Omara Portuondo, the world-renowned vocalist who began her career in the music scene of her native Cuba in the 1940s, will celebrate her 80th Birthday with performances in the U.S. this fall. Portuondo on the heels of a GRAMMY win for her 2008 release Gracias will entertain audiences with her rich, soulful brand of jazz and balladry. Portuondo, is an original member of the internationally critically acclaimed Buena Vista Social Club a group whose roots date back to the Cuban club scene of the 1940s before it took the world by storm in the late 90s. She was the first Cuban artist in six years to be granted a visa to perform in the United States and the first Cuban citizen to appear on television as a presenter at The Latin Grammy Awards.
Jose Marte, our great Cuban poet, once said that music is the soul of the people, says Omara. "Music is at the heart of every culture, something to be shared among all people, regardless of borders and politics. It has always been a universal language for people who might not otherwise understand each other. Perhaps, through these performances, I could be a goodwill ambassador between these two countries."
Portuondo's recent appearances in the U.S. in the fall of 2009 and spring of 2010 had critics saying the following:
The Cuban singer Omara Portuondo, is still impulsive onstage. ... She sang high and low, whispering and declaiming, hinting at tears and pride... -New York Times March 2010
"Her performance here of two classic boleros was enough to transport us to another time and place" - Tiny Desk Concert March 2010
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