Desert Island Jazz
Claudia Acuña (2011)

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Born in Santiago, Chile, vocalist Claudia Acuña grew up in Concepción. But culturally rich though Santiago might be, and prevalent though music in South American homes might be—a guitar was always around the house, and everybody plays and sings—there is no guarantee of parental support for a child wishing to make a career in music: music was only a hobby, not a career.

But teachers and friends who heard Claudia singing with school choirs and folk groups encouraged her. She turned to jazz and American popular after hearing Frank Sinatra, Errol Garner and Sarah Vaughan.

At about age 20, Claudia moved back to the capital and got work recording jingles and voices for cartoons. Five years later she decided to move to New York City, where initially she took some odd jobs and began just showing up wherever she could at clubs, jam sessions and venues, just to sing.

Based at Smalls in Greenwich Village, she met many now well known musicians, including keyboardist Jason Lindner, who became her music director. She and bassist Avishai Cohen sent a demo to Verve records, and that got her a contract for her first recording. Four very successful recordings later, she's made that singing dream a reality.

In 2009, Claudia was named co-curator of a Chilean music festival, and she is the spokesperson for World Vision Chile, an International relief organization that specializes in child-focused development programs.

The late Abbey Lincoln said of Claudia "She sings in the tradition of the great ones. Her sound is her own."
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Abbey Lincoln A Turtle's Dream Throw It Away Verve
# 2 The Beatles The Beatles I Will Capitol
# 3 Keith Jarrett My Song My Song ECM
# 4 The Isley Brothers Harvest for the World Harvest for the World Sony
# 5 Michael Jackson Off the Wall Don't Stop Till You Get Enough Sony
# 6 Paul Simon So Beautiful or So What Dazzling Blue Hear Music
# 7 Radio Tarifa Ruma Argelina Ruma Argelina Atlantic
# 8 Rubén Blades Caminando Caminando Discos CBS
# 9 Stevie Wonder Journey through the Secret Life of Plants Power Flower Motown
# 10 Claudia Acuña En Esto Momento Tulum Marsalis Music
Book The comic book "Mafalda", and a selection of poems by Pablo Neruda
Luxury Item A Swiss Army knife
Castaways by date
Paul Anastasio
25 Sep
Macy Blackman
19 Jun
George Cole
21 Aug
Alex Condé
06 Mar
Kit Eakle
04 Sep
Phillip Greenlief
13 Feb
Noah Griffin
06 Nov
Tammy Hall
27 Feb
Alan Hall
22 May
Christian Howes
27 Mar
Kymberly Jackson
03 Apr
Julie Kelly
20 Feb
Maya Kronfeld and Valerie Troutt
29 May
Jennifer Lee
17 Apr
Steven Lugerner
24 Jul
Steve McQuarry
05 Jun
Jacqui Naylor
13 Nov
Dave Newhouse
14 Aug
Zack Rogow
24 Apr
Holli Ross
17 Jul
Ellen Seeling
02 Oct
Richard Seidel
09 Oct
Edward Simon
31 Jul
Tessa Souter
23 Oct
Steve Turré
07 Aug
Donna Viscuso
20 Nov
Patrick Wolff
16 Jan