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Haydée Milanés Embraces Her Dad's Legacy With Her Own Vision

Vocalist Haydée Milanés has a famous musician dad and a musical vision all of her own.
May Reguera
Courtesy of the Artist
Vocalist Haydée Milanés has a famous musician dad and a musical vision all of her own.

The musical world is full stories of musical progeny who either embrace or struggle to get out from under their famous parents. Cuban vocalist Haydée Milanés walks around with one of the most famous names in all of Latin America. Her father Pablo Milanés is one of the most revered singer-songwriters to emerge from a heady period when politics, poetry and acoustic guitars flowed from Cuba in the form of nueva trova, or new song. He is so revered that he is known as simply Pablito.

So how does a singer-songwriter daughter deal with that legacy? Haydée Milanés embraces it full-on with a style all of her own.

On her first credit as a producer, Amor: Haydée Milanés a dúo con Pablo Milanés, she pays tribute to the songs that are practically her siblings. In this week's show, she talks about assembling an international cast of musicians who jumped at the chance to honor her dad. But she also makes it clear that that legacy has helped her create a musical vision for herself, stamped with a musical identity that embraces as much Cuban son as Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan.

My thanks to Alt.Latino contributor Marisa Arbona-Ruiz for co-hosting this episode.

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Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.
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