nicole torres
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nicole torres


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"Pet Project Comes to D Note"

“Fans who missed Ani Difranco’s show last weekend in Lyons can make up for it with a show from Nicole Torres, Denver’s answer to Ani...Torres and her trio, My Pet Alex, sound a lot like DiFranco’s jazzy “Evolve”-era folk music. They share both slow funk rhyghms and spoken-word vocal stylings…She also has a deep alto voice with shades of Tracy Chapman, as well as faint rhythmic influences from her parents’ native Cuba.”
-Steven Graham

- The Wheat Ridge Transcript

"Former Keokuk Resident Part of Trio"

“Each of the trio members is high energy and multi-talented. Sparrow’s [bass] guitar and Brooklyn-born John Minardi’s drum frame the talents of featured singer/songwriter Nicole Torres, 23. She plays acoustic guitar with classical style and writes heartfelt music with folk and Latin influences to accompany her melodic singing with sharp spoken word poetry. She joins the class of Ani Difranco, Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple…”

- The Daily Gate

"Local Folkus: Nicole Torres"

"If you like to keep track of what's hot and happening on the local music scene, Nicole Torres is one musician you'll want to keep your eyes-and ears- on. Whether solo or with her band, The Affiliates, Torres kicks out the sounds of urban life that her fans love."

-matt kailey - Out Front Colorado

"Locals only: Album Reviews"

The music on Out of Harm's Way isn't just all over the map — the CD sports enough twists and turns for an entire atlas…singer-songwriter Nicole Torres's feverish eclecticism … leaves a mark, "Kind of Kind" rocks convincingly, and "Impotent Dragon" finds Torres delivering agitated poetry with all the attitude of a pissed-off rapper… it's also kind of endearing, in a totally eccentric way.

Even when Torres doesn't seem to know where she's going she finds her Way.

-Michael Roberts
The Westword
- The Westword

"Nicole Torres--A Musical Muse"

She dances across the stage as the music starts in a dynamic yet unassuming manner. Nicole Torres is
singing her introspective, self-aware and original composition titled Impulsive…she seems to grow to fill the stage she’s on, possessing a stage presence well beyond her years. She demonstrates a vocal range and musical savvy most American Idol contestants would die for – a woman born for the stage... This is sophisticated music, classically structured and yet contain-
ing various elements, rhythms and genres. Artistically, she
moves through the wide plains separating Massachussetts’
Paula Cole from Mexico City’s Magos Herrera, incorporating jazz, pop, alternative and spoken word styles likely to hijack the attention of anyone within earshot... She plays a flat-top acoustic guitar with an electric
pick-up, using the instrument’s full range of simple rhythms played to clever effect, occasionally throwing in
short leads. She uses her voice similarly in both high and low
range plus rapid fire spoken word torrents. Broad pauses sometimes punctuate her songs, allowing time for the lyrics to sink in.

-Don Bain
La Voz

- La Voz

"This Week"

She’s one of the top young female artists around. And a wonderful down to earth person as I can attest to.

Her style as a songstress has been compared to Ani Difranco and Fiona Apple, but with a mix of spoken word and light rap. Her latest album from 2007 is titled “Out of Harm’s Way.” I personally love her juxtaposition of steady toe tapping grooves with sudden bursts of soulful rock as demonstrated in the song “Impulsive.” Mellow, ambient chill music like “Synopsys” rounds out a truly unique style.

-James Van Dellen
Future Gringo

- Future Gringo

"Who's Making Noise"

Far from the ear-candy shop of bubblegum Pop and mainstream monotony, a young doe-eyed songstress shares her own brand of bold, passionate, and poetic music with Denver's music loving scene. Her expressive style of writing is honest and sophisticated. Her energetic performances are engaging. Nicole Torres and the Affiliates create acoustic-driven, urban Jazz/Rock compositions that are best experienced live. For someone who started her musical journey only seven years ago, Torres shows great promise. Her accomplishments as a musician are impressive: since 2001, Torres has recorded six CDs and is soon to release another. She's played some of the most notable clubs and venues in the Denver area, and has established herself in popular stopovers from Seattle to Minneapolis. Like all great artists, despite their level of success and popularity, Nicole Torres and the Affiliates are true to their art. That art is often dependant on keen observational instincts and the willingness to bear your soul. Torres has both. Her love for Hip Hop and Electronica, as well as bands like Radiohead, is more an inspired element than an influence when it comes to creating her unique style. All of this became obvious, after listening to her song "Jumbled Numbers," a track she pointed out as her favorite composition. Torres expressed great relief and satisfaction when talking about her band she affectionately calls The Affiliates. For drummer John Minardi and bassist Ben Sparrow, the feeling is mutual. Minardi, the mature family man whose years as a musician began in Brooklyn, New York before Torres was a twinkle in her mama's eye, confidently considers Torres a genius. "I've never been more proud to be part of a band," said Minardi, "Her songs are smart, unique, and fun to play." Perhaps that explains why "Mango & Nicotine" is his favorite of all her songs. For Sparrow, playing "Kind Of Kind" better defines his presence in what he considers to be the best band he's ever been in. Originally from Iowa, Sparrow is pleased to be surrounded by the great pool of talent that makes up Denver's rich music scene. Influenced by the likes of Jaco Pastorius, Flea, Les Claypool, and Victor Wooten, Sparrow's contribution is sure to shine. "I wouldn't change a thing," Torres told me, when describing her fellow players. Her Affiliates agree. Torres seems more interested in filling hearts through their ears than filling stadiums through the years. Given the growing fan base she's been accumulating, one may indeed lead to the other.

