Born in Arequipa, Peru, the second largest city in the country, Lula began to sing at an early age, influenced by her father, Dr. Félix Valdivia Cano, a guitarist who performed and composed folkloric songs; but it was her mother who encouraged her to share her unique talent by performing in public. She began her career at fourteen by singing international pop, rock and Latin American music with one of the most popular groups in Arequipa while also singing with a well-known jazz trio.
These experiences helped her to develop a wide repertoire of music that encompassed jazz standards, bossa novas, boleros, criollo and pop music. She performed in several important festivals that headlined well-known singers including Celia Cruz, Joe Arroyo from Colombia, and Alejandra Guzmán from Mexico. In 1996 she won the coveted "Golden Voice of Festibuga,” the most important song festival in Latin America, held in Cali, Colombia. Victor Manuel presented Lula with the first prize in competition against the finest singers from ten Latin American countries This award brought Lula widespread recognition as a singer throughout her native Peru and the rest of South America.
Lula began to perform extensively throughout South America and Central America and upon returning to Peru was offered a recording contract with Iempsa, the most important recording company in Peru. She released her first CD, Decídete!, in 1999 to rave reviews from the press.
She recorded her second CD, Amor de Locos, a collection of classic boleros and rumbas, in Chile in 2002 and went on to host Noches de Mundo, a weekly entertainment show produced by TV Chile. She returned to Peru in 2004 to record El Regreso, a compilation of popular songs from Arequipa and Peruvian criolla music, which combines African, Spanish and Andean influences. The same year she received the Gold Medal of Culture from the City of Arequipa for having served as an Ambassador of Culture in Chile.
From 2004 until 2007, Lula continued to perform in various festivals and venues throughout South America. She was first invited to perform in the U.S. in 2005. She returned in 2007 and continued to perform both in Latin America and the U.S., traveling back and forth. In 2010, she decided to remain in the U.S., settling in the New York metropolitan area.
Lula’s vast range of musical experiences is evidenced in her diverse repertoire. She combines the landó, festejo, and zamacueca rhythms of Afro-Peruvian music with traditional and Latin jazz, performs bossa novas, standards, boleros and traditional Latin American music.
Her most recent CD, Beautiful Bachata, includes Dominican pop tunes recorded with well-known musicians from the Dominican Republic. It will be released in October 2013.
Lula has performed in a variety of venues from festivals to intimate jazz clubs, including OSPAC Jazz Festival, Trumpets Jazz Club, Tutuma Social Club and the Cotton Club. She hosts Noche Latína at Trumpets Jazz Club, which features some of the finest American and Latin Jazz musicians in the world. A beautiful and charismatic performer , Lula dazzles her audiences with her presence, rousing the public to dance to the rhythms of her voice.
“La música para mí no tiene fronteras. Los cantantes deben escuchar todos los géneros posibles; así van aprendiendo a tener más recursos y riqueza para el canto. “El escenario ha sido mi Universidad; mis discos y premios, mi Masters… ahora estoy haciendo un Doctorado en Nueva York”.
Music has no boundaries for me. Singers should listen as much as possible to all genres of music. In this way they can enrich their performance. The stage has been my university; my records and awards, my Masters Degree. I am forever learning.