Spanish Soprano Montserrat Performing in Miami Beach Wednesday

She doesn't sound very concerned with how many bodies will - or won't be - occupying seats inside the Byron Carlyle in Miami Beach on Wednesday night.

"That's out of my control," says Spanish soprano singer Montserrat. "As long as the people there accept my work and I'm able to express myself through song I'll walk away satisfied."

Which is what Montserrat says she felt five years ago when she launched her career with Anoranza, a collection of Cuban and Mexican boleros. "It was the best gift I could ever give my mother."

Recorded in Havana, Cuba and San Paolo, Brazil, Montserrat's silky voice is accompanied by the performances of Cuban artists Chucho Valdes and Pablo Milanes, among others.

Although she enjoyed singing as a child, and took an array of voice lessons, the urge to sing professionally was never stronger than after the passing of her mother in 2003.

"Juana Maria was always singing around the house," she says, while recalling her experience as a child of listening to her mother singing boleros in the kitchen.

A self-admitted citizen of the world she jumped at the chance of going to Cuba - to work with Valdes and Milanes - after meeting famed composer Roberto Menescal during a concert in Brazil.

"I'm all for artistic expression and that's why I went (to Cuba)," says Montserrat. "It makes no sense to mix the two (arts and politics)."

"I understand the pain of the Cuban people here and all over the world," she says. "But the country has an incredible artistic value that shouldn't be ignored."

Montserrat's tender chops makes Boleros com Bossa, her most recent production, which includes classics like Besame Mucho and Contigo Aprendi, set to bossa nova beats an easy listen.

"Expressing myself through music is what makes me happy right now," she says. "If I see people enjoying themselves, I'll feel as if I've done my job."

Montserrat performs Wednesday, July 25 at Byron Carlyle Theater, 500 71st Street, in Miami Beach.

- Fernando Ruano Jr.

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