Seattle (Washington), USA – Afro-Peruvian Vocalist Susana Baca will perform four nights at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in support of her new CD Travesías. Band members are Sergio Valdeos (guitar), David Pinto (bass), Juan Medrano Cotito (cajón) and Hugo Bravo (percussion). Set times are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Set time on Sunday is at 7:30. Doors open at 6pm on Thursday and 5:30pm Friday – Sunday.
In 2002, Baca became the first Peruvian to win a Latin Grammy (best folk album, Lamento Negro), but away from the limelight, she has forged a reputation as a trailblazer. She is not only one of the greatest divas in South America, she is a tireless researcher, and is largely responsible for the revival of many forms of Afro-Peruvian folklore.
Baca belongs to a new generation of Peruvian singers, delving into the shadows of the past to recover shimmering melodies and seductive rhythms. Her seemingly effortless interpretative skills belie years of work assembling the songs, the stories and the steps of music and dances once consigned to history. The Peruvian vocalist who first won an international following with “Maria Lando,” a track on the 1995 David Byrne produced The Soul of Black Peru, has often been compared to Cape Verde’s Cesaria Evora. It’s not surprising; both women have found rich material in folk traditions of their countries, and both sing songs that are steeped in darker emotions.
Susana Baca is wed to a sound and a history. Although her music was born in the coastal barrios of Peru, her artistry can’t be contained within these boundaries, just as her appeal can’t be limited to cognoscenti of Afro-Peruvian traditional song. Baca is credited with the revival of African-rooted music of Peru and for introducing it to the global masses through her works under the Luaka Bop imprint.
Through her recordings, she has preserved the legacy and heritage of the enslaved West Africans who were brought to Peru in the 16th century. Her Instituto Negro Contínuo, which she runs with her husband, was set up to document the culture, music and dance associated with her ancestry.
Her songs on slavery and suffering and often reworked Afro-Peruvian classics not only serve as a reminder of her past but an exhortation to younger Peruvians to reach back to their past. Baca opened up access to this segment of the society with her jazz-inflected efforts and detailed attention to graceful lyrics, which is often cited as the principal difference between her and her music predecessors.
Reservations can be made at www.jazzalley.com, by phoning 206-441-9729 or through TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.com. Making reservations is advised. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free. All shows are all ages and there is always FREE PARKING across from its entrance. The Pacific Jazz Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin.
The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley is located at 2033 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121.