Maria Parra – Jazz and new age

“Music is for me an holistic question. Is the most comfortable way for me to express myself. My sound univers is very visual and pictorial. Combines tradition and the most current music, without labels, genres or boundaries”.

María Parra is a Spanish pianist and composer recognized in her country in the field called Modern Classical Music or New Contemporary Piano, in the line of wellknown pianists in Europe such as Nils Frahm, Hania Rani, Riopy, Joep Beving or Alexis Ffrench, among others.

With a classical background, in her younger years, she alternated her study of the classics with modern composition and improvisation at the “Taller de Músics” in Barcelona. She played with various bands, which enabled her to become familiar with the jazzy vocabulary that she currently uses in her compositions. A hybrid, eclectic universe emerged, made up of both the classic tradition and the latest trends in music.

She was awarded an Honors Class Degree on her final year of the Higher Piano Program, a Master’s Degree in Spanish music with Alicia de Larocha at the Marshall Academy of Barcelona, and gained specialization with Prisca Benoit at the Paris Conservatory.

She has three albums. The first two albums with classical music: Rêverie – (VERSO 2014) awarded with Gold Medal by Melómano Magazine, and Mouvement (ORPHEUS 2016) awarded with “Top 10” of RITMO magazine, in which she was featured artist of the month in January 2017. In these two albums she showed the most important influences in her classical training: Spanish music, worked first hand with Alicia de Larrocha (Granados, Albéniz y de Falla), and French impressionist music, María’s great weakness.

But there came a key moment in her evolution as a musician. Create her own music. On September 2020 Warner Music release VISION, Maria’s first album as the only composer and as a pianist. With this album she has been a finalist for the “Best classical album” in the “Más Músicas” awards in Spain 2021

“In VISION I project myself from a position of harrowing introspection. It is the history of my own existence and I can “see” the world in different dimensions. Is the result of a personal transformation that synthesizes years at the piano keys against the silence, and learning about the twists and the emotions that every music masterpiece transmits by extensively interpreting the classics”

Many are the inspirations in her music, beyond classical. Composers as Bill Evans, Esbjörn Svensson, Beatles, many of pop, rock or Rhythm and blues, but Flamenco provides her, particularly, an enormous flow of expression result of the influences of the Paco de Lucía’s transparent guitar or the voice of Camaron. Adding to that deeply rooted feeling, is her mastery interpreting Falla, Turina, Albéniz, Granados, which she learned from Alicia de Larrocha, who for many years taught her the secrets of the Spanish 19th and 20th century music.

“My compositions can be also understood as songs, and around which one may imagine stories, recreate feelings, landscapes, movie scenes. Images, nature and colors inspires me constantly and I need to translate it into music”…

Daughter of a renowned Spanish painter, María’s childhood was surrounded by canvases, oils and a lot of music of many styles that made up her very eclectic sound universe. Jazz, flamenco, Celtic sounds, or popular music all benefit from classical grounding. María Parra’s music confirms this. She creates a novel sound but with thousands of recognizable echoes. Through her vision, María Parra tells her own story. They say her hands fly like wings on the keyboard. When she flies with them, María’s soul is revealed.

She has taken part in various Spanish festivals and music cycles as a soloist, in camera and orchestra (Ellas Crean, FIAS, Piano Day, Eutherpe Foundation, Miradas al Sur…) and offered concerts in France (Bordeaux, Paris, Chateaux Chantants, Périgord Festival), Austria (Salzburg), Germany (Köln, Düsseldorf, Enssembia and Neckagemund festival), and Italy (Florence, ‘Pianorama’ festival).

María Parra wanted to go further with her music, taking it to a modern formation, a trio, with jazzy echoes. The María Parra Trío, led by her, started up recently and in this formation María is accompanied by two of the most relevant figures of the Spanish jazz scene, Miguel Rodrigáñez on double bass and Gonzalo Maestre on drums. María has also been the leading actress in the short film VENUS, presented in June 2021, where she plays a concert-songwriter where she performs her work “Avalon”.

In the first half of 2022, her second album as a composer will be released, with Warner Music, with the work she composed during the most difficult moments of the pandemic.