This Saturday, Christina Cultural Arts Center in downtown Wilmington opens their doors for a showcase featuring 17 year old jazz songbird, Maya Belardo. Maya, who first fell in love with the art form at the age of 10, is ecstatic for her first headliner.
She recalls her first encounter, “I remember hearing ‘Nature Boy’ by Nat King Cole and thinking, whoa!” The song remains her favorite of all time along with beloved artists, Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Buble. As a former student of Kuumba Academy Charter School, Maya also studied at Christina Cultural Arts Center which led to her attending Cab Calloway School of the Arts. During her time at Cab Calloway, she Jazz Choir, Jazz Chorus
Maya refers to the event as a super family friendly experience and an opportunity to expose children and families to jazz music in a new way. The evening also features special guest and singer from Wilmington, NicoleLyn and will be hosted by Wilmington artist and griot, Kim Graham. When asked about the anticipation she responded, “I am excited and very nervous, but more excited about others discovering jazz and beginning to see who I truly am as an artist.”
Completing the final weeks of her senior year at Cab Calloway, the ‘Princess of Jazz‘s next move is to pursue her BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School in New York. “I’m looking forward to deepening my technical understanding and studying the history of jazz.”
“This is my favorite quote and it resonated the first time I heard it.” Hesitantly so, Maya notes herself as a self-proclaimed perfectionist and even though the flow and nature of jazz is imperfection, she comes quite close.
The showcase will be held Saturday April 16th at 8:00 PM at Christina Cultural Arts Center located in downtown Wilmington at 705 N. Market Street. You can purchase tickets to the event at the door or in advance by contacting 302.438.5637 or firstname.lastname@example.org.