For the past three decades, Mili Bermejo has merged the language of jazz with the emotionally resonant poetry and musical traditions of her Latin American heritage to create a unique body of work as one of Boston’s premier vocalists, bandleaders, and recording artists.
Raised in a family of prominent musicians and composers, Bermejo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up performing with her siblings in the artistically progressive Mexico City of the 1970s. She studied classical composition at the National School of Music (UNAM) before coming to Boston in 1980 to study jazz arranging and composition at Berklee, where she has taught since joining the faculty in 1984.
Throughout over 30 years of teaching vocal technique as well as Latin and jazz performance and improvisation, Bermejo has distinguished herself as an integral bridge between such notable mentors as Jerry Bergonzi, Ran Blake, Gary Chaffee, Mick Goodrick, and Elisabeth Phinney, and next-generation artists including Chiara Civello, Marta Gómez, Laureen Kinhan (New York Voices), Alex Panayi, Esperanza Spaulding, and Tierney Sutton.
Bermejo has presented clinics worldwide; served as jazz ambassador for the United States Information Service/Arts America; received multiple grants from Meet the Composer and New England Foundation for the Arts; added her expertise to panels for the Cambridge Arts Council, Doris Duke Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts; and recorded a dozen releases as a leader or coleader. Her latest CD, Arte del Dúo (Ediciones Pentagrama), will be released in October 2016.
For this performance, Bermejo presents her sextet including herself on vocals, Jiri Nedoma on piano, Flavio Lira on guitar, Dan Greenspan on bass, Bertram Lehman on drums, and Ernesto Díaz on percussion. Berklee students Maria Wadman and Naty Hernández will also perform on vocal backgrounds.