Cuban songstress Albita Rodriguez makes an NYC tour stop tonight at SOB’s, on the day of Dia de San Lazaro. The Afro-Cuban holiday honors San Lazaro (or Babalu Aye), a father-figure saint believed to protect and heal–the dance stylings of Rodriguez intend to celebrate that through her soulful lyrics and stories about growing up in Cuba. Her live show melds the locale’s classic sounds–punto, claves, guiro–with compelling lyrics and a contagious personality.
Eight Grammy nominations (and a win for Best Tropical Album in 2004) aside, its Albita’s stage presence that makes her a must-see. Her U.S. career was kick-started by crooning in a lounge in Miami–a set of performances that would eventually lure in Madonna, Quincy Jones, and Gloria Estefan as fans, and eventually peers. Her enigmatic personality even landed her a spot on Broadway’s Mambo Kings a few years ago. Basically, you can expect a highly energetic, sultry show of rumba, son, mambo, and other Afro-Cuban rhythms from this Latin queen.