The title track Heroína Latina is a salute to the soldier and a dedication to women in all uniforms. An article written by Susan Dominus who “brought tears to my eyes” inspired this song, says Adela Dalto. The article recounted a group of women soldiers who were victims of an Iraqi suicide bomb in 2005, while returning to their barracks after their mission.
Mujeres Latinas is the vision of Adela Dalto to empower Latinas through music. The all-women musical group promotes the message of empowerment at festivals and colleges. Their first CD, Heroína Latina, is a hot rhythm mix of Reggaeton, Salsa, Guajira, and House dance music. Check out their video, Hay Candela En La Calle (There's Heat in the Street) at Myspace.
The inspiration for the formation of the band came from a performance at “The National Summit on Hispanic Women in Business.” Mexican-American singer Adela Dalto, an award-winning Latin jazz vocalist and community activist, composed the song Somos Mujeres Latinas for the occasion. She quickly garnered an enthusiastic audience for the message as an anthem was born with women joining the chorus, while they rocked their hips, and waved their hands in unity.
With an extensive career as a Latin jazz singer and several recorded CD's, and having traveled around the world performing at top festivals, one particular event opened her heart to fill a desire to empower women and encourage Latinas to stay in school. Now back from a detour of attending college to earn a B.A. in Music in jazz and Latin jazz vocal performance, and working on a Masters Degree in Professional Counseling, Ms. Dalto has brought the group back with their debut CD, Heroína Latina, including the anthem Somos Mujeres Latinas, (we are Latin Women), and a selection of dance tunes with a combination of empowering songs and the other tunes are romantically sexy.
The band was first started in 2000 with a couple of performances each year as the band came to its current formation. The band kept changing as different members of the band moved on to other commitments. Vocalist Susan Olivades took a contract to go on the road with a Disney production, and Katty Rodrigues-Harrold (saxophone) made it into Beyonce’s all female group. The band continued with three original members remaining as other members stepped in.
Drummer, Rosy Rex and Adela had been long time friends and had spent a couple years working together in the mid nineties. Rosy Rex, La Boricua, had already been on the road with Sylvain Sylvain playing a couple of their radio hits, and was with various groups as The Ants, The Invaders, and The Teardrops playing rock but adding her hot Latin beat. Her set up is keenly her own as she sets up her drums incorporating her Timbales and other Latin percussion. Guitarist Michelle Nestor also joined the original band in 2000. Bringing some Dominican spice, she earned her Masters in Music, is an educator, and can be seen performing with her own jazz band around New York City. Adela tells the story of trying to contact her to talk to her about joining the band but realized the only way was to visit her at her gig in a park in Queens, so she borrowed the car of a rapper that showed up for a recording session with her son. She knew they would take a few hours to record so she took off, struggled to find the venue, convinced Michelle to come to a rehearsal to check out the band, and rushed home to find the owner of the car drinking coffee waiting for the return of his car, but was excited that he contributed to the formation of Mujeres Latinas.
Recent arrival, Flor Urrutia the band’s pianist, is from Cuba and has performed with a good number of Cuban bands and now growing her list here in NYC. She is full of dynamics and has many entertaining surprises up her sleeve. When the search for an available Latina bass player living in NYC, came to a quick end, hiring someone that was not Latina reinforced the mission to empower Latinas and in this case, instrumentalist by letting them know of the shortage. In came Kim Clark a bassist with many credits to her name including the infamous Defunkt. She fits right in bringing her funk/Latino rhythms. She also holds a B.A. The same need came again when one of the quajiras, Quiero, was begging for a trumpet solo to give it the final touch of flavor. In comes Pam Fleming who has been playing with a number of bands and an another graduate with a B.A. in music. Of course she reads music, and she can solo, too. She’s a wonderful player that can fit in any style band as she has with Cab Calloway, Buster Poindexter, and Queen Latifah among many others.
Vocalist Johanna Castaneda, who earned a B.A. in Music and was born in Colombia takes the lead on Deseo Un Cariño (I Desire a Caress) and contributes back up voices on most tunes. She has been on the road with Jimmy Bosch and other acts including performances with her own band. Second trumpet player Jennifer Martinez started with us as a student of Boy’s Harbor in NYC at 18 years old and she finally made it over 21. Hey, we can do a beer commercial now. She continues school to earn her B.A. Percussionist Yasuyo Kimora is also a Boy’s Harbor alumni, a famed music school located in Spanish Harlem that runs workshops with some of the top Latin jazz artists from NYC. She’s born in Japan and married a Tejano but knows more Latin rhythms than the average percussion player. She truly knows the many definitions of the word Salsa.
Other vocalist and musicians swing in and out as school, family or other opportunities come their way. Even some guys have helped out at times. The music has a message, and the beat is hot. So enjoy, sing along with us and rock them hips.