MANILA — “That’s Mishka Adams,” whispered one fan to her friend.
If one’s last memory was of this young jazz musician when she released her debut album, God Bless the Child back in 2005 when she was but 21 years of age – short-haired and elfin like and even then, a music prodigy – she now looks like someone who worships the sun and probably surfs. Her tanned skin and long sandy brown hair could possibly give that impression.
Mishka Adams, a year shy of her 40th birthday, may sport a well-toned physique, but she remains every bit a singer.
“Not exactly jazz like it was years ago,” she clarified before her set at Tago Jazz Café, several years after her last performance there. “I have been doing a lot of South American music; rhythms from Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. It’s jazz in some ways; the harmonics are similar.”
The influence of her Argentinean husband, Beto Caletti is undeniable.
Adams met Caletti who would later be her husband through a mutual friend.
“Before I met Beto, I listened to his music for about a year and I thought, ‘I feel like I am in love with this person even if I haven’t met him,’” she recounted in a nutshell. “We met, had some gigs, now we have a family.”
Their young daughter Mayumi was in the house at Tago Jazz Café though fast asleep allowing the couple to perform without having to rush down the stage to coo and ease the toddler.
The Calettis now have three albums together En Vivo, Mabuhay, and Puentes Invisibles — the latter they were promoting in this recent visit to Manila.
Oh, the Calettis now call Buenos Aires home.
“We moved there right before the pandemic and it is such a beautiful city, rich with culture.”
It is there (and well, all over the world) where she and her husband have made a living performing their music.
Even though the set was mostly performed in Spanish and Portuguese, it was a highly appreciative crowd that applauded after each song that also included some standards and an old song by American singer-songwriter Michael McDonald.
“At first, South Americans used to laugh at Mishka’s Spanish, but now, she speaks it probably better than us,” laughed Beto.
On stage, it is apparent that the two are madly in love with each other. They looked deep into each other’s eyes, they held hands after a song, and even occasionally shared a kiss. Hence, a heartfelt performance.
“She is amazing,” Beto described Mishka. “Such a talented, caring, warm, and beautiful woman.”
Both have had a profound effect on each other’s lives.
“Those early albums I recorded seem such a long time ago,” reflected Adams. “So much has changed. But what is life without change?”
And for those who followed her after she stunned everyone with her talent and a debut album that won a slew of awards, Mishka Adams has become a true child of the world. An ambassador of music that hits the heart and stirs the soul.
“After the horrible lockdowns due to the pandemic, it feels great to go out and perform once more, and if it helps people, entertains them, or even takes their mind off their problems even if only for a while, then that’s great. That is the power of music.
And just like that, the next day they were off; back to Argentina, and the next performance.