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Brooklyn Queen

Maya Azucena works hard for the shine

Over the past two years the Funk Jazz Lounge has hosted numerous soul singers of varying quality, from relative unknowns to burgeoning stars like Dwele. But this week's showcase should be a keeper: Maya Azucena is known for putting on exciting, dynamic performances, thanks to a promising self-released CD, Maya Who?!, www.mayaazucena.com and numerous cross-country tours that have earned her fans from San Francisco to Atlanta.

A true R&B hustler, the New York-based singer (and daughter of New Times Broward-Palm Beach managing editor Ed Newton) has worked hard for spots in everything from an upcoming Vivica A. Fox movie, Motive (which will feature her rousing, funky drummer-fueled track, "Get Ya Self Up"), to opening slots for the Isley Brothers and Gladys Knight, earning glowing reviews from national publications like the New York Timesalong the way. But the best way to experience her is live and in the flesh, where she unleashes an energy that can't be approximated through recordings.

Heather Swanson

 
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