Carmen joined Tropicoso in April of 2001, replacing Llilian Hererra. Possessing a very strong voice, she really won the band over by learning their entire repertoire in about two weeks. Perhaps more astonishing is the fact that she is an entirely self-taught vocalist who, prior to joining Tropicoso, had never fronted an ensemble.
Raised in Cayey, Puerto Rico, she found work there with a number of ensembles in various administrative capacities. Her stints with the bands Karis, Las Nenas Del Swing, Alto Voltaje, Mateos, Zafra Negra and Rikarena, among others, gave her first hand experience with live performances. With this experience, Carmen helps with our stage presentation by introducing new material and solidifying the ensemble’s vocals.
Besides being the lead vocalist, she frequently adds to the groove with her skills as a hand percussionist and has even written several songs with the band. As a testament to her talent and ability, she has also shared the stage with Puerto Rican Power, El Gran Combo, Victor Manuelle, Poncho Sanchez and Son De Cali.
Carmen is married to fellow Tropicoso member Chris Velez.
When asked for a philosophical quote, she keeps it simple – “Music Unites Cultures”
Her musical input certainly helps to unite Tropicoso.