Marta Elena Sextet

  • June 25, 2024
  • 7:50 pm
  • TD Main Stage - OLG Grove


Not all 'salseros' have been male artists; in the history of Salsa, there is some exception to that rule; and Marta Elena is one of the names of that exception. Singer, Composer, Percussionist and Band leader Marta Elena belongs to a younger generation of Cuban musicians who are happy to honour the island nation's Afro-Latin musical roots while looking for new ways to express the music that courses through the vein of the country.

She started to sing at the tender age of 10, performing in all school events and amateur presentations. At the age of 18, her professional performance was singing as part of the chorus of the Company of Zarzuelas and Operettas of the Teatro Lirico Nacional, one of the most famous theatres in Havana. After so many years of performing with different bands in Cuba and worldwide, Marta Elena decided to immigrate to Canada to pursue her musical career. A move to Toronto in 2011 puts her in demand, performing with the who is who in the Canadian scene in various local venues and Canadian festivals. While in Cuba, she performed with the famous Cuban female band Anacaona and toured extensively with the Caribbe Girls female band.

In Canada, Marta Elena's highlight performances include her Koerner Hall appearance as Guest of Hilario Duran and his Latin Jazz Big Band with Horacio El Negro Hernandez and Sarita Leyva's Rumberos; also, her performance at the Yardbird Suite – Edmonton – in a quintet formation with Hilario Duran (Noche Cubana).

Marta Elena has created an extensive library of original compositions that can be heard on Marta's new album 'De la Habana a Toronto,' which showcases Cuba's bright traditional blasts, bringing out an irresistible collection of danceable and delicious rhythms. Guaracha, Cha-Cha-Cha, Cumbia, Rumba and Salsa in an eclectic selection of foot-tapping' in a unique and intoxicating style to break all the rules. She’s a 2024 JUNO Awards winner for her participation in the OKAN album Okantomi.