Crossing Borders & Living the Classics

Victoria Menchaca, Ordway 10/4/14

Trained in Cuba, musicians Viviana Pintado and Gloria “La Niña” Rivera mesmerize audiences worldwide with their passion and engaging presence. In this ORDWAY EXTRA, MPR editor and moderator David Casarez asks: since the music industry is primarily male-dominated in the United States and in Cuba, when will the industry shift to focus on women?

In this video, Viviana Pintado and Gloria “La Niña” Rivera demonstrate the musical styles in which they were trained in Cuba and that they continue to re-imagine in the Twin Cities as professional musicians.

Videography/Photography: Sherine Onukwuwe, Souleye Films

Speaker Bios

David Cazares
Editor, Arts Reporter, and Podcast Host

With years of reporting and editing experience, David Cazares currently works as an editor at St. Louis Public Radio for arts and culture, health, and science. Previously, Cazares covered Latin music and jazz for Minnesota Public Radio and contributed to a weekly podcast on race, identity, social justice, and culture called Counter Stories.

Viviana Pintado
Vocalist and Pianist

Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Viviana Pintado started her career playing piano for salsa superstar, Albita Rodriguez. While touring around the world, the group recorded several CDs, including three that were nominated for Latin Grammys. In 2004, Pintado moved to Minnesota, where she has become a dominating force in the Latin and Latin jazz music scene.

Gloria “La Niña” Rivera

Originally from Havana, Cuba, Gloria “La Niña” Rivera has performed and appeared both nationally and internationally with artists and musical ensembles like Chuchito Valdéz, La Orquesta de Joseito Fernandez, and Los Van Van, among others. She currently sings in Salsa del Soul, a Twin Cities-based, nine-piece orchestra that performs various styles of dance music from the Spanish-speaking regions of the Caribbean.

Nachito Herrera is one of Cuba’s great pianists, recognized with the highly prestigious American Heritage Award from the American Immigration Council in 2012. Joined by a 16-piece Cuban Orchestra, Herrera dazzled the Ordway with his virtuosity of jazz, classical music, and Afro-Cuban styles.

View more photos in an online gallery >

Nachito Herrera

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