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Bobi Cespedes


Bobi Cespedes is a stalwart of the Bay Area Latin music scene, a Yoruba priestess, and a respected lecturer on Cuban culture and traditions. Born in Cuba in 1947, Cespedes immigrated to New York when she was thirteen and headed out to California ten years later. In the 1980s she formed the family outfit Conjunto Cespedes, which played and sang traditional Cuban son. Cespedes also performed as a vocalist with Micky Hart's Planet Drum in the 1990s. After years sharing the limelight, the singer stepped out on her own in 2003 with the release of Rezos. A striking mix of the sacred and profane, Yoruba chants to orishas (deities) mingle with hip-hop beats and rock guitar as Cespedes reinterprets Cuban son through a modern lens with the help of stellar producer Greg Landau (Susana Baca, Patato). For the uninitiated, her voice will be the biggest revelation: it's a powerful, anchored presence that feels like an immutable fact, as solid as a tree trunk and not unlike the great Celia Cruz's.
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