In San Francisco with Buca Necak, Larry Vuckovich, John Santos (behind), Maria and Orestes Vilato.

In an interview, veteran bebop pianist Larry Vuckovich gave Volonté a jazzman’s highest praise, comparing the experience to performing with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie: “If you were playing bebop and Bird or Diz sat in, you felt that authenticity,” Vuckovich said.

“When Maria started singing those Latin American songs, it’s like you’re playing with somebody of that level, somebody interpreting those songs, and this is the way it’s supposed sound. We immediately knew, man, we’re in the presence of a real heavy singer; everybody knew right away there was something different going on.”