- Colorado Music Buzz

"Headlining The Show"

"Contributing to Flolk Fusion's growing fame is singer-songwriter Nicole Torres, 24. Nicole plays acoustic guitar with classical style and writes music with Folk and Latin influences. Her lyrics compete with the poetic grace of Bob Dylan..." Nicole is backed by a drummer whose music experience exceeds her entire life span. John Minardi, 51, hails fro Brooklyn where he played with numerous groups, one of which opened for The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for a time. He also plays guitar and piano, and forged the recording studio which produces the trios CD's..." - Keokuk Confluence

"'Urban folk fusion' accurate description of Torres' band"

By Jessica Martin--
... It is obvious that they are best listened to live...It needs to be seen and felt in person...In the words of fellow performer Chuck Mitchell, it is amazing to see such a new band perform that tight. Being true technical musicians, they sound as though they've played together for decades...The lyrics deserve equal acclaim...Torres has a depth to her writing that is so rare. Every Lyric Torres sings, speaks and nearly yells at you, however, still, melodically, feels so personal that you want to give her comfort like a best friend would as she confides to you on stage. She has a lot to say, and with Sparrow and Minardi adding their own important musical talents, they are spreading their truly different sound and making waves in a flood of unoriginal and over-marketed bands of today. - Daily Gate City--Keokuk, IA

"Using Her Talents For Good"


Denver songstress Nicole
Torres is a musician who
promotes piracy.
“I encourage
piracy,” she said matter-
of-factly. “In my box sets,
there is a blank disk so you can
make a copy for a friend. And, typi-
cally, everybody writes me to tell me
who they sent it to. I think that is so
cool. So, I’m like ‘Make as many
copies as you want, just come to my
Spoken like a true artiste. Torres
not only wants her music to be
spread like mad, but she also wants
her money plowed back into the art
community. Her seventh album,
“Out of Harm’s Way,” will be
released to the public Saturday night
at the Walnut Room in Denver, and
the proceeds for the show will be
donated to The Spot, Denver’s Urban
Youth Center.
The Spot is a creative center that
features art-based outreach to youth,
including hip hop, breakdancing
and poetry. Their Web site says it is
has employment counselors, a doc-
tor, G.E.D. tutors and other mentors
and resources devoted to helping
urban teens and young adults
achieve greater free expression,
health and self-reliance.

