“With her fresh take on cross-cultural fusion, this Cuban treasure is fast-tracking it onto the global stage in a show of soulful vigor and awe.” —NPR
With exceptional warmth and a strong presence, superstar singer/composer Daymé Arocena is one of the “most inviting ambassadors” for Cuba’s contemporary music. Santerian chant, rhythmic complexity, fluid jazz styling, and a nuanced Afro-Cuban soulfulness—she channels the elements in service to her audience and culture. The artist’s newest album, Cubafonía, is a soulful mix of Latin, jazz, and R&B influences, a perfect blend for her powerful vocals. “There is not a dull moment on Cubafonía. It is a major statement on the progress of Daymé Arocena as an artist for the ages. And it reminds us that the best music moves the body and the spirit” (NPR). Arocena performs at 8 pm on Thursday, May 3 at The Cedar, 416 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis.
The evening will open with a short set by local soul chanteuse Annie Mack and her band.
Presented in conjunction with the Walker’s past exhibition Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 (November 11, 2017–March 18, 2018).
ABOUT DAYMÉ AROCENA
“Daymé looks set to join the group of women artists who are described as global divas.” ─ Billboard
Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, singer, song-writer and choir director Arocena approaches jazz, soul and classical influences in her musical style. She won the prestigious Marti y el Arte award in 2007 and began her career as the lead singer in a band called Los Primos when she was 14 years old. Recently having released her second album Cubafonía in early 2017, critics like The Guardian praised her as Cuba’s finest young female singer with enormous crossover potential. Coming from a diverse culture, Arocena embraces her country’s mix of European, African and Spanish roots while incorporating these realities in her music. “We don’t have this native culture,” Arocena explains on her website. “We don’t have indigenous people, like Maya or Quechua. They made a country with people from everywhere – that’s what makes Cuban culture so different.”
Arocena’s talent was recognized by the Havana Cultura Mix project which saw Gilles Peterson mentoring selected producers from around the world to record in Cuba with local musicians, and she enchanted a packed audience at the London album launch. In May, 2016 she released her third album, One Takes (Brownswood Recordings) featuring Horace Silver’s powerful “Gods of Yoruba” among a collection of masterfully reimagined rare covers that further bridge her musical worlds. With this release, Arocena’s impact upon the unfolding history of Cuban music is unmistakably underway.
ABOUT THE CEDAR
The Cedar Cultural Center is an eclectic music venue located in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis. Over its 29-year history, The Cedar has become a premiere US venue for world music by fulfilling its mission of promoting intercultural understanding through the presentation of global music and dance. thecedar.org.