Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Dalto, Adela, singer, songwriter; b. Weslaco, TX, 18 November 1953. Her parents Leonor and Jose Lezama live in Texas. Her mother was born in Pennsylvania and her father was born in Mexico. She married pianist Jorge Dalto in 1973 until his death in 1987. They had two sons, Miles (b. Sept. 10, 1977), a pianist and Billie (b. Sept. 11, 1976), politics.
Adela grew up in Gary, Indiana, graduated High School and moved to Chicago. Came to New York in 1974 at 20 years old with Jorge Dalto. Began singing in 1975 when arranger, Chico O'Farrell, was in need of a jingle singer. Joined S.A.G. 1974. Born in Texas to Mexican parents, she grew up with the influence of R&B and a growing interest in jazz. It was her late husband, Jorge Dalto, former pianist for George Benson, who encouraged her musical career. Jorge introduced her to the subtle and exciting rhythms of Latin and Brazilian music. Adela's career has been greatly inspired by personal favorites such as Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Latin singers Graciela and Celia Cruz, as well as the Brazilians Elis Regina and Leny Andrade.
Her first night club gigs were singing jazz and the Jobim collection in Portuguese. Continued singing jazz and Brazilian music until she started working with Mauricio Smith's Latin Orchestra for a steady gig at the Rainbow Room which led to the European Tour with Mario Bauza's Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra in 1992.
She toured with Carlos "Patato" Valez's Afrojazzia group throughout Europe in 1992 promoting his "Masterpiece" CD on Messidor Records.
As a producer, in 2002, she put together a 33 piece orchestra with conductor for a tribute concert to the Billie Holiday of Latin America, "Tona La Negra." With 22 strings, plus 5 horns and the band making a total of 33 musicians on stage. The arrangements were orchestrated by the Latin jazz arrangers Ray Santos, Fernando Otero and conducted by Francisco Zumaque.
Adela has been performing in the local clubs in New York City with her band and as a special guest. She has performed alongside great Latin musicians such as Jerry Gonzalez and Hilton Ruiz. She has also performed with jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove in Japan, Brazilian pianist Aloisio Aguiar in Rio and with Mauricio Smith's Latin Jazz Orchestra at The Rainbow Room in New York City. Adela toured as featured vocalist with the late Mario Bauza's Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Pori Jazz, North Sea Jazz, Umbria Jazz and the Montreux Jazz festivals and with Carlos "Patato" Valdes' Afrojazzia ensemble as they hit Europe's top nightclubs.
Adela tours with her own group performing festivals as the Chivas Regal Latin Jazz Festival in Puerto Rico and performing at clubs such as S.O.B.'s, Visiones and Birdland while living in New York City. Her recordings have included some top names in the field such as Chucho Valdez, Lee Konitz, Dave Valentin, David Sanchez, Claudio Roditi among others. She is also the founder of the female Latin band Mujeres Latinas with a website that promotes women empowerment. She was mentioned with a photo in John Storm Roberts's book "Latin Jazz."
Adela is part of the PBS Documentary "A Profile of Jorge Dalto," appearing as wife and vocalist.
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