Jennifer’s day at Rice and Beans Fest Latina charm
JENNIFER Zea was about eight years old when she knew she wanted to be a singer. The Venezuelan experimented with musical styles as a teenager. She joined an all-girl heavy metal group and then a 12-piece ska band. She later learned bossa nova, which is considered a high form of jazz, she says. The training she underwent was very disciplined. She would spend a month practising a song to make sure it was absolutely perfect and spent time in Brazil getting her Portuguese up to scratch.
Ms Zea fulfilled her ambition to live in New Zealand in 2008.
She’d seen the feature film The Piano in 1994 and was blown away by the scenery.
‘‘It’s so exotic here. The ferns are like trees, that’s prehistoric. That magical mist, the wide beaches with no- one there, it’s magical.
‘‘New Zealand is so far apart from the rest of the world that it still has that primitive naiveness and the people are so kind.
‘‘You see the economic situation in Europe and the United States, the people protesting and even in my country it’s quite a mess.’’
She’s looking forward to performing again as part of the Latin-funk, soul and hip hop band Latinaotearoa at the third annual Rice and Beans Festival at Silo Park this Saturday.
‘‘Last time it was awesome. It was a beautiful sunny day, there were stalls with wonderful Latin and Caribbean food and lots of rice and beans. That’s the food of the Caribbean coast, it’s our fish and chips.’’
Ms Zea says she is in her element when on stage.
‘‘I become an extravagant Latina character. I like to channel the feminine power in the body to entice people to move.
‘‘Kiwis are open to all styles of music. That’s the beauty of this country.’’
Latin beats: Venezuelan singer Jennifer Zea will perform at Silo Park’s Rice and Beans Festival on February 22.