Salsa Diva Caridad Cruz at Zaphod Beeblebrox

Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa, Canada presents on Saturday, April 26, 2008.Salsa Diva Caridad Cruz and "El Maestro" Felipe Contreras, For 30 years a musical director in Cuba and leader of such bands as Cadencia Perfecta and Yenny Contreras (Piano) along with Kubacua regulars Israel Martinez (Guitar), Marc Decho (Bass), Arien Villegas (Congas), Angel Araos (Timbales).

Caridad Cruz Vilain was born in Havana, Cuba, into a musical family deeply rooted in Afro-Cuban culture. Her beloved father Daniel Cruz was an accomplished professional violinist, whose own mother was a first cousin of the legendary Queen Of Salsa, Celia Cruz.

Caridad studied music for three years at Havana's Escuela Superación Técnico Profesional Ignacio Cervantes under the tutelage of Argelia Fragoso, while at the same time taking private vocal training from Margarita Orutinier. Other early musical influences include Félix Chapotin's Conjunto, Elena Burque, Beatriz Márquez, Rafael Lay and La Orquesta Aragón, and El Cuarteto Los De Enrique.

In 1993, Caridad began her professional career with a six-month stint in Trinidad, Cuba, in hotels Costa Sur and Ancón. Over the next ten years in Havana she went on to sing in many venues. In 2002, her first CD, Caridad Cruz con el Grupo Habanero Son, was released.

Since emigrating to Canada in 2003 from her native Cuba, Caridad Cruz has wowed audiences in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa with what the Globe and Mail called her "warm ocean of voice." Her Canadian debut performance, with Jane Bunnett's Spirits of Havana, was broadcast nationally on CBC Radio, and she has worked in New York with top Latin jazz musicians like conga player Chembo Corniel and bassist Ruben Rodriguez.

Caridad's band Kubacua features Mexican-born jazz guitarist Israel Martinez, Angel Araos on timbales, Cuban dynamo Arien Villegas on congas and Marc Decho on bass. Their repertoire includes salsa, Cuban son and soulful boleros.

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