Rising in the Heights 2024 with Carmen Cancél & Jainardo Batista

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Word Up Community Bookshop Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10032


Carmen Cancél - Hailed as a singer possessing a “crystalline timbre and intense acting ability,” (L'Arena, Verona, Italy) Puerto Rican soprano, Carmen Elisa Cancél, received high praise for her performances as Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Puccini's Suor Angelica, Mrs. Fiorentino in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Musetta in La Bohème, and as Donna Elvira with the Operafestival di Roma production of Don Giovanni at the Palazzo della Sapienza in Rome. As a crossover artist, Ms. Cancél was proclaimed “flawless” and “completely believable” (Creative Loafing Tampa) in her performance as the title character in the world premiere of Maria’s Song, and has excelled in traditional theater roles, including Julie LaVerne in Show Boat, and Sarraghina in Maury Yeston’s Nine. Her singing has taken her throughout the US and to Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and her native Puerto Rico. ​ Picture Ms. Cancél enjoys her work as a teaching artist, training vocalists of all genres of music from classical and Broadway styles to world music, jazz, rock, and cabaret. Ms. Cancél holds a Graduate Certificate in Voice Performance from the University of South Florida as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Music from Clearwater Christian College. She is co-producer of the Washington Heights Arts Salon Series (est. 2019).

Puerto Rican singer and percussionist Jainardo Batista comes from a family with a long tradition in music and theater in Puerto Rico. Since arriving in New York City (1993) he has been involved in the music scene, collaborating with rumberos, soneros, and salseros. In 1994 he became heavily involved in Cuban “son,” a synthesis of African and Spanish styles widely considered to be Cuba's national music. Over the years he also developed deep ties to traditional Puerto Rican bomba, plena, salsa, rumba, and timba. As a Jazz Ambassador of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jainardo has toured Central and Northwest Africa as well as South America and the Caribbean. Additionally, he has performed in the Jerusalem Jazz Festival with Roman Díaz and Grupo Agolona; Essaouira Gnawa Festival (Morocco) with Colette Michaan's Querencia; and Grammy-nominated Raíces Habaneras at New York's Town Hall. Jainardo maintains an active performance schedule in NYC. ​​​

Business sponsor Native Noodles: @nativenoodles

Rising in the Heights is a festival of free monthly outdoor public arts performances curated by Leadlights Ensemble in partnership with Word Up Community Bookshop. The festival celebrates the rich artistic contributions of Latinx and Black cultures and promotes children’s literacy through music and storytelling.

Friday, June 14 at 5pm | outside Word Up


A Song of Frutas By Margarita Engle, Sara Palacios (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Margarita Engle, Sara Palacios (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534444898
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - August 3rd, 2021

Un pregón de frutas (Song of Frutas) By Margarita Engle, Sara Palacios (Illustrator), Alexis Romay (Translated by) Cover Image
By Margarita Engle, Sara Palacios (Illustrator), Alexis Romay (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781534462182
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - August 3rd, 2021