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We caught up with CuCu Diamantes and many of her band mates at The Kimmel Center during the venue's "Global Grooves" World Music Dance Parties concert series. She performed songs from her solo project entitled "CuCu Land".
Here is her biography
Born of Spanish, African, Chinese and French heritage, CuCuDiamantes is a fascinating singer-songwriter and actress from Cuba. Together with producer and guitarist Andres Levin, Diamantes co-founded the sizzling-hot Latin fusion band, Yerba Buena, and was directly responsible for garnering major recognition and popularity for the band, including a Grammy nomination, special request performances with artists such as Dave Matthews, Ray Charles, Juanes and Celia Cruz, as well as critical media praise such as:
"[A] joyful, partying, sexy and smart voice." Associated Press.
"[A] musicologist's dream? a joyful, ever-evolving, border-hopping groove?something serious gained for [popular music]." The New York Times.
"A sizzling jam session." Wall Street Journal.
"The best Latin album of the year? the most danceable concert of the entire year." Miami Herald
"Smoking hot? Resistance is futile. Dance you must, and dance you will." The Washington Post.*
"Yerba Buena is one of the most exciting bands to hit the Latin music scene in years." VIBE.
"[One of] our best musical performances." Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
After 8 years as Yerba Buena's principal vocalist and songwriter, Diamantes is now releasing her first solo record, "CuCuLand" in March 2009 to much anticipation. Smart, sexy and fierce, CuCuDiamantes' music is an intoxicating mix of NYC downtown funk and old school Cuban glamour and passion?a dynamite combination which drives audiences to dance with joyful abandon. Diamantes' talented band is comprised of a full range of horns, percussion and guitar, giving a big, electric sound to her live performances.
In advance of her solo LP debut, "CuCuLand", Diamantes has made several major appearances as a individual artist, collaborating with music stars such as Fatboy Slim, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Dead Presidents, Orishas, Beto Cuevas, Voltio and others on original recordings. She had a song included on the soundtrack for the NBC hit show "Heroes" (joining David Bowie, The Chemical Brothers, Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop), collaborated with Los Tucanes de Tijuana on the film soundtrack for "Ladron que Roba Ladron", and worked with Vico C and Praz on the "Feel the Noize" film soundtrack.
Diamantes' sassy, hilarious personality and natural talent as an actress has put her in front of the camera for appearances in the films "El Cantante" and "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights", as well as the TV series "Third Watch" and a recent MTV Latin America tribute to "The Cure". An urban muse and a darling of the New York City fashion and art world, Diamantes is often featured in the social and entertainment press and has caught the eye of artistic insiders such as legendary photographer Mark Seliger (GQ, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair), who is creating the cover artwork for "CuCuLand".
CuCuDiamantes is a socially conscious artist. She was a creative force behind the benefit albums "Red Hot + Latin" and "Red Hot + Riot", and has donated her time to charitable causes such as Cielo Latino and other efforts to combat AIDS and cancer in the Latino community. Diamantes was a key collaborator in an immensely popular Spanish language video, "Podemos Con Obama" in support of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, collaborating with artists such as Alejandro Sanz, John Leguizamo, Paulina Rubio, Don Omar, Jessica Alba and George Lopez. Most recently, CuCuDiamantes participated in Amnesty International's forthcoming music video and track, "The Price of Silence" featuring music stars from around the world such as Natalie Merchant, Stephen Marley, Hugh Masekala and others to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the United Nation's Universal Declaration on Human Rights. CuCuDiamantes is also a spokesperson for Amnesty International's "Protect the Human" and "Stop Violence Against Women" campaigns.
Please enjoy the performance video from her show at The Kimmel Center
You are now Tuned In to CuCu Diamantes
On the web-
More information for the Global Grooves" World Music Dance Parties concert series