Nella Rojas Brings the Sounds of Venezuela to WHBPAC - 27 East

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Nella Rojas Brings the Sounds of Venezuela to WHBPAC

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Singer Nella Rojas performs at WHBPAC on March 25. ALESSANDRO MARTINO

Singer Nella Rojas performs at WHBPAC on March 25. ALESSANDRO MARTINO

Singer Nella Rojas performs at WHBPAC on March 25. ALESSANDRO MARTINO

Singer Nella Rojas performs at WHBPAC on March 25. ALESSANDRO MARTINO

Singer Nella Rojas performs at WHBPAC on March 25. ALESSANDRO MARTINO

Singer Nella Rojas performs at WHBPAC on March 25. ALESSANDRO MARTINO

Singer Nella Rojas performs at WHBPAC on March 25. ALESSANDRO MARTINO

Singer Nella Rojas performs at WHBPAC on March 25. ALESSANDRO MARTINO

authorElizabeth Vespe on Mar 13, 2023

When Nella Rojas heard her name announced as the winner of Best New Artist at the Latin Grammy Awards in 2019, she couldn’t believe it. Rojas wasn’t expecting to win the Grammy.

“My first album wasn’t really commercial, so to speak. The purpose of the album was to introduce my voice to the world. We didn’t even think about numbers,” Rojas said during a phone interview recently after performing a show in Los Angeles. “It was a beautiful surprise. I heard my name and thought, ‘Oh my gosh’ this is real. It was one of the most beautiful things that has happened to me.”

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) and Organización Latino Americana of Eastern Long Island (OLA) will host their first co-presented mainstage performance on March 25, at 8 p.m. starring Rojas, the Venezuelan songstress who is now soaring up the charts.

Rojas emerged on the scene with her fusion of the folklore roots of her home country of Venezuela, modern sound production and Andalusian inspirations. Her sound resounds in every corner of the globe. “My music has a lot of influence from my roots,” Rojas said.

Since skyrocketing to international renown after attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, her success has been fueled by her powerhouse voice and undeniable presence. Her full-length debut album in 2019, “Voy” (I Go) received acclaim from NPR and yielded the hit “Me Llaman Nella” (They Call Me Nella) which surpassed 1.4 million Spotify streams and 1.4 million views on YouTube. In addition, the title track was named the 14th best song of 2019, in any genre, by The New York Times.

“I always dreamt about having an album and performing. It was beautiful exposure for this kind of music which is not the most commercial,” Rojas explained of her music, winning the Grammy and touring the world.

She has been packing venues throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe, but she has also accompanied Alejandro Sanz, Jennifer López, Carlos Vives, Luis Enrique, Susana Baca, Los Amigos Invisibles, Monsieur Periné, Caramelos de Cianuro and Guaco as a soloist.

“I’m very passionate about what I do,” Rojas said. “I’ve been very lucky to get to know amazing people that I admire.” At the beginning of 2020 Nella signed with Sony Music Records and released her new album “Doce Margaritas,” in 2021 which is now available on all platforms.

“It’s been a long road and a lot of work, but I have a lot of love for what I do,” she said. “I’m working on my next album, and I am very excited.”

Rojas favorite singer as a child was Christian Aguilera, an American Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter known for her four-octave vocal range and the ability to sustain high notes. She joked that Aguilera was her first singing coach. From there, as she grew up she took influences from Brazilian music and other artists such as Spanish Grammy winning singer María Concepción Balboa Buika and Ella Fitzgerald — the fabled American singer known as the Queen of Jazz.

“I’ve been singing since I was 11 years old and performing professionally for the past six years,” Rojas explained. Although no one in her family is a musician, they all have a deep love of music. “My grandfather always had classical, jazz or blues playing in the background.”

Though this is the first musical partnership for WHBPAC and OLA, the theater previously partnered with the organization to present Encanto en Español as part of OLA’s 19th annual Latino Film Festival last September. After working together on the film festival, this is the next logical step in the collaboration between WHBPAC and OLA, said WHBPAC Executive Director Julienne Penza-Boone.

“By expanding our programming through vital partnerships with organizations like OLA, we’re excited about continuing to bring emerging, diverse artists like Nella to our stage and to as many people as possible,” Penza-Boone said.

“Nella is a tremendous talent and an inspiring performer. The more Latinx and Latin American artists we bring to the East End, the more enriched our local cultural landscape becomes,” OLA Executive Director Minerva Perez added. “Through partnerships like this one, we want to try to ensure that all community members feel welcome in our local arts spaces and that they feel a sense of belonging.

“Highlighting music, film, and other artistic productions in Spanish is key to embracing our entire community,” she said. “We are excited about continuing our partnership with WHBPAC.”

Rojas’s WHBPAC debut will come one day after she performs at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City, said WHBPAC Marketing Director Heather Draskin.

“The Latino community is vital to the East End, and we will continue to be a community resource by working with OLA and presenting compelling and timely performances like Nella,” Draskin said.

Founded in 2002, OLA of Eastern Long Island works to create a more equitable East End for Latino immigrants by advocating for just and inclusive government and school policies, protecting families, nurturing power and unity among Latinos through leadership workshops and other programs, and building bridges among different sectors of the East End community through celebrating arts and culture.

“We are finding this collaboration between WHBPAC and OLA to be sort of a dream collaboration,” Perez said. “We truly want to make sure that this beautiful theater feels welcoming to all members of the community. It’s time to get tickets before she blows up. She is a rising star for sure.”

Rojas will bring a full band to WHBPAC and it will be a big show, Perez said, adding that Rojas will sing in both Spanish and English. Fitting, given that OLA’s work in the five East End towns is rooted in the belief that the entire community benefits from an inclusive approach that involves respectful dialogue and shared accountability.

“It’s about bringing people together and everyone is going to love her voice,” Perez said. “The energy is going to be wonderful.”

“I am going to come to Westhampton with all of this great energy after performing at Carnegie Hall,” Rojas said. “I am very excited.”

Nella Rojas performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, at WHBPAC. Tickets are $46 to $71 plus tax and fees at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is at 76 Main Street in Westhampton Beach. For more information about Organización Latino Americana of Eastern Long Island (OLA), visit

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