Photo by Berta Tiana
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars” is a popular aspirational quote by Norman Vincent Peale that Mar Fayos’ parents repeated to her over and over again, when she was just a child living thanks to, and for music. Their unconditional support allowed her to receive early instruction first at the local Conservatoire of her town, Sabadell, in Barcelona, where she learned music theory and solfeggio while studying viola and voice.
However, far from the classical arias she was asked to practice, Mar’s eyes were far shinier while she was listening to jazz, and, as soon as she got the chance, she started to study contemporary singing with different vocal coaches in Barcelona, and attended the prestigious jazz school Taller de Músics.
The dream was to become a Berklee College of Music student someday, and despite all the odds, including insecurities, disbelief and economic limitations, she decided to audition for the school after a few months of preparation studying and working professionally on her true passion: vocal jazz.
Two years later, that dream was a reality that exceeded her expectations. Thanks to the support of the Berklee community, the AiE and her family and friends, Mar had the chance to go deeper into the study of composing, conducting and singing, and was introduced to the fascinating world of vocal production and arrangement.
Jeff Ramsey, Donna McElroy, Gabrielle Goodman, Ed Tomassi, Oscar Stagnaro and Eric Stern were some of the Berklee instructors who gave her incredible useful feedback and pieces of advice. In addition, she had the chance to sing with huge international artists such as Brazilian composer Toninho Horta and Mexican composer, pianist and singer Armando Manzanero in different projects of the college.
Mar also participated in big shows such as the Gospel & Roots Choir’s performance at Newport Folk Festival, the Great American Songbook: The Music of Paul Simons’ performance, and recently in two editions of the Latin America VIVE Festival and the Singers Night, all of them at Berklee.
Her entrepreneurial spirit also led her to record two Berklee videos of original songs, called "No Tenim Por" written together with Pablo Mirete, and "A Los Pies de Nueva York," and to produce two editions of a successful new Latin show called Ídolos Latinos with the support of the Latin Music Studies Department, among other original musical shows.
During one of her vacation periods, she co-wrote an arrangement for the Catalan production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” together with her friend and Berklee student Donovan Sierra. Taking further advantage of the time she spent at home, she also recorded background vocals for the prestigious Forqué National Cinema Awards ceremony.
Her humility, perfectionism and organizational skills allowed her to keep improving and developing as a professional while contributing to the constant growth of the Berklee community, having worked there as an Academic Advisor and at the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion while being a student.
She has been also active in the promotion of the college in her native country, where she performed sold-out concerts and received great press coverage as a result, bringing Berklee to the attention of National Catalan TV Station TV3 that visited Boston to make a documentary featuring her musical career in the US in 2017. Her aim to improve the local music scene of Sabadell, her hometown, also brought her to create two concert series to promote new local artists in the jazz and musical theater scene.
One of Mar's vocal coaches in Barcelona, Miguel Manzo, always says about her that Mar is "where an incredible voice and a huge persistence meet to shine." Before graduating from the Berklee College of Music, she received the Mili Bermejo Scholarship Award from the Voice Department for her contribution as a Latin Jazz artist, and the Professional Music Academic Excellence Award.
Mar also received a scholarship to attend the LAMC Conference 2019 and 2020 in New York City, and The NAMM Show in 2020 and 2021 in California, and she has been selected to be part of the prestigious Antonio Sanchez's Residency 2020 in México. Recently Mar has also been awarded a grant to continue her musical education and development from the Catalan Government.
She is one of the semi-finalists of the Bucharest International Jazz Competition 2020, of the International Songwriting Competition 2020 in the World Music category and of the Spanish National Music Competition of Juventudes Musicales de España 2020 in the Jazz category. She has also been nominated to receive an Artist Award at Rootstock 2020 Music Festival.
Mar Fayos received a full scholarship to complete a Master's Program in Contemporary Performance in Jazz (Voice) from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in 2020, where she currently studies with renown jazz artists such as Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci, Kenny Werner and Joe Lovano, among many others. In addition, Mar has also been accepted and has received several scholarships to complete Master's Programs in Jazz Performance and Music Business in distinguished music education institutions in the US and in Spain.
The artist is member of Professional associations such as the BMI, Latin Grammy Academy, SoundExchange, Mujeres de la Industria de la Música and Associació de Músics de Jazz i Música Moderna de Catalunya. She is currently working as a performer, composer and producer and collaborates in important projects with the Spanish producer Javier Limón, such as the recordings with Casita Limón and Sony Latin US, or the project Volando for Iberia Airlines, among others.
At the same time, Mar Fayos released in December 2020 her first album of original music, called Mi Propia Religión and focused on her personal approach to Jazz fusion music with Latin and Mediterranean roots, and Pop and Soul influences, and she works in music higher education music programs in both Berklee College and Bunker Hill Community College, as well as at Escola Taller de Músics de Barcelona, and performing actively with her successful band "Mar Fayos Project" and as part of other musical projects and endeavors.
Starting in October 2022, Mar Fayos will be touring as a Singer in White of the show Alegría by Cirque Du Soleil in South Korea and Japan.
Discovering Tony Bennett was the reason why she started to sing when she was three years old, and she is convinced that music is a powerful communication tool able to transform communities and change minds, and that, as Bennett sings, it is a “nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you try.”
WORDS ABOUT MAR
"When you think nobody will catch your eye, Mar comes to make you change your mind!"
"Where an incredible voice and a huge persistence meet to shine!"
MIGUEL MANZO VOCAL COACH
"Mar is the greatest Catalan voice, a priceless jewel"
javier limón, producer, songwriter, performer and educatoR
“Mar Fayos is the real thing. She feels Latin music in her bones and delivers a performance that is iconic yet extremely personal. Her musicianship shines through everything she does but it is her authenticity that makes her so compelling.”
“Mar greets every academic challenge with eagerness and an open spirit. She is a joyful presence in the classroom.”
ERIC STERN, MUSICAL THEATER CONDUCTOR AND EDUCATOR
“Mar’s singing taps right into the listener’s emotions from the first note she sings to the last”
“Mar has a haunting voice and personality on stage”
NANDO MICHELIN, LATIN JAZZ PIANIST AND EDUCATOR
“Mar truly understands how to deliver a lyric. She seamlessly integrates her storytelling with excellent technique and presents captivating performances.”
NED ROSENBLATT, ARRANGER, CHORAL CONDUCTOR, EDUCATOR
“This young woman is one of the most talented and hard working
people I have ever had the pleasure of working with and immensely mature as well.”
“Her work as a Conductor shows wonderful sensitivity, insight, depth of understanding and a remarkable ability to inspire people through her passion.”
“I have witnessed her perform. She lights up the stage, has a beautiful voice and is clearly a consummate entertainer. She loves what she is doing and it truly come across to her audiences and they love her!! It is such a pleasure to experience her perform!”
GEORGE MONSEUR, ORCHESTRAL CONDUCTOR AND EDUCATOR