Primary Instrument: Vocal
Anna Maria Flechero descends from African-American and Filipino heritage, she was born in San Francisco and resides in the area still to this day. Even though she was raised by her grandmother, “Big Mama,” Anna Maria was heavily influenced musically by her mother, Leola; a pianist and choir leader for several local churches. Learning to play the piano by ear at any early age, she began composing songs and writing lyrics influenced in part by the Motown sounds of Marvin Gaye as well as the Latin rhythms of the Mission District where she lived.
Along with others, it was a natural progression that led Anna Maria to form a 13-piece Latin jazz band that performed at concerts on the same bill as such heavyweights as Santana, Pete Escovedo, Malo, and Graham Central Station. After many successful performances, Anna Maria ventured out as a solo artist and ventually was described as a modern day blues singer” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Continuing her musical journey, Anna Maria performed as a solo artist in Japan. Accompanying herself on the acoustic piano, she composed and performed her own originals and stylized many well-known standards. While in Japan, Anna Maria met the legendary pianist Cedar Walton and had the great opportunity to perform with his trio, which included renowned drummer, Billy Higgins.
Upon returning to the United States, Anna Maria was confronted with a family crisis and over the ensuing years she raised several children and adopted her great-nephews and niece. Then, in 2002, Anna Maria turned the spotlight on herself, working full-time during the day and recording at night.
In October 2004 she released her debut CD, Journey Into the Fourteenth Hour. Sheldon Nunn of Jazzreview describes this release the best, “This CD is an articulate and serious expression of vocal jazz at its finest...In the traditional sense of what vocal jazz should be about, Ms. Flechero takes listeners on a magic carpet ride towards musical genius...With a voice that has semblances of Sarah Vaughn.” In 2007, Anna Maria was honored by receiving the “2007 Jazz Group of the Year” award from the Bay Area Blues Society.
New CD Information:
This CD features 10 well-known pop and jazz standards and one original by Anna Maria. Even though this CD touches on the well-known, Anna Maria masterfully articulates each storyline with unique delivery and original arrangements, giving these well-placed standards a breath of new life, coupled with her original track “Pretty Soon.” Within the Fourteenth Hour is a stunning voyage into the creative and soulful mind of Anna Maria. Coming full circle in her musical journey, Anna Maria collaborates once again with luminary and pianist Cedar Walton. Walton guest appears on two tracks, again connecting the two in a mutually respectful reunion. The result is true magic; the two watermark their own imprint all over the tracks creating a partnership of distinctive and classic performances.
Anna Maria’s soulful and matchless voice creates a truly phenomenal adventure through textures, colors and rhythms that leave you excited to hear cut after cut. Anna Maria in her own words describes the core emotion behind this release. “I’ve never lost my dream to sing and create music. Music is my soul; it runs through me all the time,” simply proving the exact reason why you should hurry and get your copy Within the Fourteenth Hour.
Awards:2007 Best Jazz Album Award - Bay Area Blues Society, March 10, 2007 2004 Honorable Mention Certificate from BillBoard World Songwriting Contest for "I Believe." 2002 Honorable Mention Certificate from Billboard World Songwriting Contest for "E-Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y" (R&B genre")
Within the Fourteenth Hour
Misty; What a Difference a Day Makes; The Look of Love; God Bless the Child; Autumn Leaves; Summertime; I Wishe You Love; Feel Like Making Love; My Funny Valentine; And I Love Her; Pretty Soon.
Personnel: Anna Maria Flechero: vocals, Cedar Walton Trio; Cedar Walton: piano; David Williams: Bass; Lewis Nash: Drums Jeffrey Chin: piano, fender rhodes, drum programming, synth strings and mini-moog, Ron Smith, Tim Landis: guitar, Nelson Braxton, Ron Belcher: bass, Billy Johnson, Rob Rhodes, Marc Lee: drums, Melecio Magdaluyo: sax, Karl Perazzo: percussion.
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