In the ever-evolving world of music, Charmaine Clamor has pioneered a style all her own called ôjazzipino.ö A blend of American jazz with the traditional, linguistic and indigenous aspects of Filipino culture, the term is derived from her love of jazz and the Philippines. Since her debut album, ôSearching for the Soul,ö was released four years ago, Charmaine has received air play in radio stations throughout the U.S. and has topped the jazz charts. Her sophomore album, ôFlippinÆ Outö claimed the top five spots on the JazzWeekÆs World and Traditional Jazz charts. CharmaineÆs current album, ôMy Harana: A Simple Filipino Serenade,ö debuted at number seven on JazzWeekÆs World Music Top Ten in 2008.
Growing up near Subic Naval Base in Zambales, Philippines, jazz was a constant in CharmaineÆs life. ôEveryday I woke up, there was always music coming from the living room,ö she says in an interview earlier this year with Filipinas Magazine. Additionally exposed to kundiman, opera and classical music, she often sang along with her mother and was already a consummate performer at the tender age of three, serenading bus passengers while the family was on its way from Subic to Manila and vice versa. When Charmaine was 16, the Clamors immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Southern California. She took a job as a karaoke hostess while in college and was ôdiscoveredö by Bobbie Garcia, the founder of Crescendo, a Pinoy jazz ensemble, who recruited her to sing with the group. Together, they performed all over Southern California and even came out with an album in 2004. In 2005, Charmaine signed with Freeham Records, an indie record company that concentrates on the jazz and blues repertoire. She introduced her ôjazzipinoö sound two years later in ôFlippinÆ Out;ö it not only scored her a mainstream hit, but also gave her international recognition.
Since then Charmaine has graced a myriad of magazine covers and has appeared on a variety of TV shows in the Philippines. She has performed at the famed Catalina Bar and Grill Jazz Club in Hollywood, California, and headlined at YoshiÆs in San Francisco. Charmaine is also the co-founder of JazzPhil-USA, which aims to promote Filipino jazz artists in the U.S. She recently signed a multi-record deal with Viva Records (sheÆs the labelÆs first jazz artist) and is currently working on her fourth album, which is slated to be out in 2010.
For her accomplishments, Charmaine has garnered an array of accolades including the Award of Merit, Philippine Pride Best Jazz Singer by the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences, the Asian Heritage Society Award in Performing Arts, a Certificate of Recognition in Performing Arts from the State of California and Los Angeles as well as being among the 100 Most Influential Filipino Women in the U.S. by the Filipina WomenÆs Network.
by The Editors, for FILIPINASMagazine, OCTOBER 05, 2009
POSTED ON OCTOBER 05, 2009