Cucu Diamantes

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Cucu Diamantes
Cucu Diamantes at MIFF.jpg
Diamantes at the 2013 Miami International Film Festival presentation of Amor Cronico
Background information
Born Havana, Cuba
Genres Latin, pop, rock
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, actress, philanthropist
Instruments Vocals
Associated acts Yerba Buena, Andres Levin
Website www.example.com

Cucu Diamantes is a Grammy nominated Cuban-American singer, songwriter, actress, and philanthropist. Her 2009 debut album Cuculand received a Latin Grammy Nomination for Best Alternative Song, "Mas Fuerte".[1] Diamantes is also cofounder and lead singer of Grammy nominated New York City fusion band Yerba Buena. A frequent collaborator, Diamantes has worked with Carlinhos Brown, Yotuel Romero, Lenine, Fat Boy Slim, Meshell Ndegeocello, Vico C, Les Nubians, Rossy de Palma, John Leguizamo, Paulina Rubio, Aleks Syntek, and Beto Cuevas.[2]

Early life[edit]

Of Spanish, African, Chinese and French heritage, Diamantes was born and raised in Havana, Cuba.[3] Diamantes began her musical career singing backup vocals for a salsa band in Rome, where she was studying art. After finishing her studies, she moved to New York City to pursue her music career.[4]

Yerba Buena[edit]

Together with Andres Levin, Diamantes founded the band Yerba Buena. The band's debut, President Alien, was nominated for a 2004 Grammy. Yerba Buena has received praise as one of New York's most influential Latin Fusion bands of all time.[5]

CuCuLand[edit]

In March 2009, Diamantes released her Grammy nominated solo debut Cuculand. Diamantes described the album as a "classy, tragic-comic theatrical cabaret album mixed with [her] Cuban roots and New York edge."[6] The album combines Diamantes' broad musical experiences with causes central to her social conscious, including love from a woman's point of view and themes of personal independence.[7] Diamantes specifically cites her aunt as an inspiration and source of strength in forming her personal identity that is a focal point on the album.[8] The Washington Post wrote that "Cuculand has a narrative that reveals Cucu's pride and vulnerabilities, her heartbreak and what she's overcome."[9]

Amor Cronico: The Film[edit]

In 2012 Cucu's feature-length film premiered at SXSW. Directed by Jorge Perugorria, produced by Andres Levin and Sarah Green, Amor Cronico follows CuCu across Cuba in a historic comedic road movie.[10]

Philanthropic work[edit]

Diamantes has participated in several artistic productions and events that advocate social justice and political activism. Diamantes performed in Amnesty International's "Price of Silence" video, making a plea for universal human rights. Diamantes also performed in the "Podemos Con Obama" video, inspired by will.i.am's "Yes We Can" video, in support of Barack Obama. She also participated in the Obama Latin Inaugural Ball.

Red Hot and Cuba[edit]

Diamantes is a spokesperson for Amnesty International's Protect the Human and Stop Violence Against Women campaigns. In 2009, she performed at a peace concert in Cuba to over a million fans. She is a co-founder and artistic ambassador for Music Has No Enemies, a nonprofit designed to spread social justice through film and music.[11]

Selected discography[edit]

Solo[edit]

  • Cuculand (2009)

Yerba Buena[edit]

  • Follow Me (2007)
  • Island Life (2005)
  • President Alien (2003)

Collaborations[edit]

  • Heroes Soundtrack, "Maya's Theme," (2008)
  • Panoptica Orchestra NPO, "Tu Sabes" (2010)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Obejas, Achy (17 February 2009). "Quick Spin: Cucu Diamantes's "Cuculand"". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  2. ^ Hudson, Mark (28 April 2010). "Cucu Diamantes: do I smoke? Only cigars". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  3. ^ http://www.cucudiamantes.com/bio/#nav
  4. ^ Riera, Alejandro. "Diamond in the Rough " Cafe Latino Lifestyle Magazine March 2010: 65-66.
  5. ^ http://latinmusic.about.com/od/artistsoz/p/PRO01YERBA.htm
  6. ^ Leonetti, Rosie. "Adventures in CuCuLand" Where Miami March 2010: 11.
  7. ^ http://latinmusic.about.com/od/cdmusicreviews/gr/REV01CUCU.htm
  8. ^ Riera, Alejandro. "Diamond in the Rough " Cafe Latino Lifestyle Magazine March 2010: 65-66.
  9. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/16/AR2009021601216.html
  10. ^ http://www.amorcronico.com
  11. ^ Pareles, Jon (2 December 2012). "'Red Hot + Cuba' at Brooklyn Academy of Music". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 

External links[edit]