In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) is thrilled to present an expanded event as part of its Jazz at MOCA series on Friday, Sept. 27 including a performance by singer Leslie Cartaya, a panel discussion and O, Miami. MOCA will present an electric performance by singer Leslie Cartaya series who will be joined by lively salsa dancers as part of its monthly “Jazz at MOCA” series. Cartaya was born in Cuba and grew up enjoying of musical improvisation with her family. Traditional Cuban music runs in Cartaya’s veins, and jazz and American funk have shaped her artistic expression. Cartaya vocalizes Caribbean, Afro-American, Afro-Latin and Latin American musical rhythms to create a harmonious fusion. Singing is Cartaya’s therapy – at an early age, she learned to express her joys, passions, sadness and melancholic moments through her music.
The museum will also host “What it Means to be Hispanic in America Today,” a thought-provoking panel discussion. The conversation will be moderated by Antonio Martinez, former district director of Dade County Public Schools. Speakers will comprise of Hispanic artists of various mediums including writer N.J. Perez, the author of “Heart of a Cuban”, artist Edison Penafiel, who is an exhibiting artist of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Exhibition, and singer Leslie Cartaya. O, Miami will be reciting Zip Odes and promoting community engagement through poetry readings and writings during the course of the evening. Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in a pop up picnic patio featuring some of South Florida’s favorite food trucks and enjoy a full bar provided by Café Crème. The US Census will be on-site conducting giveaways and more. Guests may also walkthrough MOCA’s exhibition “South Florida Cultural Consortium,” which is a group exhibition that presents works by artists exclusively from South Florida who live and work in Broward, Martin-Monroe, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties. This dynamic show is on display through Oct. 20 and celebrates the originality and potential of these 13 South Florida artists, who continue to pave the way as expressive leaders of their generation.
This event is sponsored by the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency.
More on Leslie...
Traditional Cuban music runs in her veins, and jazz and American funk have shaped her artistic personality. Born in Cuba to a very close family that enjoys warm afternoons improvising a melody, Leslie Cartaya decided to begin her solo career with her first record production “No Pares”.
Caribbean, Afro American, Afro Latin, and Latin American musical rhythms create a harmonious fusion in “No Pares”, a 19-track production, 18 of which are written and composed by Leslie. “In this CD, my first experience as co producer and musical arranger, I had the opportunity of working with renowned musicians who supported me every step of the way” says this attractive brunette who defines herself as a happy, adventurous, inquisitive, expressive, but most of all perfectionist woman. The official CD Release concert of "No Pares" took place at the Miami Dade County Auditorium on April 18 as part of Miami On Stage, a series of concerts sponsored by Fundarte. With the release of No Pares Leslie went up to the fifth position on the Miami Latin Reverbnation Charts and got nominated for the Latin Grammy 2013 as Best New Artist.
Leslie is part of the musical group “Palo” whose CD, “This is Afrocuban Funk”, has received many accolades among them being categorized as “the Cuban music of the new generation” by the New York Times. She is proud to be part of “Palo” which affords her the opportunity to co-write all the songs they perform that are heavily influenced by Cuban music, la trova, el bolero filin as well as Afro-Cuban and Afro-American rhythms that have even North American natives dancing the night away. Palo’s second album Palo! Live earned the group a 2014 Latin Grammy and a 2015 Grammy Nomination as well as a Sun Coast Emmy for being part of the soundtrack to the documentary Miami Boheme.
In 2015 Leslie released her second solo album titled “Llevame Contigo”. In this new production Leslie kept the same variety of rhythms found in “No Pares” but she also added new sounds such as vallenato, bachata and reggae. “Llevame Contigo” has 10 tracks all written by Leslie except “123” written in collaboration with Panamanian rapper Latin Fresh and “Por Verte” written with Descemer Bueno. Leslie brings two special featurings in this new material, “123” with Latin Fresh and Baila with the Celia Cruz Allstars.
Besides promoting Llevame Contigo and producing new videos such as her most recent “Baila Featuring Celia Cruz Allstars” Leslie has also ventured in to the Live TV world joinging the cast of Don Francisco Te Invita; a weekly show that airs on Telemundo every Sunday night at 10pm. Leslie is the musical director of Sexta Clave an all-female band that is in charge of performing the original music that Leslie writes for the show. “I am very happy with this new stage in my career” comments Leslie, “the show has given me the opportunity to create original music with rhythms from all over the world. I am very honored to work with a Legend such as Don Francisco. He is a great teacher and human being”
At this moment, Leslie is in the midst of preparations for a new studio record as well as a live concert that will be recorded and released in the middle of next year. The singer-songwriter and producer also keeps producing for her Record Company “No Pares Records” working on new projects for artist such as “SonLokos” at the same time that she continues to write and compose, an art that she has been fortunate to share with Jorge Luis Piloto, Descemer Bueno, Elain, Ángel Arce, Steve Roitstein, Philbert Armenteros, Alexis Valdes, Mr. Haka, Michel Fragoso, El Chino Dreadlion, Raymer Olalde, Adriana Foster, Pavel Núñez, Latin Fresh, Marisela Verena and her cousins Pepin and Roly Rivero.