Karina Vazquez Colis is truly one the world's most promising talents in New York City . In addition to her skills as a drummer and percussionist, she is also an accomplished singer. Her musical work is characterized by a diversity of rhythms and styles, combining the roots of various European and Latin/South American traditions with elements of Jazz, Afro Cuban,Fusion and Pop. Karina began performing professionally at an early age. Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico into a family of musicians, hearing and playing music quickly became second nature to her. By her early twenties, she had already performed with various bands throughout Mexico at numerous festivals among these are "Festival de Musica Antigua y Barroca," "Festival Cervantes en todas partes," "Festival del Desierto" and "Festival Ciudad San Luis," some of the most prestigious events in the country. Karina Colis has also appeared on "People and Arts" presenting "Templos Mexicanos, ( Danserye) "CNN” International, (Gregorio Uribe big Band), MTV (Caribe Contigo music video), La Republica, Somos, Terra in Lima, Rolling Stone Magazine, La Nacion, Buenos Aires (Chicha Libre) UNIVISION, “The Boston Globe” , La Cosmopolita magazine, Tony On! Ny (Gabriel Guerrero Trio) Azteca 21 (Huazzteco) All About Jazz, Bay State Banner,''A jazz Portrait" WGBH,(Mili Bermejo live Performance) among hundreds more...
During her trip to Puerto Rico in June of 1999, Karina won a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, where she eventually graduated Summa Cum Laude in Professional Music in 2006. From Berklee, Karina also received the Professional Music Achievement Award and The Richard Soref Scholarship for two consecutive years in recognition of the quality of her performance and overall musicianship.
Besides extensive performances in her native Mexico, Karina has performed in US ( Boston, Pennsylvania, New York, Philadelphia, Branson MO, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Puerto Rico throughout Spain, and Portugal. and has shared the stage/performed at Highlight venues with renown international artists such as Grammy Award Winning Juan Luis Guerra, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Rosa Pasos, Sheila E (Prince), John Benitez, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Giovanni Hidalgo, Esperanza Spalding, Armando Manzanero, and Paquito D' Rivera, to whom she also shares credits on Alex Alvear's album "Sonando con Quito" produced by Allan Mallet (Paul Simon) in 2008.
Karina was vocalist and percussionist of Boston based group "Mango Blue", an all original Afro-Latin jazz project led by singer/bass player composer and arranger Alex Alvear. Mango Blue has performed national and internationally in major concert halls festivals as well as being featured in 65 Public Television station nationwide. Karina appeared in many festivals and venues such as The Regatta Scullers Jazz Club, "The Beantown Jazz Festival, The New Haven Festival, and Grand Performances in LA, just to mention a few.
While living in Boston, Karina was also involved with promoting "Women in Jazz" for a number of years and collaborated with Berklee faculty members singer/Songwriter Mili Bermejo and pianist Rebecca Cline, with whom she performs regularly at the prestigious Top Of The Hub. For two consecutive years Karina was also invited to perform in "Women in latin Jazz", an annual event sponsored by The Center of Latino Arts.
Karina is currently drummer and vocalist of Gregorio Uribe Big Band, a 16-piece with original compositions that blends Latin grooves with some funk and jazz influences.The extensive list of venues and festivals where the band has performed includes the Agganis Arena (Boston, MA), Prospect Park Band shell (Brooklyn, NY), Ritz Theater, SOB’s Salem Jazz Festival, Flushing Town Hall, Zinc Bar, Fat Cat,The Regatta Bar and The Colombian Embassy (Washington, DC). As evidence of her stylistic range, Karina has been performing regularly with Calpulli Mexican dance Company (traditional Mexican music) Gilad Barkan (contemporary jazz) Mireya Ramos (Latin) Roman Rojas (Latin Pop) Josh Levine, (latin/Jazz) Gabriel Guerrero (Contemporary Jazz) Shae Foil, (R&B)The Curtis Brothers,(Latin Jazz) Eleonora Bianchini,( World) Amanda Ruza, and many more at NY venues such as Smalls Jazz club, 55 Bar, Lincoln Center, Iridium Jazz Club, Theater for the New City, SOBs, Queens Theatre in the Park, Minton's Play House, Symphonyspace, Terraza, Nuyorican Poets Cafe and other clubs in NY.
“Chicha Libre” is a Brooklyn based-band founded by French singer and producer Olivier Conan. This band performs the roots of Chicha (traditional music from Peru) with elements of other rhythms from Latin and South America. Just recently, Karina has become a member and has already toured with them through South America in big Audiences festivals and venues such as Sao Paulo’s “Virada Cultural” (an open air festival with a an audience of 300,000 people) ,“April Rock” in Recife, Brazil, “Festival international de folklore”, in La Plata, “Niceto” Club, Buenos Aires and Bizzarro Bar in Lima Peru. Chicha Libre’s first CD, Sonido Amazonico, got a great amount of press in the US and abroad – from The New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor to Pitchfork and the LA Times in the US, to mainstream press outlets in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, the UK, Germany and more. Chicha Libre’s music has appeared on the soundtracks of various films and TV shows, including the 20th anniversary special of The Simpsons, which was watched by an audience of twenty million people.
“Jarana Beat,” one of her main projects, defines most of Karina's background, personality and skills. Within the last year this band has developed a unique sound that reveals the heart of Mexico and Latin America. This world music project fuses Mexican music and dance with international folkloric instruments and rhythms. Gathering professional performers from México, in collaboration with artist from all over the world, Jarana draws on rhythms and percussive footwork from forms such as Son Jarocho, Son Guerrerence, Son Huasteco, Cumbia and Rumba, taking New York's scene on a journey through Afro-Amerindian culture. In April 2010, Jarana Beat toured with "Callpulli Danza Mexicana" for "Silver Dollar City World Festival in Branson, Missouri.. This company is a not-for-profit organization, its mission is to teach and produce dance-based programming incorporating live music and Theater to promote the rich diversity of Mexican cultural heritage. In 2009 Karina was also invited to perform in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Nuyorican by Huazzteco, a Jazz project based on traditional music from Mexico led by Pianist and composer Samuel Martinez Herrera. Every year when in Mexico, Karina collaborates with Samuel Martinez organizing seminars of Latin Amercian and Panamerican Jazz at Centro de Las Artes in her home town, San Luis Potosi.
Karina's work is highlighted in several recordings including "Mango" Mango Blue 2011, "Despierta mi nino" 2010 Jarana Beat, "De Tierra" Mili Bermejo 2008,"Space for rent" Jazz Marauders 2007, "Universidades Navideñas" by EMI records 2006, "Soñando con Quito" Alex Alvear 2008 and "Donde se oculta el Alma "Kaymi 2006.In her short time in the United States, Karina Vazquez Colis has established a reputation as a highly professional performer and recording artist, proficient in a variety of styles and unique sound and outstanding personality. Her ability to cope with advanced concepts of improvisations and her versatility has led her to fast accomplishments in the music industry.