Home Morningside Events - Morningside Area Alliance Music Womens History Women’s Jazz Festival 2024: Melvis Santa & Jazz Orishas
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Schomburg Center
515 Malcolm X Boulevard. New York, NY 10037-1801


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Mar 25 2024


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)


Women’s Jazz Festival 2024: Melvis Santa & Jazz Orishas

The Schomburg Center’s annual Women’s Jazz Festival (WJF) is celebrating 32 years of centering Black women in the field of jazz. The Women’s Jazz Festival was founded in 1992 by then Harlem resident and jazz vocalist, Melba Joyce. Year after year, the festival and its curators have brought together musicians, dancers and a melding of musical genres to deliver an exciting series of concerts featuring some of the best-known and emerging talent by women in jazz today. The 2024 festival will be held in person on March 4,18, and 25.

Join us for the final night of the Women’s Jazz Festival featuing Melvis Santa & Jazz Orishas celebrating women’s legacy in Afro-Cuban & Jazz traditions.

Jazz Orishas is a conceptual and multi-format jazz ensemble led by Cuban vocalist, pianist and percussionist, Melvis Santa. The band will perform Santa’s original compositions and reimagined jazz classics infused with the sounds of Cuba and the diasporic music of today. Plus, a special appearance of the ACVT Community Choir, a group created and conducted by Santa.

BAND: Iyalosha Trio

Melvis Santa – Vocals, Piano, Batá drums, Compositions

Liany Mateo – Upright Bass

Ivanna Cuesta – Drums


60th Grammy Nominee and NYC Women’s Fund 2023 awardee Melvis Santa is a multidimensional artist and musician, accomplished vocalist and educator. Born and raised in an eclectic neighborhood of Havana, Cuba, Melvis made a splash at 14 by founding an all-female acapella group that debuted by winning the 2001 JoJazz Competition. The band was deemed by Chucho Valdés “the best Cuban vocal quartet of the past 30 years.” Since then, she started touring the world. Collaborations include Muñequitos de Matanzas, Buena Vista Social Club, Grupo Síntesis, as well as international artists like Michel Legrand, Eva Ayllón and Joao Donato. Melvis also recorded with Silvio Rodríguez, Mayra Caridad Valdés, Rumberos de Cuba and Interactivo. In 2012 she released her debut album ”Santa Habana” which obtained a Cubadisco Nomination.

Based in New York since 2014 Melvis continues to make her mark adding to the Afro-Cuban jazz movement set forth by her ancestors and influences like Celia Cruz, Mongo Santamaria, Mario Bauzá and Graciela Pérez. As a performer, collaborations include Charles Tolliver, Andy Bey, Frank Lacy, Steve Coleman, John Faddis, Donald Harrison, Eddie Palmieri, Arturo O’Farrill, Xiomara Laugart, Charenée Wade, Women Raga Massive, David Virelles, Roman Diaz and Pedrito Martínez.

#WJF2024 #SchomburgLive


General Admission $35 // Schomburg Society Member* $25 (Plus Eventbrite fees)

*Enter promotional code to reveal membership ticket . For more information, contact the Schomburg Society Office at schomburgsociety@nypl.org or 212.491.2252

FIRST COME, FIRST SEATED | Events are free and open to all, but due to space constraints registration is requested. Registered guests are given priority check-in 15 to 30 minutes before start time. After the event starts all registered seats are released regardless of registration, so we recommend that you arrive early.

GUESTS | Please note that holding seats in the Langston Hughes Auditorium is strictly prohibited and there is no food or drinks allowed anywhere in the Schomburg Center.

E-TRANSPORTATION | NYPL policy prohibits electric transportation devices (e.g., motorbikes, e-bikes, e-scooters, e-skateboards) from being brought into or stored at library sites for any length of time, as this is the best way to keep our spaces & people safe.

AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDING | Programs are photographed and recorded by the Schomburg Center. Attending this event indicates your consent to being filmed/photographed and your consent to the use of your recorded image for any all purposes of the New York Public Library. Please note that professional video recordings are prohibited without expressed consent.

PRESS | Please send all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc) at least 24-hours before the day of the program to Leah Drayton at leahdrayton@nypl.org.

PUBLIC NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER IN-PERSON | By registering for this event, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending an in-person program at The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold The New York Public Library, its Trustees, officers, agent and employees liable for any illness or injury. If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.

Assistive Listening and ASL
ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing accessibility@nypl.org.