#37 - Singing for the Orishas - Merceditas Valdes 

Welcome to episode 37, "Singing for the Orishas," featuring Afro-Cuban Santería/Lucumí singer, Merceditas Valdes (1922-1996). Raised in a musical household alongisde Yoruba and Cuban traditions, Valdez took to Afro-Cuban Lucumí music and religious practice as a teenager in Havana. Working alongside leading figures, Valdes became the voice and face for the AfroCubanismo movement, with her recordings ceremonially celebrating the divine and ancestral spirits, or Orishas, of Lucumí and Yoruba tradition. However, the Cuban Communist Party would silence her voice for 20 years. Freed from suppression in 1980s, Valdes would release several Lucumí albums before her death in 1996. This episode explores the world of Afro-Cuban Lucumí religion and its ceremonial music tradition through one of the tradition's most revered song leaders. Welcome to the way of the spirits...

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