Pinay promotes 'jazzipino' in America

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Apr 18 2012 02:25 PM | Updated as of Apr 18 2012 11:43 PM

Charmaine Clamor performs at the Philippine International Jazz Festival at the Rockwell Tent in February. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra

MANILA, Philippines -- She has been hailed by critics as a gifted vocalist and one of the most original jazz singers of the decade.

Charmaine Clamor is known as the Queen of Jazzipino, a new genre of music that combines Filipino folk songs and American jazz and blues.

Charmaine, who hails from Subic, Zambales, began her singing career at age 3. Her love for jazz was greatly influenced by her mother, who sang kundiman.

"Our kundiman, our Filipino torch songs, parallels the Great American Songbook because they both have timeless lyrics and soaring, beautiful melodies," she said.

Now based in Hollywood, California, Charmaine is a physical therapist by trade. But she has clearly mastered music, with three consecutive albums that made it to the Jazzweek's World Music Top 20. In a rare achievement, her songs also made it to the top five on both the World and Traditional Jazz Charts.

She records in North America under Freeham Records.

Through her love for music, Charmaine also promotes love for mother earth. Her songs raise awareness on conserving water. She volunteers for environmental organizations that promote green living.

Charmaine also comes to the aid of her kababayans who have been devastated by natural calamities in the Philippines, by performing in fundraising events. -- With a report from Don Tagala