Margie Perez grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC on a diet of classic rock and Cuban rhythms. As the child of immigrants from Havana, she knew Johnny Pacheco and Celia Cruz recordings just as intimately as she did every Beatles album. And what goes in, eventually comes out.
As a singer, Perez is surprisingly versatile. She sings any number of musical styles, including pop, blues, jazz, funk, Latin melodies and West African sacred music. That makes her popular among a wide array of musicians, including drummer Stanton Moore, (Galactic), traditional jazz clarinetist Dr. Michael White, and funk guitarist Leo Nocentelli (The Meters).
Part of Perez’s versatility comes from a native restlessness. For many years, she worked as a travel agent and visited nearly every continent.
“I’ve just always had this wanderlust,” Perez tells Gwen.
New Orleans is home, Perez says, but it would be nice to have a seaside shack in Cuba that catered to island beachcombers and tourists. And, for the price of rum and sunshine, Perez says she’d be willing to sing.