During Covid19, January through August of 2020, I was living near the Havana Forest (Parke Almendares) in Havana, Cuba. Parke Almendares is known to be a sacred space for the African religious traditions that survived in Cuba such as the Yoruba, Congo, Abakuá and Arara culures. In honor of the Orisha - Yoruba Goddess Oshún, I took my bata drums to the river to play in her honor. Oshún is the goddess of love, honey, music, laughter and everything sweet. As I began the sacred rhythms in her name
MELENA was an invited guest featured on the Fernando Hidalgo Show in Miami, Florida performing on Timbales and Conga drums.
Melena's Bata Solo at Richmond VA, Latin Jazz and Salsa Festival
Melena's dream project is to record in her native homeland of Havana, Cuba. This is her first single; Lyrics are written by her mother Myrna Valdes, arranged byJoaquin Betancourt and Calunga on vocals.
Melena was an invited guest for the Tres Potencias de La Salsa in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Jerry Medina y Su Banda backed up Melena for this concert.
Melena was invited to perform with Cuba's national treasure, the legendary Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Piñeiro being the first female instrumentalist to ever peform with them since their founding in 1927.
90th Anniversary Concert of the Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Pineiro. Havana, Cuba. Teatro America 2017