Omara Portuondo

The great Cuban diva Omara Portuondo first came to international prominence with the Buena Vista Social Club phenomenon. Now in her 70s, and a tremendously vital presence still, this year has seen Omara’s triumphant return to the American stage and a Grammy award. Her 2008 album Gracias received widespread coverage in the UK press.

World Village 479025

World Village 479025

The Singer Feb Mar 09

The Singer Feb Mar 09

FEATURES

  • “Kenwood House, London. Omara Portuondo is an elderly lady in a hurry. She was the only female star in the Buena Vista lineup, and at 77 she is now the oldest surviving member from the best-selling band in world music history. But she is still remarkably prolific, and this summer she can be heard on three impressive new albums, from her recently released collaboration with the Brazilian star Maria Bethania to a forthcoming solo set, Gracias, and a live Buena Vista retrospective. She keeps working, she told me … “because I’m enjoying myself too much to stop”. The Guardian, Sunday 20 July 2008
  • Omara Portuondo – 77 Not Out “At 77, Omara Portuondo is an elder stateswoman of world music. Here she tells Frederick Bernas about her new album, Gracias, and reflects on a long life of innovation, cultural enterprise and funny stories” Cover story, http://www.Fly Global Music
  • A different kind of diva Interview and full page feature Metro Monday 29th September
  • Feature and interview HMV Choice, Sept/Oct 2008
  • Grooves feature/interview Songlines November 2008
  • Cover feature, The Singer Magazine, Feb/March 09

REVIEWS

  • “The 76 year old diva proves she has still got everything she needs…” 5 STARS The Independent, 18 October 2008
  • “…Even now, she is still experimenting, as shown by her jazz-tinged duet with Richard Bona, the bass player and percussionist from Cameroon or (best of all) her laid-back, gently swinging collaboration with that great Brazilian veteran Chico Buarque. Omara Portuondo is still Cuba’s great diva.” Lead review in the Guardian on Friday 26th September
  • “The dignity of Portuondo’s performances remains immensely impressive” The Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2008
  • “…in this collection of her favourite melodies she can be heard in pristine form. So gracias” to her as well, for all the music she has given us.” 4 STARS The Scotsman, 31 October 2008
  • “there is a wistfulness to this release, a sense of reflection, enhanced by songs of opportunities missed, compositions by long-gone friends…Best of all is the closing venerable, percussion-heavy composition ‘Drume Negrita’…sounding almost like a genuine piece of Cuban folklore.” Rock ‘n Reel, November/December 2008
  • “…like other Buena Vists Social Club veterans including Eliades Ochoa and Cachaito Lopez, she only keeps improving…” fRoots November 2008
  • “…gives a modern touch to nostalgia, creating a disc that will delight fans inside and outside Cuba.” 4 STARS Songlines November/December 2008
  • “Omara Portuondo was the one girl the Buena Vista boys allowed in their club…This new CD again sees her in stellar company.” Financial Times, 11 October 2008
  • Indeed Omara Potuondo has contributed so much to Cuban popular music over her sixty years of professional music making, from Cabaret to Feeling and Cuban Son to international collaborations, that she is truly one of Cuba’s finest musicians – Gracias Omara! http://www.gondwanasound.co.uk/node/241
  • “…a sweet and heartfelt collection…” The Irish Times 7 Nov 2008
  • “Deliciously old-fashioned, yet with all the dignity and memory of a grand old lady, this is a lovely Latin album to sit back and enjoy.” Traveller Magazine Winter 08/09

AIRPLAY

  • The Breakfast Show, BBC Radio 3 (17th Oct)
  • World on 3, BBC Radio 3 (3rd Oct)
  • Late Junction, BBC Radio 3 (from 17th Sept)
  • RTE 1 (Ireland 17 Oct),
  • Up All Night, BBC Radio 5 Live – airplay
  • DJ Ritu, BBC London – interview & airplay
  • Regional radio stations

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