March 8th was the International Women's Day all over the world. This month we will highlight women from throughout the Americas, starting with Afro-Peruvian rhythms.
From when she was five years old, Pilar Villavicencio, La Flor de Criollismo, has continued the tradition of musica criolla of Peru, a musical tradition that encompasses the European inspired Vals Peruana to the Afro-Peruvian rhythyms of the Alcatraz. Pilar has performed both as a soloist and back-up singer with the most well known figures of Peruvian music. Accompanied by percussionist David Pala, and the guitar of Ruben Isola, she also performs Latin jazz.
Also on the program will be Milady, a Dominican singer and winner of an "Independent Music Award" in the category of Best Latin for her song "Hábitos Pasados" she will light Westpark's sanctuary with her emotional ballads.
During her studies at Columbia University, Milady sang in the University Choir and was the second voice in various performances with groups and soloists in New York. In her most recent work as a soloist, she has recorded five powerful and emotional ballads, with Latin, pop and jazz rhythms.
The most important talent that any creative artist can have and develop is the ability to touch the heart and soul of the listeners. It is precisely this talent that differentiates singer Adela Dalto. Mixing sophisticated elements of this music with the most contemporary styles of American jazz, she creates a compelling blend of sensuous fiery rhythms with sultry vocals in her Latin jazz music.
Born in Texas to Mexican parents, she grew up with the influence of R&B and a growing interest in jazz. It was her late husband, Jorge Dalto, former pianist for George Benson, who encouraged her musical career. Jorge introduced her to the subtle and exciting rhythms of Latin and Brazilian music. Adela has been performing in the local clubs in New York City with her band and as a special guest. She has performed alongside great Latin musicians such as Jerry Gonzalez and Hilton Ruiz. She has also performed with jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove in Japan, Brazilian pianist Aloisio Aguiar in Rio and with Mauricio Smith's Latin Jazz Orchestra at The Rainbow Room in New York City. Adela toured as featured vocalist with the late Mario Bauza's AFRO CUBAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA at the Pori Jazz, North Sea Jazz, Umbria Jazz and the Montreux Jazz festivals and with Carlos "Patato" Valdes' AFROJAZZIA ensemble as they hit Europe's top nightclubs. Adela also has released three CD's, including Papa Boco, Exotica, Peace, and A Brazilian Affair.
Christine Larkin began her career on the streets of New York City with folk legend, Pete Seeger, and his New York City Street Singers. The group performed at street fairs and cultural events singing songs of freedom and unity bringing cultures from around the world together in song. This involvement led to exposure to songs from Latin America and these melodies have become some of her favorites. She eventually met Bernardo Palombo and began her musical involvement with El Taller Latinoamericano, performing at its loft several times with her own band.
"Singing is like prayer to me and rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. When I sing, my hope is that people are affected in a positive way and that it touches the humanness in them, inspires them, and makes them feel better about their own uniqueness and power. I think music is healing."
Christine continues to perform throughout the New York City area with her own jazz ensemble, Skylark, as well as other local groups. She is very proud to part of this concert this evening.
The exact date of this concert is not known, but it occurred in the marked year around this time.