[UPDATE TO THIS POST: Apparently Rita has cancelled all NYC appearances this summer. On Dominica television, she said she will come to the United States but it will be this Fall].
Speaking about the Dominican Republic: I don't know about you, but I just can't stop saying enough great things about Rita Indiana y Los Misterios to my friends. That's her above performing "Jardinera (Semilla)" last year at Cinema Cafe in Santo Domingo.
Last night she performed at CHA in downtown Santo Domingo (see two clips from her performance last night below). Now, this being the Dominican Republic, most local music acts would stay clear of the CHA, which happens to be a gay bar. But this is Rita Indiana, who has been described as "the next best thing in Latin music", and who recently spoke to Dominican media about her current relationship with another woman.
That link will take you to one of my previous posts, which is misleadingly titled "Rita Indiana comes out". The thing is, the more I've found out about Rita Indiana, the more I've realized she has never really been in the closet, whether in previous bands Miti Miti and Casifull or in her career as a poet and novelist. A Dominican television show reporter simply asked a question about her romantic life and she simply gave an answer.
But consider that the band, as many accolades as it is currently receiving, has yet to put an album out and you realize how amazing it is that someone who leads a band which shows such incredible potential to blow up big in the Latino music market and beyond would be so upfront about her sexual identity. It really turns what has been the mantra in Latino music marketing totally upside down - with promoters, producers and managers telling gay performers to keep it on the down low - and it's totally refreshing.
Her upfrontness is also paying dividends in the island. From what I know, her songs are on constant radio replay in the Dominican Republic. I get a sense that people don't really know what to make of Rita Indiana but they certainly love the music and, at least for now, she is being able to play her looks, her sexuality, her music and her openness to full advantage in a country not necessarily known for being that open.
Rita Indiana does Brooklyn 2010: Rita Indiana is no stranger to New York City. In fact, she made New York her home a few years back before moving to Puerto Rico and then went back to the Dominican Republic where she was born. She has performed in the city with her former bands but I'm not sure if she has ever performed as Rita Indiana y Los Misterios.
New York City is well-known for it's free summer concerts at area parks. Best known, perhaps, is Central Park's SummerStage series. But this year, it's the Celebrate Brooklyn! summer series that has got the best scoop! On Friday, July 23, Rita Indiana will be sharing the bill with Colombia's Bomba Estéreo and Puerto Rico's La Secta Allstar for what promises to be an amazing show.
Previously, I have shared Rita Indiana y Los Misterios' amazing video for "La Hora de Volvé" as well as clips for "El Blu de Ping Pong", "El Maldito Faisbú", and my favorite, "Jardinera". Watch them and memorize the lyrics.
And, from last night's performance at CHA, live versions of "El Blu de Ping Pong"...
...and "Bajito a Selva"...
- Rita Indiana y Los Misterios (Club Fonograma, Aug. 30, 2009)