Home Profiles Deborah “La Cocodrila” De La Torre

Deborah “La Cocodrila” De La Torre



“The crocodile, like the island it symbolizes, is a strong and surprising creature, a creature that lays low but violently fights back when cornered or confined. This music sure breaks a few rules and purposely ‘does it wrong’ on some occasions. It’s postmodern and disruptive. Crocodiles live in the water and on land at the same time. Being a Miami native of Cuban and multicultural heritage, my music lives on many hyphens as well.

Her album title’s first word means “Damn!” in Cuban Spanish, a word you might say as you try to dance to some of the tunes when the rhythm breaks your ankles. However, one of the best things about living in Denver, Colorado since 2005 is the hot sunshine and being able to hike in the mountains surrounding Mile High City. I’ve met some great musicians here who’ve helped make this album possible. Thomas A. Blomster, master percussionist, who has worked with giants such as Aaron Copland, Elliot Carter, and Krystof Penderecki, conducted numerous orchestras, and also writes and plays with jazz and rock bands, as well as the renowned Ron Bland on the bass, who has performed with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Doc Severinson, and Earth Wind and Fire, Linda Rondstadt, Pavarotti, Rosemary Clooney, an numerous symphony orchestras. Also, many thanks to Patricia Surman (flute), Dave DeMichelis (electric guitar), Rodney Farrar (cello), Randy Runyan (trumpet).

My first instrument wasn’t the piano.  My dad used to keep his Marching Band cornet hidden away but when I was four years old I found it and figured out how to play a scale.  Soon enough my parents found me an old piano and I was playing tv show themes and commercials by ear.  My 2nd-grade teacher arranged for an audition with a university professor, and my first composition won a good-sized cash prize for a kid. I later studied composition with Dennis Kam at the University of Miami, where I founded the student chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI).  My passion for all things Latinx has been expressing itself through performing Latin American/Caribbean and Spanish classical music in solo concerts, founding an international Latino art and film festival, and producing a documentary on our nation’s immigration crisis. Album number two is in progress.” Deborah de La Torre

Coño! (But With A Swing)​ arranged, performed and produced by Deborah “La Cocodrila” De La Torre With Ron Bland (bass) and Thomas A. Blomster (percussion), Patricia Surman (flute), David DeMichelis (electric guitar), Randy Runyan (trumpet), Rodney Farrar (cello).

Tracks: Bop Bop Bop Bop; Dulce y Caliente; Luna; El Sudor; Oya’s Funk; Turrón; Coño! (But With A Swing); Resuelve; Monedas; Baile Cubano.

Photo Credit: Armando Geneyro


A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.


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