Omara Portuondo

Buena Vista Social Club™ Diva celebrates her music and life with a very special worldwide tour which will include some exceptional invited guests. The great Cuban diva and artistic ambassador of her country wants to celebrate with a grand fiesta which represents the impressive sweep of her award winning career – on every stop meeting with old friends and new to perform together much loved Cuban classics, from ‘Besame Mucho’ to ‘Veinte Años’. Omara’s band includes the Grammy nominated Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca who will also be available for shows.

“With our music we Cubans have exported more dreams and pleasures than with our tobacco, more sweetness and energy than with all our sugar. Afro-Cuban music is fire, savour and smoke; it is syrup, charm and relief. It is like sonorous rum, which brings people together and makes them treat each other as equals. It brings the senses to dynamic life.”– Fernando Ortiz.

Omara Portuondo is one of the legendary names in Cuban music, with a distinguished career spanning multiple decades. In the 1950s Omara launched her career singing with famous all female Orchestra, ‘Orquesta Anacaona’ and Quarteto Las d’Aida who she perofrmedwith for fifteen years. In the 60s, 70s & 80s Omara explored other solo & collaborative projects which toured internationally in the including with Orquesta Aragon and Adalberto Alvarez.

In 1997, the Buena Vista Social Club project boosted her profile throughout the world. Ry Cooder heard her in the mid-90s and she happened to be recording in Egrem when an aborted Afro-Cuban project opened up some studio time. Omara was due to tour Vietnam but immediately recognised the importance of reviving the old school music becoming the only female member of the Buena Vista Social Club collective, touring extensively as one of the vital vocalists of the group. The Grammy award winning self-titled album ricocheted round the world and novelist Salman Rushdie called 1998 “that Buena Vista summer” . Wim Wenders’ stylish film added rocket fuel to sales of the album. As well as “Silencio”, Omara had another gorgeous duet drenched in nostalgia “Veinte Anos”, sung with Compay Segundo, a song Omara recorded previously and originally learned from her parents.

In 2000 World Circuit released Omara’s solo album ‘Buena Vista Social Club presents… Omara Portuondo’, the third release in the series and an album which finally places her expressive voice centre stage where it belongs earning her a Latin grammy. Omara recorded with a dream backing band which included Buena Vista musicians Ruben Gonzalez, Orlando ‘Cachaito’ Lopez, Manuel ‘Guajiro’ Mirabal and Jesus ‘Aguaje’ Ramos, featuring guest appearances from Eliades Ochoa, Compay Segundo, Manuel Galban and Ibrahim Ferrer.

The album was met with great acclaim, and led to Omara embarking on a world tour in 2000-2001 with fellow Buena Vista stars Ruben Gonzalez and Ibrahim Ferrer, giving a whole new generation of fans the opportunity to see this illustrious trio live in concert.

In 2004 Omara released Flor de Amor to great critical acclaim and has since continued to record, release, and tour extensively as a solo act and with Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club.

The best way to celebrate Omara’s musical career? A very special worldwide tour which will include some exceptional invited guests. The great Cuban diva and artistic ambassador of her country wants to celebrate with a grand fiesta which represents the impressive sweep of her career – on every stop meeting with old friends and new to perform together much loved Cuban classics, from ‘Besame Mucho’ to ‘Veinte Años’. The tour will reflect different aspects of Omara’s long career, taking it back to her younger years and love of elegant cabaret, through the Buena Vista days right up to the present with different tastes and flavours, of what will be a musical feast, full of piquant sabrosura.

Agent Info

Tom Smallwood
tom@diplomatsofsound.org