London based Iyalorisha, crowned with Ochun; passionate about the arts
Grew up in London, mixed background, third generation musician, went to study music in Cuba in 1986, since then I have done many things. Was one of the first Salsa Dance Teachers in London in 1989, before it became the sport of a million suburban housewives; formed Orchestra Salsa Y Ache in late 80’s, toured and did many gigs for seven years; then Salsasonica which recorded with Buena Vista’s Guajiro Mirabal. Have taught Cuban Music to children, amongst many other things. Have written about Latin Music. Have been a practitioner of Santeria since 1986 and became initiated as a Priestess of Ochun in Havana in Feb 2006. I have organised small trips to Cuba plus I run and direct the London Lucumi Choir which sings Afro Cuban songs to the Orisha and other Afro-Cuban genres; I also feel passionate about everyone’s right to sing and teach those who are scared about singing that they too can and should sing. I am interested in lots of different things, I love singing, spending time with family and enjoy sharing any knowledge I may have picked up with others and equally always prepared to learn.
This blog was inspired by the fact that the experience of being a practitioner of Lucumi ( or Santeria) in London and the UK is a different one to those elsewhere. The community is young, dispersed and resources are few.
Please enjoy the articles, please feel free to comment. and also the playlist which comes from my projects two recordings and several demos. If you enjoy what you hear, please support the London Lucumi Choir and the musicians who have taken part by downloading the CD. We are a non funded non audition community based project. Guest musicians and Soloists include Juwon Ogungbe ( Yoruba Lullaby Medley) Sonia Kounasso Singing “Tou Tou Gbovi” ( Lullaby from Benin) and also Nana Aldrin Quaye and lilli Elina ( Lacho)