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At the forefront of France's Gypsy jazz revival, Carmen Maria Vega are an eclectic quintet based around their eponymous lead singer. Born in Guatemala but raised in Lyon, Vega originally studied drama before switching her attention to music. After she teamed up with songwriter Max Lavegie in 2005, the pair became ever-present on the French live circuit, performing over 500 gigs, including shows at La Cigale and L'Alhambra. Following the recruitment of guitarist Sebastien Collinet and drummer Toma Milteau, they released their critically acclaimed self-titled debut in 2009, which went on to be nominated for the prestigious Prix Constantin. After a brief hiatus in which Vega made her acting debut in Le Jour de la Grenouille, the band regrouped, with the new addition of bassist Oliver Smith, for the 2012 sophomore album Du Chaos Naissent les Etoiles. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi