Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

NEWSLETTER
Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter!

Cuban songstress celebrates 60 years in music industry

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Marina Ghabbour.

The queen of tropical music walked onto the Lisner stage Saturday to a soft tropical melody that lulled the audience into silence.

Omara Portuondo, one of the most legendary Cuban musicians, was welcomed with roaring applause, “Miss Omara Brown, the girlfriend of ‘feeling,’” as she is lovingly called in Cuba, moved with the grace and authority of someone born and raised to perform.

Portuondo began her career as a dancer in Havana in 1945 , but it was her participation with the Buena Vista Social Club during the mid-90s that catapulted her career as a singer forward and established her voice around the world.

Her latest album, “Gracias,” released in 2008 continues to show her interpretation on the Tropicana style – discernible by a unique mixture of American jazz and Cuban rhythm and melody. The album marked Portuondo’s sixtieth year in the music industry and this year’s tour celebrates her eightieth birthday.

The richness of her voice echoed magically in Lisner as she captivated audiences, especially in her performances of “Adios Felicidad” and “Guantanamera.” Her Brazilian musical director, Swami Jr., was present as well and played guitar alongside her, while a very talented band joined Omara and pushed the performance to incredible heights.

As she left the stage, the crowds began to wave Cuban flags in her honor. Her Lisner performance was Portuondo’s first time in the United States after more than a decade of absence, but as she sweetly extended her arms as though embracing the audience, she promised to return again soon.

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet