Folklore and futurism, graceful elegance and raw passion, virtuosic precision and spontaneous exploration – all merge together in the music of two-time Grammy nominated vocalist, songwriter and producer Sofia Rei. Redefining authenticity from an intensely personal perspective, she’s carried diverse Latin American traditions from her native Buenos Aires to the multi-cultural mecca of New York City, where she’s fused those sounds with jazz, experimental music, pop, and electronic music influences.
Sofia started her career as a member of the Teatro Colón (Argentina’s Opera house) Children’s Choir. She studied classical music at the National Conservatory in Buenos Aires and worked in the avant-garde vocal scene, often premiering works by young adventurous Argentine composers. She received a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies and Improvisation from the New England Conservatory (Boston, MA). With a voice that’s been hailed for its captivating beauty and versatility by such prestigious publications as the New York Times, NPR and DownBeat Magazine, Rei’s talents fit comfortably into any number of genres. She has been named “an ambassador of Latin America’s experimental voice in the contemporary international circuit”. Her frequent collaborations with John Zorn and the downtown music scene have led to five releases on Tzadik records and six independent albums under her name, which received international acclaim including 6 Independent Music Awards.
Her music has taken her all around the world to venues and festivals including Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Weiner Konzerhaus, Montreal Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz, San Sebastian Jazz Festival and Teatro de la Ciudad de México. Rei has been featured on CNN, NPR Tiny Desk, NY1 and Univision and in print in The New York Times, Billboard, Boston Globe, Time Out, Songlines Magazine, Rolling Stone, Downbeat, Village Voice and People Magazine, and has a dedicated chapter in Chris Becker’s book Freedom of Expression: Interviews with Women in Jazz.
As a creator, Sofía is a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts NYC Women’s Fund 2023 the New Music USA 2021 Grant, the USArtists Grant from Mid-Atlantic Foundation for the Arts 2022, and the 2019 Café Royal Cultural Foundation Music Production Grant.
Rei has been an advocate of South American culture through her work. She is the co- founder of El Colectivo Sur and the Ori-Gen collective, both arts organizations that promote public awareness of South American arts embracing contemporary and experimental works, bringing together diverse communities. In 2019, she was presented the Spirit of Folk Award by the International Folk Alliance (Montreal), for her active involvement in the preservation, presentation, and promotion of folk music, community building, and demonstrated leadership.
As an educator, Rei has over 20 years of experience and has conducted workshops and delivered lectures across the United States and around the globe. Her expertise has earned her positions on the faculties of esteemed music programs in the US, such as Berklee College of Music (in both the Voice and Songwriting departments), the New England Conservatory, and the New School College of Performing Arts. She is currently a Professor at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute, where she teaches in the areas of Performance and Musicianship, while also serving as the Director of Global Studies.