The lights go down, the band strikes the opening notes of the first song and for the next two hours Yolanda Duke mesmerizes the crowd with her mastery of Latin jazz, Merengue, Ballads, Bossanova, Salsa and Bolero.
While that is a very real scenario today, it was but a recurring dream for young Yolanda growing up in New York City. She was the gifted little girl with the big voice, who––after taking singing lessons––began to take command of her talent and gain confidence in her ability to entertain.
Yolanda then recorded a tribute to the famous Latin songstress La Lupe, who gained international fame performing with the Tito Puente Orchestra. A copy of the cd made its way to Tito, who was so impressed that he invited young Yolanda to appear as a guest vocalist at several concerts over the next few years. Then he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse––becoming a permanent singer in the band.
Today, Yolanda carries on Tito’s legacy, performing in venues around the world with the Tito Puente Latin Jazz Orchestra. She continues her prolific recording career as well, La Duke produce Big Band recording of standards, the recorded it in Spanish, including Contigo En La Distnacia with Arturo Sandoval. La Duke is now promoting a new single “Yo La Mala” a Salsa rhythm tune The little songbird might be all grown up, but deep inside she is still a young girl singing her heart out for the entire world to hear.