Musical Artist, Educator, Clinician, Jazz Presenter, Entertainment Publication, Jazz Historian
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Music is in her blood. Shaped from the rhythms that dance through her veins, Melena, born in Havana Cuba, has mastered the traditional rhythms that have traveled from Africa to Cuba, to the dance floors of America. Her Afro/Cuban sound is a conversation of melodies which she plays with fierce passion, whether on Congas, Timbales, Batas or a range of other percussion instruments. Melena has been traveling the world having performed with legendary artists such as: Barry White, Stevie Wonder, Macy Gray, Chayanne, Julio Iglesias, Eva Ayllone, Peru Negro, Chucho Valdes and Irakere and many others. Melena returned to her native country to study with Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, as well as with many of the gifted percussionists on the island, including Roberto Vizcaino Guillott, Miguel “Anga” Diaz, Yaroldy Abreu, Jose Miguel Melendez, Adel Gonzalez, Mario Jauregui and Daniel Herrera. Melena was also blessed to share the same stage with her biggest inspiration, Giovanni Hidalgo. Melena performed with her Afro Cuban band at the Ninth Annual Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival in Texas and also conducted a clinic at the Brownsville University.
Her dream is to travel the world and to be a major contributor to the Afro/Cuban music legacy, sharing the richness of this culture with others. Festivals she has performed in the past include: Jazz at Drew, African Village Festival, Latin Music Festival, Puerto Rico Percussion Festival, Montreal Drum Festival and more. Presently, Melena is conducting Workshops and Clinics Nationally and Internationally. She has specialized her studies in the Afro-Cuban tradition and on the sacred Bata Drums and has taught her students the importance of the history and knowledge of Afro-Cuban drumming and language of the Batas. Melena is one of the very few female percussionists that plays at her level of proficiency
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thanks for the compliment. Mood of Midnight has been one of the few songs i've written that i still listen to. it's even more fun when we do it LIVE. i'll be working out some new sounds in that direction soon... stay in touch and stay blessed always...
Hola Melena ~ I am honored and humble bye your invitation. Your drumming is magificant and spirit shines thru when ever you touch a drum. I am a very old and close friend of Romeo & Ricky Carrido. Ricky has sent me a couple of youtube clips of your playing & performing.
I was blown away and very impressed.
Wishing you continued success in all your music endeavors and aspirations.
Benditiones, Alafia y Ache`, Rafael Ramirez
Melena. Great work. I am going to be playing 51 performance at Laguna Playhouse in Laguna beach in July and August and I want to network with some players in the area. I don't know southern California very well and I really want to do some playing outside of the gig as well. Any suggestions?..vince
Bien venida a Jazz Network. Listened to your video recordings and loved them. Glad to have you in the Percussion group. If you're ever in the Houston, TX area send me a line to visit the club.
Suerte y con mucho amor.
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."