2016 BMW Jazz Welt award winner Indra Rios-Moore’s Impulse! debut, “Heartland”, received rave reviews throughout Europe and was named one of the best jazz albums of the year by London’s Sunday Times and The London Telegraph. Her single “Little Black Train” was a Nr. 1 on the iTunes jazz charts in France, Germany and Denmark. Telerama of France declared that hers was the “celestial voice of jazz”. Now she returns with her latest album, Carry My Heart.
Named by her mother after the Hindu warrior deity of the sky and the rain, Indra was born to a Puerto Rican social worker, Elizabeth, and an African-American jazz bassist, Donald Moore who played with the New York Contemporary Five, Archie Shepp, Elvin Jones, Sonny Rollins, and Jackie McLean amongst others. Growing up in the Lower East Side of NYC in low-incoming housing, Indra spent her formative years in an imaginary world with her mother's extensive record collection of jazz, soul, and rock music for company.
At 13, Indra was given a scholarship to attend NYC’s Mannes College of Music where she developed her soprano voice. During the same year she became a part of a collective of musicians and singers, Village Harmony, in Northern Vermont. Her teenage years were spent in a musical parallel existence; one full of classical arias and vocalization practice and the other filled with traditional American folks tunes, African American folk songs and world music in the woods of Vermont. This love of diverse musical worlds is still present in her music. Her first professional gig as a solo singer was in April of 2005 with Nonesuch artist and fellow Village Harmony alum, Sam Amidon, and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily. Earlier that same year, while working as a waitress in a Brooklyn wine bar, she met Benjamin Traerup, a jazz saxophonist. In 2006, she married Benjamin and moved to Denmark. Benjamin and Indra formed a trio with bassist, Thomas Sejthen and titled it INDRA. The trio released two albums independently. The self-titled first album was release in 2009 and went on to win a Danish Music Award nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Their second album, In Between, won the Danish Music Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2012. Together with her trio, drummer Jay Bellerose and blues guitarist Uffe Steen, Indra worked with Grammy Award winning producer Larry Klein on her Impulse! records debut, Heartland, which was released in 2015. Her follow up on Impulse! Records, Carry My Heart, produced by Grammy Award winning producer Jay Newland, is due for release in early 2018.
With Carry My Heart, Indra and her band continue in the eclectic spirit of “Heartland” and weave a world of sound that creates a through line between songs by Steely Dan, Swedish electro-pop singer Robyn, Johnny Nash, the Isley Brothers, classical composer Claus Oberman, Duke Ellington, Curtis Mayfield, Gershwin, Bobby Caldwell as well as two original compositions, album opener “Carry My Heart” and “Give It Your Best”.
Together with her band members, Benjamin, Thomas, and now drummer Knut Finsrud, and guitarist Samuel Hallkvist, Indra has created an album of ballads that encourage us to seek connection. In her words, “This album is for the moments of rest and restoration that we all need during challenging chapters. It is for listeners to play at night, on a good stereo system, with a glass of wine after a long day of giving it their best.