By Rayme Samuels
When Cucu Diamantes hits the stage it’s nearly impossible to take your eyes off of the sassy, sexy and talented crooner. Catch her show as part of the Heineken TransAtlantic Festival on Saturday, April 25th at the North Beach Bandshell.
You’ve been co-founder and part of the wildly successful band, Yerba Buena. What does it feel like to step out on your own?
I definitely feel more responsibility being in the center of the stage with a band as big as the Yerba Buena band. On the other hand, I feel the same because they (the band) are just as important as I am.
What was the biggest inspiration behind your album ‘Cuculand’?
Definitely the songs because they are very personal. Everything else came after in production. When we went to the studio and started recording, they (songs) came very quickly. It was a very quick and smooth process.
What is your favorite part of performing in Miami?
I love the bandshell. It was actually the location of the first Yerba Buena concert ever in Miami. It’s funny that history is repeating itself again. It’s going to be nice. This opportunity came very spontaneously, The Rhythm Foundation called to book me and I was like wow this is weird. I love Miami. I consider Miami the Caribbean of America. For me being there I feel close to Cuba, close to Latin America. I hope it’s going to be hot when I get there; I love hot weather.
Off stage, what is your favorite thing to do here?
I have many friends there so at night I like to meet with them and go to good restaurants to eat. I always go to this shop called C. Madeleine’s (on Biscayne Boulevard). It’s an amazing vintage store. Miami has some of the most amazing clothes in America. Living in New York and travelling around the world I try to look for clothes to wear on stage. And if there is a something new to see – a new group or singer or movement – I will go there.
You come from a mixed culture, why is it important for you to be a part of the Heineken TransAtlantic Festival?
For me it’s really important. My roots are very strong as a Cuban woman. My accent is outrageous [laughs] – I don’t believe in accent elimination unless you are a Shakespearean actor. I’m a huge fan of the group sharing the stage with me (Tinariwen), so for me it’s really nice.
Details: 7 p.m. at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; Tickets: $20 / $25 door