Ladies night at Teatro La Tea tonight for Lauren Velez {my favorite from NY Undercover!} one-woman show, ‘They Call Me La Lupe.’  Velez says to Latina Magazine:

Why do you think it’s important to tell La Lupe’s story?
It’s important because for so many people she was forgotten, and this woman broke through incredible barriers. She was part of this movement in this country, an incredibly exciting time when we had the Beatles, and revolutions and she was a revolution unto herself. And the fact that this revolution was Afro-Carribean, it should never be forgotten. It’s very inspiring. Also, while people say Lupe was forgotten, at the end of the day, what she found was herself and her own self-worth. Ultimately, fame goes away and what you’re left with is yourself. That’s what Lupe found in the end. She found peace. She found God. She walked away with something that most people don’t get to experience. People said she was crazy. They asked, ‘Who is she that she gets to live so freely?’ ¡Mentira! Everybody gets to do it. It’s just that not everybody has the balls to do it!

I first heard of La Lupe consciously {I’ve probably heard my mom play her records as a little girl} on a trip to Puerto Rico.  She was the perfect road trip/empowerment soundtrack to drive through the island.  Then I learned a lot more about her story, started watching old videos of her, AMAZED how free she was in the early 70s for a black, Cubana in the United States {watch her performance on Late Night TV from 1973}!  I couldn’t believe more people, shit, more of my peers, didn’t know about her.  Then the ‘La Lupe: Queen of Latin Soul’ doc premiered at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival.  No se…I’m just really proud to have someone like her to look up to, mistakes and all – she taught me that being bold {in love, life, song} and going for it is the only way.  I also appreciate how spiritual her music is, the Afro-Cuban/Santeria influences, chants, screams – PURO TEATRO!

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