As part of the world farewell that she announced last February under the title ‘Vida’, the Cuban artist Omara Portuondo (Havana, 1930) will begin her farewell tour of European stages on July 19 at the La Mar de Músicas, which is held every year in Murcia, Spain.
According to sources from the organization of the festival, the leading lady of Buena Vista Social Club will replace Carla Morrison on the bill and will perform at the Paco Martín Auditorium, where tickets are already on sale for a cost of 30 euros.
With more than 90 years old, Omara will abandon her international commitments, but she will not retire completely, because she herself has assured that “singing is living, it is my way of being”.
“If you ask me about my favorite place, it will always be the stage, the song I sing, the next applause. As long as I have a voice and someone wants to hear me, let me sing,” added Omara.
Portuondo is one of the great exponents of the traditional music of the Caribbean island, where she is also revered as the “bride of the filin”. Her long career began in 1945 as a dancer in the famous Tropicana cabaret in Havana, but it was in song that she found her own space.
As a member of the D’Aida Quartet along with Elena Burke, Moraima Secada and her sister Haydée, he accompanied stars such as Édith Piaf, Pedro Vargas, Rita Montaner, Bola de Nieve, Benny Moré and Nat King Cole, but it is from 1970 when his name became established with its own weight when he sang with the Orquesta Aragón and recorded albums such as the acclaimed “Palabras” and “Desafíos”.
For Portuondo, the recording of the album Buena Vista Social Club in 1996, produced by the North American guitarist Ry Cooder, marked a before and after, the sources have indicated, who have pointed out that, from then on, she became the lady of the Cuban bolero and his voice began to be heard throughout the world.
Two years later came the filming of the homonymous documentary under the direction of Wim Wenders, who recorded his performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall, but before that he went through La Mar de Músicas 1998, which held a Cuba Special, and where the great lady of bolero performed alongside Compay Segundo, Eliades Ochoa, Juan Perro or Martirio, among others.
The Cuban diva has had numerous presentations in the port city of Murcia and at La Mar de Músicas, which in 2014 awarded her the festival prize.