Xiomara Laugart is a famous Cuban nueva trova singer from Guantanamo who in New York was part of Latin fusion band Yerba Buena, and played Celia Cruz Off-Broadway. She is now doing duos with her son Axel Tosca of Unity.
When Xiomara sings, you can’t help but stop, listen and dream.
Trova legend Xiomara Laugart celebrates Mi Salsa Kitchen’s 1st Anniversary with Cuban Timba at Mi Salsa Kitchen in the Lower East Side on Fri, Feb 25 from 9-11pm. 🇨🇺
Xiomara Laugart Sanchez was born in Guantanamo, Cuba on June 8, 1960. It’s the eastern province of Cuba where son, revolution, and a lot of Cuban music comes from.
Laugart built her reputation as a Cuban nueva trova singer.
Nueva trova is folk music with political themes that showed up during the youth revolution of the late 1960s (1967-1968), just like the protest folk music of artists like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in the United States.
The trova tradition flows from the griot tradition of West African and the troubadour tradition of Southern Europe.
When you hear Guantanamera at the airport in Havana, that’s Xiomara welcoming you to Cuba. Nobody sings Guantanamera like her (not even our beloved Celia). Maybe it’s because Xiomara is a woman of Guantanamo just like the song title says.
We got to know Xiomara at Subrosa, a Latin nightclub in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District that Blue Note Entertainment ran from 2014 to 2017. It was New York City’s premiere Latin club. Pedrito Martinez (Yerba Buena) was the artist in residence. Whenever she sang, you would meet movie stars and famous musicians in the audience. It was something, but the best of all was to hear her voice. She can make you dance to the salsa, fall in love with the Cuban bolero, or take you back to the Cuban nueva trova.
Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz
In 2007-2008, Laugart was cast as Cuban jazz legend Celia Cruz in the Off-Broadway musical about Celia’s life.
Playbill, the Broadway magazine, quoted executive producer Henry Cardenas, “We are fortunate to have Xiomara Laugart play the role of Celia Cruz. She is an incredibly gifted artist with a wonderful voice who encompasses many of the qualities that made Celia Cruz so special. I don’t think we could have found a better Celia.”
The musical ran in New York City, across the United States and in South America. It won four HOLA awards (Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors).
2003-2005 ~ Laugart was part of Yerba Buena, a beloved Grammy-nominated New York Afro-Latin fusion band. Their debut record, President Alien (2003) earned a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album.
The band was led by Venezuelan Andres Levin who won a Grammy award for his In the Heights cast recording, and Cuban cabaret singer Cucu Diamante.
In addition to Xiomara, the band also included Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez.
Xiomara Laugart in NYC
Saturday, March 14, 2020 ~ Xiomara Laugart sings a sultry night of Cuban jazz at Zinc Bar in Greenwich Village, NYC. Shows from 10pm to midnight. $20
March 23, 2018 ~ Xiomara sings joins Lena and Malena Burke at Hostos Center in Concourse, The Bronx. It’s a special Cuban night with multiple personalities of Cuban music. Xiomara was the voice of Celia on Broadway. Malena Burke played Cuban salsa legend La Lupe in the 2008 movie La mala. Malena’s mom Malena Burke is a famous Cuban bolero singer.