Cuban artist Aymée Nuviola scored an upset win at the 2020 Grammy Awards when she tied with Latin superstar Marc Anthony in the tropical Latin album category, which also included multiple Grammy winner Juan Luis Guerra.
“I really was surprised,” Nuviola, a previous Latin Grammy winner who is known to many Spanish television viewers for her starring role in a Colombian series about Celia Cruz, tells Billboard.
Nuviola won for her album A Journey Through Cuban Music, recorded between Cuba and Miami, which she describes as a recording that captures the history of Cuban music through fresh versions of classic songs, “And it also tells my story.”
The singer, who produced the album together with Top Stop Music’s Gregory Elias and Roniel Alfonso Mella, moved to Miami in 2004, after having left Cuba for Mexico. Her previous albums include the 2018 Latin Grammy-winning Como Anillo al Dedo and First Class to Havana.
For her Grammy-winning production, Nuviola collaborated with outstanding Cuban names including Omara Portuondo, pianists Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Chucho Valdés, the traditional Cuban music group El Septeto Santiago, rumberos Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Los Van Van’s Samuel Formell.
“I wanted to do a tribute to Cuban music and to the great artists who have taken our music to the world,” Nuviola says. “And I wanted to do it with artists who I have a history playing with and have had a connection to my career.” She adds that the caliber of the artists and their busy schedules made recording the album a logistical challenge.
Tracks on A Journey Through Cuban Music range from “Chan Chan,” the Buena Vista Social Club standard, to the classics “Lagrimas Negras,” “El Manisero” and “El Bodeguero,” all among the best-known Cuban songs of all time, recorded with contemporary arrangements by Nuviola and Mella, a Havana-based musician and producer.
Nuviola says that her upcoming tour dates will be announced soon.