A fixture in Houston for more than 20 years, Norma Zenteno grew up in a house filled with music thanks to her father, Roberto, a journeyman horn player and nightclub entrepreneur who has been the singer's inspiration since childhood. And while her fusion of Latin, rock, jazz and pop is sometimes characterized as Tejano (more for geographic reasons than anything else), the earthy image Zenteno projects from the stage is closer in spirit to Grace Slick than Selena. Ship her off to Miami, and Zenteno might just give Gloria Estefan a run for her money -- if, that is, it wasn't for that booming, raspy rock star voice of hers.
Now in her fifties, Zenteno has shared the bill with her share of superstar Latin acts, including Selena and la Mafia over the years. But she has remained a regional phenomenon due, in large part, to her unwillingness to leave her hometown. She has learned, however, to make the most of her eclectic tastes, fronting no less than three versions of her band: a rock version, a jazz ensemble and an alternative incarnation called Raised by Wolves. ~ Hobart Rowland, Rovi