Mayra Caridad Valdés – La Diosa del Mar

La Diosa del Mar
Mayra Caridad Valdés
(Jazzheads – 2002)
by Ray Redmond

Mayra Caridad Valdés is the sister of Cuban Jazz legend and Latin jazz Grammy winner Chucho Valdés, and daughter of noted Cuban musician Bebo Valdés. Music is in her blood, and Mayra’s ability to articulate and deliver emotion with nuance and power makes the lineage apparent. Her delivery is easygoing and strong with a large dose of character, much like some of the other great female vocalists in jazz history (Sarah and Dee Dee come to mind). The strength and control of her alto power shine on this collection of Afro-Cuban jazz standards, traditional songs and romantic boleros. Although performed in Spanish, the emotion and power of each track transcends language and reaches the listener.

I imagine that if I understood the words, it would only tell me the same story I got from the music and Mayra’s emotive styling. From her early career beginnings singing with Harry Belafonte at his Cuban concerts, to her ongoing touring with her brother Mayra has shown that she not only has the talent but the style and poise needed to become a real jazz Diva.