Jen­nifer’s day at Rice and Beans Fest Latina charm

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By KARINA ABADIA

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.’’

Photo: KARINA ABADIA

Latin beats: Venezue­lan singer Jen­nifer Zea will per­form at Silo Park’s Rice and Beans Fes­ti­val on Fe­bru­ary 22.

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