Marta Elena, Excellence Award winner for her outstanding performance at the 5th Annual Vaughan Latin Festival (celebration of Latin culture and community), was born into a musical family in Havana, Cuba. Not all ‘salseros‘ have been male artists; in the history of Salsa, there is some exception to that rule; and Marta Elena is one of the names of that exception. Singer, Composer, Percussionist and Band leader Marta Elena belongs to a younger generation of Cuban musicians who are happy to honour the island nation’s Afro-Latin musical roots while looking for new ways to express the music that courses through the vein of the country.
She started to sing at the tender age of 10, performing in all school events and amateur presentations. Her professional performance was at the age of 18, singing as part of the chorus of the Company of Zarzuelas and Operettas of the Teatro Lirico Nacional, one of the most famous theatres in Havana. Years later, after so many years of performing with different bands in Cuba and around the world, Marta Elena decided to immigrate to Canada to pursue her musical career. A move to Toronto in 2011 puts her in demand, performing with the who is who in the Canadian scene in various local venues and Canadian festivals.
While in Cuba, she performed with the famous Cuban female band Anacaona and toured extensively with Caribbe Girl female band.
In Canada, Marta Elena’s high light performances include her Koerner Hall appearance as Guest of Hilario Duran and his Latin Jazz Big Band with Horacio El Negro Hernandez and Sarita Leyva’s Rumberos; also, her performance at the Yardbird Suite – Edmonton – in a quintet formation with Hilario Duran (Noche Cubana).
Marta Elena has created an extensive library of original compositions that can be heard on Marta’s new album ‘Cuban Connection’, which showcases Cuba’s bright traditional blasts, bringing out an irresistible collection of danceable and delicious rhythms. Guaracha, Cha-Cha-Cha, Cumbia, Rumba and Salsa in an eclectic selection of foot-tapping’ in a unique and intoxicating style to break all the rules.