The singer and composer Iaki Vallejo, was born and raised in Colombia and currently based in Melbourne. Her powerful, intense and warm voice stands out in her interpretative capacity and versatility. Iaki incorporates Afro-Colombian music, jazz, soul, salsa, afro-beat, funk, neo-soul and reggae into her compositions.
Iaki started participating in the festivals of Tuluá, her hometown in Colombia, at 12 years old. In1992 she won the Best Song and Performance Award at the Colombian Festival del Pasillo in Aguadas, Caldas, with a song by composer and tiplista Gustavo Adolfo Rengifo, former director of the Mono Nuñez Festival. She studied singing at the Popular Institute of Culture of Cali and at the Universidad del Valle. Later, in Australia she studied improvisation and jazz singing with the Australian pianist, singer and teacher, Sharmi Russel, and with the Italian master Cosimo Ciccone.
Iaki has travelled the world to expand her artistic vision and find new inspirations. Her international career has been developed in Europe and Australia. In 2000 he moved to Italy to refine her style and it was in Rome, with the Italian pianist Arturo Valiante, who explored jazz and sang with different formations of that genre. In Italy she also developed her innate ability as a painter, studying oil painting and watercolour with private masters, and creating her own works and private art collection. In 2008 she moved to Australia to form her own band for the first time.
Her career as a composer had a defining moment in 2013, when she met the famous Australian composer and drummer David Jones who after listening to her compositions, was convinced of her great potential and proposed the co-production of a couple of songs on her first solo album. Aronde was the first song, a traditional Bullerengue of the Colombian folklore from which she made her own version, while the second was Margarita, a theme that launched and fully confirmed the talent of Iaki as a composer and allowed her to deploy skilfully in improvisation. “We set out to record and when David Jones began to play marvellously the drums and the Kalimba, an African instrument similar to the marimbula, the magic came: the verses and the melody of Margarita began to flow, it was a perfect harmony”.
“Margarita- Absolutely as beautiful as music can get.”
Jer@SBS Sleepingbagstudios, Canada.
Iaki launched her first self titled album on 2016 and now 3 years later, her EP “Yo Soy” ( I am ) composed of 7 original songs, released and launched at the iconic Jazz venue “The Birds Basement on July 21st. Iaki has been awarded with important recognitions like the Award to the Best Voice of Melbourne in 2009 and ‘The Peace award in 2016, given by the ‘International Federation of the Peace of Melbourne’. Some of her most important concerts include:
-Melbourne International Peace Concert, 2016, Night Cat – Melbourne 2017, The B.East, Melbourne 2017- Kew Court House Concert, 2016 Melbourne – Viva Festival, Federation Square 2017 – White Night Melbourne 2017- White Night Ballarat 2018 – Ventana Street Festival 2018- Frankston Library Sundays Concerts 2018 – Concert at Teatro Salamandra, Cali, Colombia 2018- Moomba Festival, Melbourne 2019 – Victoria Multicultural Festival, Federation Square, Melbourne 2019- Paris Cat Jazz Club 2019- Darebin Arts Centre 2019- Bird’s Basement EP Launch 2019.