The Jazz Orishas quintet is Melvis Santa’s most recent band. Orishas are the deities of the Yoruba tradition. Each represents a particular essence of nature. Jazz music, also stemmed from African roots, originated as a language for resilience, freedom of expression, and thoughts. With this project, Melvis explore both traditions through original composition from a contemporary perspective, establishing herself as a creative bandleader and a multi-disciplinary storyteller that makes a point in connecting her Cuban heritage with the sounds of Jazz, which she continues to absorb since her arrival in New York City.
Melvis graduated from the prestigious Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Havana Cuba in 2001 in Piano and Music Education. She has toured and performed extensively with multiple projects as a bandleader, as well as part of other bands, including Kenny Garrett, Chucho Valdes and Irakere, Muñequitos de Matanzas, and Buenavista Social Club. Other special collaborations include Charles Tolliver, Andy Bey, Ravi Coltrane, Arturo O’Farrill and ALJA, David Virelles, Roman Diaz, Xiomara Laugart and others.