Here it is, the moment you all been waiting for: Maria Isa, formally known as Maria Isabelle Perez Vega, will be at Northrop June 18! Bring your friends and your dancing shoes; you can even bring your mom, but one thing you can leave behind, your wallet. The show is a FREE, that's right, a FREE outdoor concert on the plaza from 7 to 8pm! Qdoba will also be giving out FREE samples while supplies last - we just think of everything, don't we?
More about Maria
This Latin firecracker was born to Nuyorican parents and raised on St. Paul's Westside, and has quickly become a pioneering Latin Hip-hop/R&B performer in the Twin Cities, delivering a show you won't want to miss.
Her Afro-Boricua rhythms of Bomba and Plena, Motown funk and old-school Rhythm and Blues, fused with Fania's Salsa Bugaloo, and peppered with R&B remixes and lyrical poetry, make her music quite unique.
Isa began her arts education at El Arco Iris Center for the Arts in 1992, where she went from student to singer, songwriter, and performer. The hits followed and she began playing sold-out shows at many Minneapolis venues.
Isa and her production company, SotaRico, named after her dual cultural heritage comprising Minnesota and Puerto Rico, form a new independent label, "a total sound fusion," blowing up the Latin hip-hop scene. Her latest CD, Street Politics, has reached the shores of Japan, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica, and, by producing her own tracks, she became the only female of three emcees chosen to perform at Time Machine Squad's 2005 hip hop fest as well as the Puerto Rican Hip Hop Festival. Isa was also nominated for the Minnesota Music Award's "Best Hip-Hop Artist" in 2006. In 2008, she hooked up with Time Machine Squad, performing at its 2008 "express ya skills" hip hop fest following the 2007 debut of her album, M.I. Split Personalities.
If you don't recognize Isa from her music, you
might remember her as an actress in the production of Rent at the cavernous Lab Theater in February of this year. The rising hip-hop star played
the role of Mimi, the dying love interest at the heart of the show; Isa
admitted that she really found the character's sassiness a fun role to play as she
hung up her tracksuit for a few months.
Beyond the recording studio, Isa is an avid social activist, using her talents to create social change. In 2002 she co-founded the dance group, Raices (meaning "roots"), with a mission to protect Puerto Rican heritage through folkloric music and dance. Isa also organizes a mixture of social events to raise money and public awareness for juvenile diabetes, as she herself suffers from Type 1 diabetes. Isa continues to collaborate with Youth Thrive to organize "Day of Peace" motivational workshops for incarcerated youth, and has collaborated with Peace Jam to host various Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
Isa is a truly multifaceted artist, who will rock the night stage at Northrop at her outdoor concert coming soon! Be there or be, well... somewhere less cool.