• Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Leslie & Raymer


Oct 11, 2019


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Traditional Cuban music runs in her veins, and jazz and American funk have shaped her artistic personality.  Born in Cuba to a very close family that enjoys warm afternoons improvising a melody, Leslie Cartaya decided to begin her solo career with her first record production “No Pares” what earned her a nomination as Best New Artist at the Latin Grammys in 2013.

Raymer Olalde was born in Remedios, Villa Clara to a very musical family where he studied and performed traditional Cuban rhythms since a very early age. He graduated from Cuba’s National school of Art and has recorded and performed live with artist such as Celia Cruz, Cachao, Luis Enrique, Manolin El Medico de la Salsa y Albita among others. In 2015 Raymer put together his group Sonlokos that got nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2016 and performs a mix of Cuban rhythms and modern sounds.

Leslie and Raymer ar co-founders of the musical group “Palo” whose CD, “This is Afrocuban Funk”, has received many accolades among them being categorized as “the Cuban music of the new generation” by the New York Times.

They are proud to be part of “Palo” which affords them the opportunity to co-write all the songs they perform that are heavily influenced by Cuban music, la trova, el bolero filin as well as Afro-Cuban and Afro-American rhythms that have even North American natives dancing the night away. Palo’s second album Palo! Live earned the group a 2014 Latin Grammy and a 2015 Grammy Nomination as well as a Sun Coast Emmy for being part of the soundtrack to the documentary Miami Boheme.

Raymer Olalde and Leslie Cartaya have been developing a side project they call A Duo with just the two of them. This project started around the year Leslie launched her career as a solo artist and includes Leslie’s original songs as well as some covers covering different music styles. This setting presents Leslie on piano and voice and Raymer on cajon, congas and minor percussion. All of this together with some beats and electronic sounds present an acoustic and personal alternative very different from Palo! and Leslie’s other formats.

After years of successful live presentations, they have decided to bring this project to the studio and record with this format. Their new Cd is scheduled to release by the end of 2019.