The diva of the Buena Vista Social Club®, Omara Portuondo is a legendary singer whose voice reflects a long, creative life of passion and music. Omara has been continually performing for an incredible 70 years and while revolutions and wars shook the globe, she has carried on, with indomitable elegance. When Omara hit normal retirement age and was expected to slow down, she went on. Omara is a diva in the best sense and an ambassador of Cuba to the world. Now in her mid-eighties, there is a sense in which the curtains of an era are slowly, elegantly coming down. But she will forever, as the old showbusiness adage has it, ‘always leave them wanting more.’
With a voice steeped in the passion, defiance, and irrepressible joy of her country's mythology, Cuban legend and Buena Vista Social Club member, Omara Portuondo is making the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival a stop on her ‘Last Kiss’ Tour on June 28 at 8:30pm on the TD Main Stage. To mark this special occasion, the songstress will collaborate on stage with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, in its 4th Festival experience.
Omara Portuondo's art form is an invaluable time capsule of Cuba's golden era originating from the classic Cuban genre of filín (pronounced ‘feeling’, a cross between bolero and American jazz) and a member of the fabled Buena Vista Social Club since 1996. Portuondo evokes the classic days of late-night dancing on dusty parquet floors, plumes of cigar smoke, rapturous rhythms echoing off the crumbling walls of Havana's old port.