Afro-Latin Roots Music and Movement



Key Players


Song and Video Releases

Performance Highlights

Stage Plot/Rider



Sanctuario was formed in 2021 in Brooklyn, New York. As one of the invited performers in the nightly outdoor musical shows spearheaded by Alegba and Friends, Sanctuario was birthed out of community and the desire to create spaces for joy and release. The shows in Prospect Park were a response to NYC lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic and were a magical space of hope and music during uncertain times.

Sanctuario - Who

Mónica Ortiz Rossi

Artistic Director and Band Leader

Mónica has lent her vocals to Kemo The Blaxican‘s (of Deliquent Habits) Latin hip-hop album La Receta as well as Giovanny Blanco and JasWho‘s live Spigga performances in Los Angeles. Upon her return to her native Brooklyn, New York she worked with numerous projects including Afro-Latin projects San Juan Hill led by Frank Diggz, Badinba, and La Madrugada,; all formative experiences for creating the Afro-Latin music and dance ensemble Sanctuario.

Okai Musik

Artistic Collaborator

Okai is a percussionist and vocalist who has been a part of several NYC-based bands such as Brown Rice Family and Strings N Skins. Okai has traveled the world collecting rhythms of the African diaspora to inspire his production. Okai is a genre-fusing producer of Hip-Hop, Afro- Latin, house and R&B music.

Sanctuario - Who

Sanctuario performs as a 6-piece Afro-Latin Dance and Music ensemble led by Mónica Ortiz Rossi in collaboration with Okai Musik. Joining them are a stellar group of musicians that blend Afro-Caribbean rhythms and help to create the vibration for movement, dance and liberation.

Alexis Marcelo Pianist for New York Metropolitan Opera the Life and Times of Malcolm X 

Ian Jesse Grammy award-winning Bassist

Gashford Guillaume founding member of Mozayik Haitian Jazz

David DiTrapani Trumpetist, Educator and Arranger

Okai Musik Percussionist and arranger

Mónica Ortiz Rossi Singer and songwriter


Mónica’s Dominican background and Okai Musik’s Haitian roots make a powerful collaboration that extends beyond music. It is the recognition that the people of Quisqueya contain multitudes and many share an African history. The Afro-rooted music, rhythms and dances served to unify people in the past and are remind us today that we come from one land and have a shared vision of love and liberation for the future.

Sanctuario Song and Video Releases

SONG - The song Rica Pena delivers sultry Afro-Latin vibes with a nod to romantic vinyls. Singer/Songwriter Mónica Ortiz Rossi floats above the driving beat produced by Okai Musik, effortlessly blending Afro-diaspora sounds.

SONG/VIDEO - The video, brilliantly directed by William Runnels, illuminates the link between the struggles of those working in America, in Cabrera, Dominican Republic, and throughout time on the Island of Ayiti/Quisqueya.

SONG - Released in September 2023 La Que Manda (Licky) is a afro-futuristic bop with tinges of dem bow and Brazilian phonk. The song calls for an end to violence against women and the forthcoming video Directed by Jen Campbell features an all-women Brazilian drum ensemble and choreography by Tamara Jones, Chia Hui Cheng and Jazmine Dugall.

Sanctuario Performance Highlights

Little Island Performance

At Salon on Kingston

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza

Stage Plot/Rider






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