Some Day After Dark: Best Female Performer 

Bobi Cespedes

Long before the Buena Vista Social Club, the Bay Area was being rocked to the sounds of Cuban son by singer Gladys "Bobi" Cespedes and Conjunto Cespedes, the band she co-led with her nephew Guillermo for more than twenty years. A Santeria priestess with an earthy voice, she garnered acclaim from the group's excellent Xenophile/Green Linnet albums and influential stamp of the legendary Celia Cruz. In the new millennium, she joined Mickey Hart's Bembe Orisha and renewed her confidence. This year she busted out with a new album titled Rezos (Prayers) on San Francisco-based Six Degrees Records. Produced by the twice-Grammy-nominated Greg Landau, it's a provocative new blend of Afro-Cuban traditional music complemented by hip-hop beats and electronica textures. Up for a California Music Award for Best Latin Album, Bobi Cespedes is back and charging up the scene with Havana soul.

Readers' Pick for Best Female Performer: Goapele

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