In the history of salsa, not all ‘salseros’ have been male artists, and Marta Elena is one of thenotable exceptions. A singer, composer, percussionist and band leader, she 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 their country’s veins.

At age 18, Marta made her professional debut as a chorus member at Havana’s famous Teatro Lirico Nacional, and later toured with the legendary all-female bands Anacaona and Caribe Girl. A move to Toronto in 2011 put this salsera in high demand, leading to work with a who’s whoof the Canadian Latin music scene. Career highlights include a Koerner Hall guest appearance with Hilario Duran and his Latin Jazz Big Band, and a date at Edmonton jazz club Yardbird Suite in a quintet formation with Hilario.