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Juanita Ulloa to Celebrate Christmas with “Paz y Alegria”

Published August 26, 2005

The California-based Latin vocalist releases her seventh album, a holiday recording, in November. The CD will feature a a unique mix of upbeat rhythms from the Carribean, Argentina, Peru and Mexico.

(Joy & Peace) is the theme from California based singer Juanita Ulloa’s brand new Latin American Christmas CD Release.  Her new CD and matching Christmas show features a joyous “pan-Latin sound” with Latin dance rhythms interwoven into Ms. Ulloa's original compositions, traditional folkloric villancicos (Christmas songs) from Spain and Latin America, and a couple of US holiday favorites.  Ms Ulloa, a former opera singer, sings bilingually, in Spanish, English and Ladino.  The CD will be released November 15, 2005 by Ms. Ulloa’s independent recording company, Ulloa Productions.
 “Paz y Alegria” is Ms. Ulloa’s seventh CD project, one she has wanted to release for a long time "due to the plethora of Latin American Christmas music that has not only not been modernized for contemporary audiences, and has never been introduced into USA and European holiday favorites", she says. 
She finally found the right creative spark during the first Christmas of the Iraq War as she witnessed a plunge in people's morale. She began composing and arranging new songs in a desire to share music that was rooted with a message to uplift people with tranquility, hope and love, crossing over country, racial and religious boundaries.
In the forty one minutes of music on this CD one hears a unique mix of upbeat Latin American rhythms from the Carribean, Argentina, Peru and Mexico. They range from the new rage blend called "reggaeton" (reggae with merengue and Hip Hop) on the song "Campana sobre campana" (Pealing Bells), "Ranchera valseada” (Waltz) on Ms. Ulloa's original "Canto a la paz" (Song for Peace), Afro-Peruvian lando rhythms on  the now not so traditional French Carol "O Holy Night", a cha-cha-cha entitled "Baby Santa"; even Argentine tango rhythms  set to a Hanukah song "Ocho candelikas" in Ladino, and a lesser known satiric Santa song about Mrs. Claus from a Broadway musical entitled “Surabaya Santa” by Jason Robert Brown.
The Latin American fusion on this CD represents a new style for Ms. Ulloa. "While I continue to adore singing mariachi, I am thrilled to have learned how to improvise as a rhythmic Carribean singer", she says, "not a small feat for a former opera singer and Classical pianist who has always leaned on sight-reading exact music text". Ms. Ulloa also plays the pre-Columbian panpipes on the song "Fum,fum,fum" creating a Andean Latin funk flavor (she did a Master's Degree in Music studying pre-Columbian instruments).
 The CD features a warm acoustic sound recorded live with the following top acclaimed artists: accordeon sounds from Colombia played by Rich Kuhns, acoustic bass player, Ayla Davila from Ms. Ulloa's “Mariachi Picante” and “Los Mocosos”, guitarist Camilo Landau, performer with “Dr. Loco” and “Quetzal”, (who also edited and mixed the CD), as well as top world ranked Peruvian artists,  Raul Ramirez and Lalo Izquierdo from the world famous group “Peru Negro”, playing the “cajon” or the box percussion and dancing in the show.  Top trumpeter and flugelhorn artist, Jeff Lewis makes a cameo appearance from his regular work with "Mariachi Picante" and many jazz bands and Classical shows around California.
Ms  Ulloa's 21 year old daughter, Cristina makes her recording singing debut in a duet with mom, singing "Baby Santa", a song for children and families which speaks of Santa's mischevious activities as a child. Cristina Ulloa works professionally as a voice-over artist of many toys fo