Six-time JUNO Award nominated jazz vocalist and pianist Carol Welsman is set to release her 13th album entitled Dance With Me, marking her foray into Latin jazz. The recording scheduled for release July 31, 2020 on Justin Time Records is an eclectic collection of international songs arranged with Latin rhythms including salsa, boleros, cha cha cha, Afro Cuban and calypso; all the while keeping within Latin jazz and traditional rhythms.
The selections include popular Latin standards adapted into English, Great American Songbook standards, original compositions, a Latin-flavored song penned by fellow Canadian Randy Bachman of Bachman Turner Overdrive, and a duet with multi-GRAMMY winning Latin superstar, Juan Luis Guerra on the title track and first single release, which is an English adaptation written by Carol of his song “Si Tú No Bailas Conmigo” (If You Don’t Dance With Me).
Carol’s co-producer, Oscar Hernández, is a four-time GRAMMY winning composer and arranger. Given Oscar’s depth of knowledge of the Latin jazz idiom, Carol commissioned him to arrange all the music for the recording. She is surrounded by a stellar line-up of Latin musicians; Justo Almario on saxophones and flute, Joey de Leon on percussion, Rene Camacho on bass and Jimmy Branly on drums. The players hail from Colombian, Puerto Rican, Mexican and Cuban ancestry respectively.
Carol met Juan Luis Guerra a few years ago in Santo Domingo and told him how much she particularly liked his composition “Si Tú No Bailas Conmigo.” She wrote an English adaptation for it, and when Juan Luis heard it, he graciously accepted her invitation to guest star on the track.
Carol’s long-time Cuban drummer Jimmy Branly was instrumental in introducing her to Latin music, especially the music of Beny Moré; one of the most popular singers Cuba has ever known. Co-lyricist Jo Perry and Carol chose a number of these Latin standards and wrote English adaptations to them, Like “Y Hoy Como Ayer” (I Think Of You), “Como Fue” (Yesterday), and “Ya Llegó La Hora” (Time to Dance Cha Cha Cha). This is likely the first time these Latin classics will be heard by English audiences.
Welsman had the good fortune of meeting fellow Canadian Randy Bachman recently, and when she heard him sing “A Taste of Paradise,” she immediately included it in her repertoire. Randy, better known for his rock-influenced songs, was deeply inspired in his youth by guitarist Lenny Breau who actually introduced him to the bossa nova and the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Like on many of her previous recordings, Carol follows suit delivering two original songs on this album: “Island Lullaby” and “Revelations”; the latter of which is arranged with Afro Cuban and Venezuelan Horopo rhythms.
Carol’s strong connection with her fans has been front and center in her last two releases. For Dance With Me she embarked on her first Kickstarter campaign and the response was overwhelming. In keeping with the fan experience, Carol has launched a video contest asking fans to submit videos of them dancing to the title track. Winners of the contest, which runs through July 20th, will be included in her upcoming music video.
She has always had a passion for Latin rhythms, as can be witnessed on most of her recordings and with her debut Latin Jazz album, her international appeal now invites a whole new audience.