Black Atlantic: Daymé Arocena
The incandescent young singer, composer, and choral director Daymé Arocena is the future of Cuban music. Raised in Havana in a small home crowded with twenty-one people and enlivened by an endless stream of music, Arocena enrolled in one of the country's chief conservatories as a child. A prodigy, she learned the customs of Western choral music while exploring the intricacy and variety of Cuba's own synthesis of sounds - indigenous, African, and European. On 2017's triumphant 'Cubafonía,' her songs combine Cuban sounds - including the sounds of Santería - with gospel's exultancy and jazz's flexible spine. Arocena has worked with BBC DJ and impresario Gilles Peterson, leading his acclaimed 'Havana Club Rumba Sessions.' Drawing deeply from her country's rich musical traditions and buoyed up by an irrepressible enthusiasm, Arocena is a mighty new missionary for modern Cuban culture, rooted in the pride of its past.