Lorraine Castellanos

Lorraine Castellanos: Guitar (acoustic), Vocals | Gilbert Castellanos : Trumpet

Genre: Blues & Soul, Jazz, Latin | Tejano

RIYL: Billie Holiday, Berta Rojas, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington

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Influences: Billie Holiday, Fred Benedetti, Etta James, John Williams, Andres Segovia, Berta Rojas, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington


Singer/guitarist Lorraine Castellanos is equally at home with blues, jazz, soul, R&B, or Latin-influenced music. Having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music and a Music Teaching Credential from San Diego State University, Castellanos has also studied Classical Guitar Performance under the tutelage of Fred Benedetti.

With eclectic taste in, and extensive knowledge of, multiple genres of music, Ms. Castellanos derives pure pleasure when interpreting, on guitar, the works of great Latin American and Western European composers.

Castellanos has also been exploring the romantic music of Latin America in a project with her husband, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, and percussionist Carlos Vasquez. Their ensemble revives romantic boleros from South and Central America, and translates the repertoire with arrangements by Kamau Kenyatta, the group’s pianist.

Additionally, Lorraine Castellanos frequently works with bassist Evona Wacinski and tap-dancer/percussionist Claudia Gomez Vorce, in the group Besos de Coco. The group covers Latin American classics and lesser-known American standards, as well as performing original compositions.

In 2016, she debuted a new sextet featuring Robert Dove on saxophone, Ed Kornhauser on piano, Dean Hulett on bass, Ryan Shaw on drums, and at various times either husband Gilbert Castellanos or Curtis Taylor on trumpet. “I still feel like I’m juggling when I sing and play the guitar at the same time. It feels good to just be singing, because I feel that I’m better at it and I’ve spent more time at it. With the guitar, you always have to sit down and find a place to practice — with your voice you can just practice all the time, which I do. I’m singing in the grocery store — I don’t care. But I also find joy playing classical guitar in the living room.”

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