Daymé Arocena is a promising young voice, emerging from the talent-packed music scene of Havana. Check out our new show “Music in a Changing Cuba” to hear just how thriving the country’s historically vibrant musical landscape remains. Daymé is just 22, but she has already made waves internationally, gaining the attention of such musical king (and queen) makers as Wynton Marsalis and Gilles Peterson. Peterson first met Arocena when she was a teenager, and was amazed by her performance at an impromptu rumba session. Her upcoming debut album, Nueva Era, will be released June 9 on Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings, in conjunction with Havana Cultura. It’s available for pre-order now on iTunes.
Afropop is thrilled to premiere the video of Daymé performing her song “Madres” live at the Saint Pancras Old Church in London this past April. Daymé introduces the song by dedicating it to the saints Yemaya and Ochun. In the Santeria religion, Yemaya is the spirit of rivers and Ochun is the spirit of the sea. Both are maternal deities. She sings the track powerfully in both Yoruba and Spanish, backed by a jazzy, percussive arrangement. Check it out below: