Omara Portuondo

Genres: Latin Music Videos & Concerts World World Music
Tags: cuban latin female vocalists buena vista social club jazz world cuba Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1950s 1960s 1990s 2000s
Links: BBC Music page discogs IMDb lyrics VIAF wikidata wikipedia


October 1930, Havana, Cuba. The only female artist of the Buena Vista Social Club collective, Portuondo has been dubbed ‘the Edith Piaf of Cuba’ and ‘the fiancée of feeling’ for her passionate and moving performances in the cabarets and nightspots of Havana. However, her first album widely available outside of Cuba was not released until her seventieth year.

Portuondo was born in Havana to a woman from a wealthy Spanish family, who ran off with a black baseball player at a time when mixed race marriages were still frowned upon. Although apparently initially reluctant to go on stage because she did not want to show her legs (her mother convinced her otherwise), Portuondo began her entertainment career as a dancer at Cuba’s Tropicana cabaret. She moved onto singing and still performs at the iconic venue today. In the early 50s, Portuondo formed the Cuarteto Las D’Aida, notably providing backing vocals for...

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