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Bobi Céspedes with special guests John Santos and Javier Navarrette

Doors at 7:00 pm; Salsa Warmup with Susana Arenas Pedroso at 7:30 pm; Show at 8:00 pm

Presale tickets SOLD OUT - Thank you!

A limited number of tickets may be available at the door. Once advance ticket holders have been admitted, we will assess whether we can reasonably accommodate more people, as this is not a fully seated show.

Tickets are $20 advance / $25 day of performance

Ashkenaz and Women Drummers International celebrate Women’s History Month with our March series of special concerts and workshops, the Maestra Series, featuring women musicians, dancers, and poets from around the world. The nights are filled with inspired culture, singing, dancing, drumming, performers in new groupings, once-only collaborations, and reunions of pioneering women musicians.


Tonight’s focus is on Cuba and its musical traditions, led by Bobi Céspedes with an all-star band including Chilean singer Lichi Fuentes, plus guest percussionists John Santos and Javier Navarrette. The night begins with Havana-born Cuban dance master Susana Arenas Pedroso leading a salsa warmup and dance. 

Gladys “Bobi” Céspedes has been at the forefront of representing and promoting Cuban music in the U.S. for more than 40 years. A vocalist, band leader, and educator, she first won acclaim as co-director and lead singer for the award-winning family band Conjunto Céspedes, which played pre-salsa Cuban son dance music and recorded and toured internationally. Since 2003 Céspedes has led her own band and recorded two albums, “Rezos” and “Patakin.” 

Céspedes’ music integrates folkloric and modern elements in concerts that take a dynamic journey from Afro-Cuban chants sung a cappella to modern Cuban salsa that makes dancing irresistible. “Ms Céspedes’ voice is supreme: powerful, full of strength, even when she whispers…” ( Along the way she shares her narratives of family life and love and the wisdom of Afro-Cuban fables. Always present is her chambo – that vibrant Cuban soul – resilient in its ability to create music and dance through joy and pain. Part of a large Cuban musical family that kept alive African beliefs and practices, she gives a modern voice to the ancestors, providing fresh ways for contemporary audiences to be touched by Cuban music.

Tonight Céspedes leads her band, singing and playing chekeré, joined by singer and percussionist Lichi Fuentes (founder of Chilean nueva cancion band Grupo Raiz and Altazor [four women from four countries] and longtime director of La Peña Community Chorus), pianist-trumpeter Marco Diaz, trumpeter Morris Amaya, guitarist Jose Roberto Hernández, and bassist Saul Sierra-Alonso. Special guests for this concert are John Santos on congas and batá, and Javier Navarrette on bongos. 



Susana Arenas Pedroso is an internationally recognized Cuban folkloric and popular dancer. She began studying dance at age 12 and danced professionally for 17 years in Cuba with popular, folkloric, and theatrical performing troupes. Since her arrival in the U.S. in 1998, Pedroso has performed and choreographed numerous pieces that have been exhibited throughout the U.S., Mexico, Cuba, and Hong Kong with companies such as Omo Ache, Omo Oddara, Ban Rarra, Ire Ile, Alayo Dance Company, Las Que Son Son, and Obini Ashe. 

Eventbrite - Candela with Bobi Cespedes