Artist Profiles: Leilia


Leilía is a group of Galician women who are forerunners and makers of the mini-revolution of tambourine music that spread all over Galicia. They got together in the summer of 1989 to recover songs and musical forms that were in danger of extinction. Leilía reproduced and learned it all from the elders they visited throughout Galicia and surrounding regions, recovering traditions they thought lost.

In 1993 they were part of a Pan-Celtic touring project that celebrated the famous Ruta de Santiago, the Saint James Pilgrimage Route. Under the title Hent San Jakez, Leilía toured and recorded together with Bleizi Ruz (Brittany), Cran (Ireland) and La Musgaña (Castile, Spain).

Leilia – Photo by Eutropio Rodriguez

Leilía’s live performances are a colorful and original event. At the beginning of the concerts, the women are dressed in traditional Galician dresses and they perform the pure style of traditional singing: voices accompanies by pandeiretas. Later, a background of acoustic instruments is added, which means a transition between the purest tradition and the horizons of traditional vocal music in the near future.

The group has been a guest on numerous recordings, including albums by the Battlefield Band, Kepa Junkera, Emilio Cao, and Milladoiro.



Vocalists: Mercedes Rodríguez Vázquez – vocals and pandereta (tambourine); Ana María Rodríguez Gómez – vocals and pandereta; Felisa Segade Otero – vocals and pandereta; Patricia Segade Otero – vocals and pandereta; Monserrat Rivera Crespo – vocals and pandereta.

Musicians: Suso de Mens – gaita and accordion; Xoan Porto – guitar; Matilde Balseiro – clarinet and sax; Juan Carlos Duran – bass; Alfredo Teijeiro – drums.


Hent Sant Jakez ‎(Shamrock Records, 1993)
Leilía ‎(DiscMedi Blau, 1994)
I é Verdade, I é Mentira ‎(Virgin Records España, 1998)
Madama ‎(DiscMedi Blau, 2003)
Son de Leilía (2005)
ConSentimento ‎(Fol Música, 2011)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel is also co-founder of the Transglobal World Music Chart. Angel has also produced and remastered world music studio albums and compilations for labels such as Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, and Music of the World.

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