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CANDY SOSA

 

Candi Sosa, born in Habana, Cuba, was raised in Central Covadonga, in Central Cuba.

Maestro Osvaldo Farres lived nearby, noticed this rare talent, made her his student and began training her, teaching her his classics, such as "Quizas Quizas", "Tres Palabras" and "Toda Una Vida". Candi (then called Dulce Maria) was then sent by her parents, along with her brother and her older sister to Miami, under the Catholic mission Project Pedro Pan.

Candi became the premier performer at the weekly talent shows put on by the refugee camps to entertain the children. 

One of these performances was captured in a documentary film ("La Manzana Perdida / The Lost Apple") produced by David Susskin. In 2010 CNBC featured Candi in "Escape from Havana: An American Story". Candi was also featured in The International Film Festival in Habana, Cuba, in the prize winning Documentary film by Estela Bravo, "Operation Peter PanCerrando el Circulo-Flying Back to Cuba".

In the years between leaving Cuba and reuniting with her parents, Candi lived in Long Beach, California, with a foster family, where the nuns from her Catholic school provided her voice and piano lessons. 

She performed in Las Vegas at thirteen, started a rock band with her brother in junior high school, and eventually had regular gigs in Los Angeles and Miami. She moved to Puerto Rico for five years and performed regularly. She also spent time in Miami, Costa Rica, Santo Domingo, Mexico, Japan, and France, under contract with Princess Cruise Line and international hotel chain.

She returned to L.A., where La Masia became her "home away from home". Candi is also a songwriter and producer. "Cuba, Mi Corazon Te Llama" (for Discos Dos Coronas) gained several first places in popular play lists.

\Candi, whose persona is as warm and rich as her voice. was soon on sessions with names like Celia Cruz, Paquito de Rivera, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Juan Pablo Torres and in other circles, with Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt, to name a few.

In 2000 she was asked to record with Grammy nominated Caravana Cubana. Shortly afterwards, a producer picked up Candi's story and offered to film a documentary which would fulfill Candi's lifelong dream: a performance at the Tropicana, in Habana.

Candi returned to her homeland after more than 30 years of separation to perform with Chucho Valdés. It was a dream that seemed as far as the moon for the Dulce Maria who became American but always remained Cuban in her soul. 

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