Melvis Santa & Achedí Ft. Roman Diaz All Stars Batá Ensemble



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Cuban jazz pianist, Melvis Santa is part of the new generation of pianist and composers whose style blends the Yoruba, Santeria and Yemaya idiosyncratic spiruality to meet with jazz.

Also, an accomplished singer, composer and actress, Melvis Santa has dedicated her young life to the pursuit of her musical dreams.At the age of 14, while enrolled in Havana's Amadeo Roldan Music Conservatory, Melvis and three classmates formed an all-girl acapella group called Sexto Sentido, a project that Cuban jazz great, Chucho Valdés, would dub "the best Cuban vocal quartet of the past 30 years". The group also earned a prestigious JoJazz award in 2001 as winner of the annual CubanYouthJazz Competition.

Master percussionist, scholar and composer Román Díaz is a living repository of Afro-Cuban music. He came to fame as a member of the seminal rumba ensemble Yoruba Andabo. Mentored by the legendary percussionist Pancho Quinto, he aided in the creation of the sound that has defined rumba since the 1980s. His early successful career include collaborations with greats like Merceditas Valdés, Raíces Profundas, Los Marqueses de Atarés, Jane Bunett, Orlando “Puntilla” Ríos, and Oriente Lopez, among many others.

Since arriving in New York in 1999, he has performed and recorded with notable figures in jazz and Latin music, including Danilo Pérez, Paquito D’Rivera, Giovanni Hidalgo, David Virelles, Donald Harrison, Chucho Valdés, and Wynton Marsalis.

His mastery of the Batá drums is present on countless recordings worldwide. He also has travelled extensively teaching master classes on Afro-Cuban percussion. 

Román is a unique musical visionary capable of steering this art form far into the future because of his deep understanding of the culture and the sensibility with which he tells a story.

Roman will be featured along with his percussionists, singers, and dancers from Havana, Matanzas, and New York — to perform the living magic of the ongoing influence of African traditions... HOT NIGHT!