"I want [the proceeds] donated
to The Spot,” said Torres. “One of
their biggest featured things is that
they have really nice recording stu-
dios. If you are under 18, you can
sign up to use them.”
Torres, 24 years-old, was born
in Miami, but considers herself a
Denver native. She did spend some
time in the Twin Cities and Seattle’s
music scenes, but is back in Denver,
gracing the scene with her one-of-a-
kind urban-jazz rock stylings,
resembling an early Ani DiFranco.
But it doesn’t stop there. Her
music is permeated with hip-hop-
fused jazz and electronica, but, ulti-
mately, she’s an urban-music
pedigree. On top of it all, the girl can
write. Damn, she can write. She’s a
modern day poet-turned-musician.
The music, however, is her path to
the pen.
“It’s dance music I love.
Especially electronic music, because
it’s so clean-sounding and big-
sounding,” she said. “I love hip hop
because the lyrics are really like
slam poetry and spoken word per-
formances — so that gives me a
pretty linear sense of writing.”
Torres has been playing music
for seven years. Well, guitar, that is.
She tried her hand at violin in mid-
dle school, but once her love of
sports took over – namely soccer —
she abandoned her orchestral call-
ings. She learned guitar on her own
in high school, and coupled it with
her soft, inspiring voice. Her unique
style grabbed a lot of attention.
“A few albums ago, I had a lot of
songs that centered around lyricism
– it’s kind of like acoustic hip hop
– I was rapping over my guitar,” she
said. “I got into poetry slam and
spoken-word performance scenes.
So I had all these poets come to me
and say ‘Hey, will you make music
for my poems because you know
how to make space for words’ and
I was like ‘Yeah, for sure.’”
After flying solo for five albums,
Torres enlisted the talent of her new
“Affiliates,” John Minardi on drums
and Ben Sparrow on bass, who
joined Torres August in 2006, and
collaborated on the past two albums.
Is she happy with this decision?
“Absolutely. People have
responded exponentially better,” she
said. “You have to like singer/song-
writers to want to listen to a
singer/songwriter. And I’m like ha
ha ha. I’m like a singer/songwriter
under the ruse of like a rockin’
band, because we have such a mon-
ster groove. It’s like when you have
to give your dog a pill and you put it
inside a cube of cheese. It’s like
Torres said the live performance
aspect has substantially changed and
she is now more comfortable on
stage “just from having two other
souls to feed off of.”
“They’re really devoted, really
reliable and they are incredibly
gifted musicians. So, yeah, I’m a
lucky girl. It’s a difficult situation to
come by and I definitely have it.
When Torres isn’t managing the
band, making phone calls, writing e-
mails, booking shows, designing all
the material for promotion (includ-
ing the T-shirts) and rehearsing, she
works three days a week at her fam-
ily’s restaurant. Buenos Aires, a
quaint Argentinean pizza bistro, is
becoming a Ballpark landmark. The
family expanded the successful
restaurant into a separate Buenos
Aires Grille, which offers fine cui-
sine, just a block northwest of the
“I do all of my own design work
— that’s one of the things I’m very
proud of,” she said. “Everything you
see, I’ve designed. And I’m not much
of an artist — but graphic design is
a very different thing. So, that’s pretty
time consuming. I make all of our
merchandise. I make the T-shirts
myself. So, I try to perpetuate my
Torres said she has loved living
in Denver and has learned much
from the music scene.
“Man, the Denver scene is amaz-
ing,” she said. “I think we have really
good restaurants, I think there’s a
really cool art scene, I mean it’s def-
initely up and coming. Musically, I
think there are some of the best
musicians I’ve come across in the
whole country – I mean pound for
pound – not that I didn’t meet other
really good musicians in other
places. And they are motivated, and
they are productive. I mean everyone
has a vision here, I feel like, every-
body has a big statement.”
Torres said in five years, she
hopes to have the resources and
fame that Madonna has so she can
share it with the world.
“My world is full of beautiful and
amazing people who are doing really
good things,” she said. “I just want
them all to be on the same team
doing really good things, so we can
fix the world. It’s such a sad place
... but we can fix it. We can totally
fix it.”
She said if she had the resources
she would start arts and environ-
mental programs to help the world.
She said the youth of today look at
celebrities for their inspiration and
their influences more than political
“People look at pop icons. It’s a
pretty nonthreatening medium for
social evolution, I think,” she said.
“Any fascist regime, the first thing
they get rid of is the artist. They burn
the books and the paintings ... gov-
ernments know that artists make
change. And it’s like the last surviv-
ing form of rhetoric I think, too. So
it’s really important to me to not
only perpetuate my own project, but
ultimately have the resources to per-
petuate other people’s independent
projects, because I think independ-
ent art is one of the biggest things of
this century.”
Amen sister. Just keep singing
your tantalizing tunes and you won’t
be far from fame.
[TORRES, from page 13]

- Colorado Daily


"Live"- 2002
"Just Watch Me"- 2003
"Blood From This Turnip"- 2004
"Something Borrowed, Something Blue"- 2005
"Hit the Ground Running"- 2006
"Out of Harm's Way"-2007

* December 2002 featured on radio 1190 Denver/Boulder “testosterone detox” women’s music hour
* November 2003 featured on KFAI community radio Minneapolis/St. paul, MN “Fresh Fruit” the nation’s longest-running queer radio show
* April 2004 featured on radio 1190 Denver/Boulder “the poets’ verses” poetry hour

--Currently in rotation on the following stations:
* KUVO Denver, CO
* UNC Radio, Greeley CO
* Radio 1190 Denver/Boulder
* AM 760 Progressive Talk, Denver/Boulder
* 99.5 The Mountain, Denver CO
* KUPS Tacoma, WA *selected among student favorites
* KFAI Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
* SVA student radio in New York, NY



Her “feverish eclecticism” and “engaging performances” are “likely to hijack the attention of anyone within earshot.”
Described as “bold, passionate and poetic,” Nicole Torres is turning heads across the country both solo and with her band, The Affiliates. “This is sophisticated music, classically structured and yet containing various elements, rhythms and genres.”
Over the course of her seven independently released records she has incorporated flavors of jazz, reggae, pop, alternative and spoken word.
Acoustic guitar drives the groove-centered, genre-bending songs with “simple rhythms played to clever effect.” Electric drums and bass from John Minardi and Sparrow lay solid foundation for primal textures from flautist Chris Lawhead. Torres’ voice, “at once velvet and disarming,” demonstrates a “range and musical savvy that most American Idol contestants would die for.”
“She seems to grow to fill the stage she's on, possessing a stage presence well beyond her years.” See Nicole Torres & The Affiliates today.