grips with an artist whose music would be at home at a jazz club, a world music gathering or a folk festival, there are dozens fascinated by her no-holds-barred approach to songs that cross genres and borders with almost frightening ease.
For Alejandra, on stage, it’s a carefully constructed balancing act, and she very rarely falls. For the audience, it’s a roller coaster ride that may take them from Latin folk tunes to cabaret songs in French or Spanish to the unexpected jazzy moodiness to her own alternative pop songs. Her four-piece band skillfully matches the quality of her voice, the aching ballads of love found and lost again, as well as the international flight-of-fancy excursions and the unexpected pop approach of some of her own songs.
Alejandra Ribera is a musical force of nature. And she is on the verge of far wider acceptance. A new CD is expected in late Spring and new songs fill the notebook she carries everywhere she goes. Her performances are full of life and confidence.
Alejandra is currently in Montreal finishing up work on her new recording with producer Jean Massicotte, who has produced records with Patrick Watson, Lhasa, and many others. Expect a release early next year — watch for more details!