Musician Daymé Arocena conducts a group of student musicians

The Holyoke High North Arts Department hosted Afro-Cuban musician Daymé Arocena for a three-day residency earlier this year.

Fluent in Spanish and English, she studied music from age 9 at a prestigious Cuban conservatory and later became their choir director. 

NPR compares Daymé Arocena to Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone. Rooted in Cuba’s diverse, Afro-Caribbean folkloric music, she now lives in Puerto Rico.