We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacinta Clusellas and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jacinta, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think that without risk taking there is no growth! Looking back, the moments in which I took the bigger steps forward (both in my career and in my personal life) have always felt scary and involved some kind of a risk. Leaving my hometown Buenos Aires, Argentina to study at Berklee College of Music felt like the first big risk I took ten years ago. Today, I taught my first class as a new faculty member at Berklee, and it felt one more time like making a leap forward as well completing a cycle which began 10 years ago. As a composer, arranger and songwriter, becoming a good collaborator also involves risk taking. Trying new ideas, finding ways to communicate with your collaborators, trusting each other, and investing hours and hours of work in projects that are in their early development. I have been incredibly lucky to find some of the most inspiring, talented and supportive collaborators I could have dreamed of, but when I think about how many things can go wrong in this kind of environments, I realize the risks taken! I think it has been working for me so far because when things don’t go they way I wanted, I’ve learned to bounce back finding purpose in the work I do and within myself.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a composer, guitarist and singer-songwriter from Buenos Aires, Argentina, currently living in Brooklyn, NY. One of the projects that makes me the most proud of and excited at the moment is AZUL, a bilingual musical I’ve been working on for the past five years together with my co-creators Melis Aker (book writer) and Tatiana Pandiani (book writer/director). Here is a little bit about AZUL:

In an epic world of magic realism, Blue Bird, an ambitious poet, leaves home behind, seeking a better life in a new land. In present-day Jackson Heights, Rita, a composer, struggles to write her debut album about a motherland she has never known. When she’s asked to make her album more “authentic” and personal, she uncovers a family secret that debunks the stories her father told her as a child. Rita must now reimagine the story of her parents, her artistry, and herself. AZUL weaves together these two distinct worlds to explore how memory and imagination shape immigrant identity.

Driven by a constellation of songs rooted in Latin American folklore, AZUL is a bilingual spectacle in the legacy of American musicals, as well as a deep-dive into an immigrant family story about loss… and what it means to step back in order to move forward.

As a singer-songwriter, I am working on my second album with producer Felipe Arevalo from West One Music, Somos Mas record label. In November I will be spending almost 20 days at Good Hart artist residency in Michigan finishing my album, which will be recorded in NYC at the end of the month.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow, so many people! Tatiana Pandiani, Melis Aker, Alessio Romano, BJ Evans, Liz Engelman, Dana Harrel, Michel Hausmann, Alex Lacamoire, Lily Ling, Kurt Crowley, Matthew Nicholl, Alex Gemignani, Lexy Leuszler and everyone at the Eugene O’Neill Center, Kathy Heins, Purcel Palmer, Stefania Bulbarella, Azul Santamarina, Luz Pinos, Felipe Arevalo, to New York Theatre Workshop, and the National Music Theatre Alliance. My managers. My loved ones, family, friends and musicians I’ve played with throughout my journey.

…and a very special shout-out to the actors, singers, and musicians who performed the many incarnations of our musical AZUL along its journey.

Website: www.jacintaclusellasmusic.com

Instagram: @jacinta.music

Facebook: @jacinta.music

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/jacintamusic

Image Credits
Ambe Williams Adriana Gomez Martin Vlatos Charlie Riveros

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