Cuban Percussionist


Multi-Talented Percussionist

Melena born in Havana, Cuba is an accomplished percussionist and educator of Afro Cuban music.  Her Afro-Cuban sound is a conversation of melodies that she plays with fierce passion. Melena is a multi-talented percussionist who plays congas, timbales, bata drums, and shekere. She is an artist who exemplifies the sound of legendary players from the past, while combining the modern sounds of today. Melena is proud to be endorsed by LP, Remo, Sabian, and Vic Firth .

Afro Cuban Music Educator

Melena studied ethnomusicology at UCLA, where she received her B.A. and M.A. degrees, graduating with honors. Her research was on “The Influence of Abakuá music in Cuban Rumba,” which focuses on how Abakuá music and the manner in which it has inspired the creation of new musical genres are frequently neglected.  She conducts clinics, lectures and performances nationwide at Universities as well as special classes for all ages and levels. She also has experience with special needs children and at risk youth, having worked at  Camp David Gonzalez and Barry J. Nirdof juvenile halls.  

Afro Cuban Jazz and Salsa Band

Melena fronts her own Afro Cuban Jazz and Salsa band performing nationwide.  Her Afro Cuban sound is expressed from a  five to six piece instrumental band with an enticing sound and multi-layers of rhythmic and melodic ideas. Her larger 8 to 10 piece Cuban Salsa band features original compostions that will keep you on the dance floor.  Melena also performs as a special guest artist with the legendary Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Piñeiro, having been the first woman to record and perform with them since their founding in 1927. 




Sign up to hear about upcoming music concerts, festivals and educational events.

For Booking Information


MELENA - YAMILE MUSIC U.S.A. 818.636.0171 CUBA: 011 53 55395765 Photography by: Bruce Martin MARTINIMAGES.COM and Terrence Love.

Contact Melena Here

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.