"Mayra has a fiery, passionate and loveable spirit which can be felt undeniably in her divine playing. While her roots as a Cuban percussionist are strong and refreshing, Mayra is undoubtedly one of the most well rounded and exciting percussionists of this time". Elisabeth Oei - Afrasia
Mayra Casales is considered to be one of the most versatile percussionists of her generation. Born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Miami, Mayra studied with Carlos "Patato" Valdez. Before long she was performing with some of the biggest names in Latin music such as Celia Cruz, Machito, Joe Cuba, Miguelito Valdez and Tito Puente.
Mayra moved to New York City where she continued her musical journey, working with such legendary artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Ray Barretto, Angela Bofil, Walter Bishop Jr., Jon Lucien, Phyllis Hyman, Carmen Lundy, Tania Maria, David Amram, Regina Carter and Grady Tate.
She has contributed to recordings by Regina Bell, Kiara, Miki Howard and Lita Gallaway. She has also toured with Sophie B. Hawkins, Regina Carter,
Carmen Lundy, Women of the Calabash, Mauricio Smith, Tania Maria and The Ojays.
Mayra released her first CD, "Woman on Fire/Mujer Ardiente" (which made it to #19 on the World Charts) on the Afrasia Label. Mayra founded Cocomama in 2008.