But being the tropical flower that she is, she sought warmer climes. She moved first to Puerto Rico where she played at Hotel La Concha and Hotel Conquistador, regarded as the San Juan’s best Latin Jazz venue. From there she left for Costa Rica where she enjoyed a smashing career on exclusive contract with the country’s biggest hotel and nightclub chain. In addition to regular venues - the Empresas Costa Sol and Hotel Herradura San Jose - she performed for television, radio and visiting diplomats.
She never intended to leave the tropics, but when Alan Geik, Jose Caridad and Perico Hernandez decided to reunite Caravana Cubana for a follow-up album to the Grammy-nominated ‘Late Night Sessions’, they offered her an opportunity she couldn’t refuse. She was brought on as a new member of the Caravana Cubana familia, becoming part of this exclusive group which includes Chucho Valdez, Orlando Valle, Bamboleo, Pancho Quinto and Rolo Martinez.
It was during this time that she had the opportunity to fulfill her life-long dream of returning to Cuba, the homeland she had left as a child under Project Pedro Pan**. In her hit song Llamada Collect, she tells the story of being in a Miami refugee camp with only one phone and trying to call collect to Cuba. She then leaves the camp and, as an adult, calls the Tropicana and explains her wish to return there to perform.
As the featured subject in a film by world renowned producer Estella Bravo (to be released in 2005), she had the opportunity to realize this dream. In August, 2002, she returned to Cuba to take the stage with Chucho Valdez and become the first Cuban-American singer to perform at the Tropicana since the Revolution.
Now settled back in LA after a 10-year hiatus, she performs weekly. She is currently working on a CD of boleros which will include original compositions and pieces from Armando Manzaneros among others. She is at the top of her game so stay tuned for more of this dynamic voice!
Unique Duo: This band offers a unique two member option that sounds like a 4 piece band. Their Bass player sings background vocals and also plays the keyboard, including instrumentations for the Mambo and Mona sections. The female vocalist plays Guiro, Guira [the metallic one] and Maracas, while running a drum machine with her foot to add a fuller sound.