Artist profiles: Chabuca Granda

Chabuca Granda

María Isabel Granda Larco, better known as Chabuca Granda, was born in Apurímac (Peru), on September 3, 1920. She was the daughter of Mr. Eduardo Granda San Bartolomé, a Lima mining engineer, and Mrs. Isabel Larco de Granda. At 3, Chabuca moved to Lima. From an early age, she showed her musical talent.

Chabuca broke the conventional rhythmic structure of the Peruvian waltz, and her melodies alternated the new language she proposed with that of the old saloon waltzes. Her productions also revealed a close relationship between lyrics and melody, which varied over time towards an increasingly synthetic poetic tendency.

Her fame as a composer reached national level in 1953, with her song ‘La flor de la canela’ (The Cinnamon Flower), inspired by Victoria Angulo, an Afro-Peruvian lady whose grace she praised. This composition became the representative song of Peruvian music.

Chabuca Granda

Chabuca’s voice and her extensive work went beyond the borders of her country. Her lyrics have been sung by performers from all over the world, who have seen in her compositions a fine and sensitive expression of Peruvian music.

Chabuca died on March 8, 1983 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Selected discography:

Dialogando, with Oscar Avilés (Odeon del Perú, 1967)
Voz y vena de Chabuca Granda (Sono Radio, 1968)
Grande De América (RCA International, 1973)
Paso de Vencedores ‎(Sono Radio, 1974)
Tarimba Negra, with Nicómedes Santa Cruz (Movieplay, 1978)
Cada Canción con su Razón (EMI, 1981)
La Voz del Peru (Pampa, 1990)
Señora y dueña (Nuevos Medios, 2002)
Platinum Collection (2013)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. 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.
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