Havana Nights - Single album cover

Havana Nights - Single

Valerie Toledo

May 15, 2024


In 1980, my grandfather risked everything to bring his family to the United States, boarding a small ship during the Mariel boatlift with my grandmother, my mother, and my uncle. Before they faced the seas, he spoke these words to his family: “We’re going on a journey that will be difficult. No matter what happens, don’t cry. You have to be brave.”

43 years later, he faced the most difficult and universal trial — the journey from this life to the next.

I wanted to write him a song that communicated my gratitude for everything he had given me without dampening his spirits.

I wanted the song to echo that message he gave his family 43 years ago: “Ahora no llores.”

On May 15, 2024, on what would have been his 72nd birthday, you'll get to hear about his journey and the legacy he left behind on my new single Havana Nights.

If my Abuelito was here, I know he'd dance all night to it.