The usual course taken by immigrants and their families when coming to North America is for the older generation to hold on their former culture while picking up enough English to get by. Children who are either born here or are young enough when they arrive to not be set in their ways, are far more quick to assimilate as they are immersed in the new world's culture through their educational experiences. Five days a week for most of their waking hours they live in the new environment, speaking the language and adapting their behaviour so they can fit in.
Yet what happens if they end up in a multinational city like New York in the U.S. or Toronto in Canada, where depending on the neighborhood, you might very rarely hear English spoken. Sure they may receive their education in that language, but the children they play with might speak anything from Spanish to Russian among themselves and with their parents. Growing up in that type of environment, there is going to be less pressure on them to blend in with some homogeneous image of America or Canada. So not only will they not be in a hurry to forget where they came from, they stand a good chance of being influenced by what they see and hear.
Such was the case with Marta Topferova who was eleven years old when she and her mother and sister arrived in America from what was then Czechoslovakia. Not only was she influenced by the new dominant American society around her, she fell under the sway of Latin American music, while still retaining a desire to be connected to the land of her birth. While her musical early education was in classical music, her professional career has followed a far less conventional path. There are plenty of examples of musicians who perform in more then one ensemble or group, it's not often that each of the groups not only plays a different type of music, but performs in a different language.
Topferova not only records in her native Czech, but the two major languages of her new homeland, English and Spanish. Not having heard any of her other recordings I can't speak to her success in either of the them, however, if her newest release Trova, being released on the World Village Music label December 8, 2009, and her ability to perform in Spanish and play Latin music are indications of her overall quality, she is a rare talent indeed. In fact, even if she were to perform nothing but the Latin music you hear on Trova she would have to be considered a singer, songwriter, and musician of extraordinary capabilities.