Sandra Maia Kuze
Born in Toronto, Maia grew up in the richly cultural and artsy “Annex” neighbourhood. Raised in an artistic and musical family, Maia began her career studying piano at the Royal Conservatory. True to her course, she graduated from the Jazz Vocal program at Humber College and then studied with internatinally acclaimed soprano Joice Britton and vocal coach Elaine Overhold (famous for coaching Cahterine Zeta-Jones, Rennee Zellweger and Richard Gere for the film “Chicago”). By the time her debut CD “Dreamlight” became popular in Europe in late 1999, Maia had already established herself with numerous jazz and dance-pop singles hitting the top ten radio charts. In 2002, the release of her 2nd CD “Under the Skin” marked Maia’s evelution from performer to singer/songwriter.
Maia’s next recording project began when she met singer/producer Virgil Scott. Together they pooled some of Canada’s greatest players to bring “The City” to life: Michael Fonfara (Foreigner, Downchild), Charlie Cooley (Amanda Marshall, Prairie Oyster), Garth Vogan (Downchild), Jake Langley (Joey DeFranceso Trio), Simon Wallis (Lighthouse).
Coming off a successful performance in the hit musical “Eslingena” (11 sold-out shows in the 800 seat National Theatre in Riga, the capital city of Latvia), Maia first released “The City” in Europe and later in Canada in 2005, which was well received in both. While working on her various recording projects, she has recently teamed up with popular Toronto jazz pianist Rick Maltese and their duo is currently performing in various small venues and for corporate private events in the greater Toronto area. Maia also continues to be a popular performer in the Latvian community in Toronto and the larger Latvian communities in the United States, where she performs and tours with her accompanist Helene Gintere.