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Sad Songs from a Happy Heart

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For Immediate Release

It’s a gathering! A party! A show!  Help me celebrate the launch of my album with Humberto M. Flores, Sad Songs from a Happy Heart, at the fabulous 3rd floor cabaret of Stage 48. Space courtesy of Mr. Pedro Zamora.

Date: April 26, 2017

6:30 -7:45 Cocktail Reception with Mezcal Tasting or Siembra Azul Margarita

Passed appetizers

8:00 Performance with Humberto M. Flores and a live band

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For Information:

Contact Zarela at zarela@zarela.com

212-644-1646 or mobile 718-724-4913


We Mexicans can’t be separated from our music. I grew up surrounded by it, in a ranch household where entertainment meant cooking for friends and singing with them. My mother’s favorite songs were always part of the air I breathed. (You will hear her play the piano in  the song Marchita el Alma) I would ride for hours through the hills and canyons of the ranch on my horse Desprecio, singing to myself from the fullness of my heart. Ever since, Mexican tunes have come to my lips spontaneously through every stage of a busy life, in every mood from gladness to sorrow. It is quintessentially Mexican to sing sad songs even when we are happy. They only add to our joy.

But in the last few years singing has given me another kind of happiness. After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and going to a therapist to counteract the condition’s effects on speech, I had the bright idea of concentrating on singing instead of orthodox speech exercises. I returned to the beloved Mexican songs that I’d never really forgotten. I heard more beauty in them than ever — so much so that I decided to start working with classical guitarist and musical director, Humberto Flores to develop my singing technique.   What a difference it has made! My friend Oliver Sacks, a lifelong music-lover, told me that I was a spectacular example of how creative pursuits like music, song, and dance can counter Parkinsonism. Almost two years ago, a Mexican-based movie producer who heard me sing at a party asked me to perform two songs in his movie Moronga that is now  in post production.That experience was a trigger, finally inspiring me to revisit and record twelve Mexican songs that have long been written in my heart. It is a musical and emotional homecoming.

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Born in the Sonoran border town of Agua Prieta, Zarela Martinez is a renowned cultural interpreter between Mexico and the United States through the medium of food. She is one of America’s top culinary professionals and a 2013 inductee into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. In 2013, Harvard’s Radcliffe University acquired her personal and professional papers for the Schlesinger Library. Her achievements as a chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, food television host, and product developer and merchandiser place her as a pioneering woman in the world of the multiplatform food personality.

Zarela likes to reinvent herself  and being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2004, gave her the opportunity to explore other artistic expressions. Her latest incarnation is as a performer.  She had a small singing role in a black comedy called Moronga  that is now in post production and has been working on the album Sad Songs from a Happy Heart which will be released on April 27th at the spectacular cabaret on the 3rd level of the multifunction Stage 48 . Space courtesy of Mr. Pedro Zamora.


humberto and I insertPhoto: Rina Oh



Humberto Flores is the winner of the “Euro Latin Award 2008” presented by The International Solidarity Foundation and the Comune di Milano, in Italy, for his musical contributions and admirable representation of Mexico and Latin-American culture during his stay in Europe. He is considered one of the most accomplished Mexican musicians of his generation due to his extensive musical exposure and training both in Mexico and abroad, having performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Rudolphinum in the Czech Republic, The Sala Verdi in Milan, The Hermitage Museum and The Peterhof Palace of Russia, The Apollo Theater, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Metropolitan Museum, The Ford Theater and The Blue Note Jazz Festival. His early development in Mexican and Latin-American traditional and popular music, and his extensive studies in classical guitar, distinguishes him as a premiere guitarist on the international stage. Humberto Flores holds a Master degree in classical guitar from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Milan, Italy and is currently the Artistic Director of the Villalobos Brothers.

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