Maria Bacardi is a woman of the world, a woman of the arts, and a true visionary who is exploring the past in order to improve the future through her works.
A true rennaissance woman—she is an innovator in theater, a fine artist, and a singer—the Cuban-born creator fled her home country for Spain as a child in the 1960s before landing in New York, and those experiences continue to inform her artistic endeavors today.
Making an impact from the start, Bacardi founded the traveling Oddfellows Playhouse in East Hampton, NY, an enterprise inspired by her migrant experiences that focuses on fostering the creative talents of artists of all ages. From there she ventured into the fine arts and captivated gallery goers with her impressive projects.
Now Bacardi is transitioning into the world of music, and it is yet another medium that will allow her to explore her life experiences, her professional journey, and the power of her roots. “Cementerio de Novias,” released today, is the first single off her upcoming second album DUELE (It Hurts). The track is a cover from the catalog of Cuban bolero singer Gustavo Rodriguez Artilez, but Bacardi adds an expressive contemporary twist, integrating hip-hop drums and provocative lyrics. The result: an intriguing style that she calls neo-bolero, a modern take on American-Cuban jazz.
Bacardi is now one of the few singers that are reviving bolero filin, a forgotten Cuban musical movement that finds its roots in North American jazz ballads, bolero, and romantic song from the 1940s through 1960s. In returning to the past to bring this rhythm back to life, a rhythm that was popular during the time she left Cuba, she is paying homage to a broken homeland and acknowledging irreparable trauma while forging a new path ahead.
In order to truly recognize the evolutionary journeys that she and other immigrants have lived first hand, Bacardi has joined up with a strong team of Latin producers and musical legends—Grammy Award winner and Cuban bolero legend David Oquendo, Cuban Hip-Hop master and producer Edgaro Gonzalez, and Cuban pianist, arranger, and composer Dayramir Gonzalez. Together they have created DUELE (It Hurts), her personal testimony to the struggle and gratitude for her roots, which is set for release in the spring of 2019. Bacardi will give a live preview of the album on December 17 at Joe’s Pub in NYC.