Cuban Music Does not depend on Dollar, Omara Portuondo Says

(Prensa Latina) Madrid, Spain – “Cuban music has never
depended on the dollar, depends on intellect, that is why Cuba and the world will continue having musicians
,” Cuban singer Omara Portuondo stated for the Spanish publication El País.

The Cuban diva is now in Barcelona, where she will present her new album Flor de amor
Monday at the Barcelona Auditorium. In a laudatory chronicle, the newspaper stated that if the pacts with the devil exist, Omara Portuondo signed one a long time ago, because her 74 years old irradiate vitality and a contagious illusion she conveys on her latest album.

Her responses to the reporter showed the turns of her classic answers to defend the Cuban identity she unmistakably represents.

On her youngest years, the newspaper recalled, she was known as “la novia del filin,” (Feeling’s Fiancée) but since 1997, Omara is simply The Cuban Voice par excellence. The journalist mentioned her participation in the
Buena Vista Social Club album, as well as in the documentary, the former led by Ry Cooder and the
latter by Wim Wenders.

The chronicler considered the singer is living the crest of the wave, but Omara straightened him up saying that “artistically, Buena Vista Social Club was only one more step in the continuity of her career.” However, she admitted that “while recording the album, with did not expect so much success. We longed for Cuban music to be popular, but the result was a surprise.” From that moment on, Cuban music came into fashion worldwide, El País stated.

Music in Cuba has always been leading, Omara stated. Some times up, sometimes down, though. “Since Cuban music is a novelty, people will listen to it non-stop. Until they get tired, then they will look for
other things. That´s life
,” the singer stated.

In Flor de amor, Omara Portuondo has included some boleros and a Brazilian song, the publication added. “The (Brazilian) song talks about the white and black origin of the Brazilian people is identical to that of Cuban people. We have many things in common with Brazil: religion and our origin in
slaves arriving from Africa. “I did not sing this song to make new things or open new markets, I simply sing it because it makes me feel good
,” she confessed.

The lyrics contrast with the historical male chauvinist content of many boleros. “Bolero, in general, is not. It is true that society was much more macho in the past, but, fortunately, women have found their role in society,” the diva explained.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.