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Romance CD featuring vocalist Sylvia McNair released by Jacobs School’s Latin American Music Center

February 13, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Just in time for Valentine's Day, the Latin American Music Center (LAMC) at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is pleased to announce the pre-release of "Romance: A Collection of Latin Love Songs," a new CD featuring Grammy Award-winning vocalist Sylvia McNair and jazz faculty members Tom Walsh, Jeremy Allen and Luke Gillespie.

Listen to a one-hour special about the CD, anchored by Sylvia McNair, on WFIU Public Radio. The program will be aired live on WFIU Feb. 13, at 7 p.m

Produced by the IUMusic-LAMC label, with participation by the young leaders of the Center's Latin American Popular Music Ensemble and under the direction of Guido Sánchez-Portuguez, "Romance" takes us through the soulful and intoxicating experience of Latin American love songs.

The new CD includes famous songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Agustín Lara and Consuelo Velásquez, conjuring images of platonic, playful and contented love, along with stories of passion, betrayal and heartache, all told through the rhythms of bossa nova, bolero and cha cha cha from Brazil, Cuba and Mexico.

McNair sings in English, Portuguese and Spanish, showing audiences a new facet of her vocal virtuosity. By doing so, she joins the ranks of other famous American singers such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Linda Ronstadt in their embrace of the great Latin love songs.

"I'm still pinching myself that the Latin American Music Center let a girl from Ohio, who doesn't speak a word of Spanish or Portuguese and who has no jazz credentials, join this wonderful project," said Sylvia McNair. "Every hour of performing and recording was a complete joy, and I am forever grateful that the Latin Americans in charge of this were so patient and kind! I'm also wondering why I didn't dive into this repertoire years ago. At least I've done it now, and it makes me smile."

Pre-sales for the CD are now available through IUMusic MarketPlace.

Downloads will soon be available at the following locations:

About Sylvia McNair

Two-time Grammy Award-winner Sylvia McNair is equally at home on the stages of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and in the intimate environs of the Rainbow Room and the Algonquin's legendary Oak Room, performing both classical and cabaret, opera and Broadway musicals. Her more than 70 recordings range from Mozart arias with Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St.-Martin-in-the-Fields to CDs with Andre Previn of music by Jerome Kern and Harold Arlen.

McNair was awarded a 1993 Grammy for a recording of Handel's "Semele" and a 1996 Grammy for "The Echoing Air: The Music of Henry Purcell." Her career highlights include performances for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican and for Hillary Clinton, as well as a recital at the U.S. Supreme Court by special invitation from Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

McNair has been a regular guest soloist with the major American and European orchestras and opera houses, working with an array of today's most prominent conductors, including Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin and Robert Shaw, the musician she credits with giving her the early and important opportunities that started her career.

A native of Mansfield, Ohio, she has received honorary doctorates from Westminster College (1997) and Indiana University (1998). In 1999, she received the Governor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Entertainment from Ohio Governor Bob Taft.

In 2001, she was named the Jacobs School's executive adviser for outreach and, in 2006, joined its full-time faculty.