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Kat Parra: Birds in Flight

Seven years ago, Kat Parra’s “Birds in Flight,” an eyes-wide-open treatise on post-breakup resilience and recovery, earned top prize in the Latin-Jazz category at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Now, wrapped in an appropriately buoyant salsa arrangement courtesy of trombonist Wayne Wallace, it is the centerpiece of the golden-voiced Californian’s inaugural disc. The track’s tender self-confidence speaks volumes about Parra, who survived a divorce at age 23 and, while raising two small sons, made the fortuitous decision to toss aside a year’s training in classical flute at UCLA and instead study what she naively considered the “easy instrument” of voice.

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