Mendez and music director Paguia met in 2010. Based in NYC, they have performed at venues such as Joe's Pub, Birdland and Lincoln Center, as part of the 2013 American Songbook series. The duo took on Manhattan nightclub 54 Below Sept. 9, where they debuted new tunes and performed old favorites from their debut jazz album "This Time."
"This Time," which was released May 28, offers an eclectic mix of songs, reimagining tracks from popular music and blending elements of jazz, soul and rock into the familiar setting of an acoustic piano trio (in addition to Paguia at the piano, Chris Tordini plays bass with Tommy Crane on drums) and vocalist. Their reinterpretations include songs by Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Fiona Apple, The Cars, Joni Mitchell, John Legend and more.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.