OMARA PORTUONDO INTERVIEW
OMARA PORTUONDO+CUBAN STARS AT KENNEDY CENTER
Cuba’s diva and the queen of the Buena Vista Social Club was nominated for a Grammy for her record “Cric Cric, El Grillo Cantor.” This latest record is the follow up to Omara’s 2012 record “Reir y Cantar,” for which she won a Cubadisco prize, and which also garnered a Grammy nomination. After the critical acclaim of that record, the producer, Jose Manuel Garcia, proposed a new record specifically aimed at children with a Latin American classic by Francisco Armando Soler. I was recently at Tablao in Havana, and had the incredible opportunity to meet and speak with Omara, with her marvelous voice that has been heard by generations of Cubans. I practically kneeled before her to keep her from rising out of her seat to greet me. What follows is a short interview I was fortunate enough to conduct with Omara.
CY. What is music?
OP. I love it! I say that one of the most important things in anyone’s life is their capacity to hear. I once composed a song for my son. Music is the soul of people. It is significant that a few notes can create an interesting ambiance. There is an excellent musician, who prepared a marvelous song for me, who says, “…music is inside me, sky, earth, sea, and sun, happiness and reason!” To sum up, it is important for living.
CY. Although it is not your first nomination, what does this nomination mean to, both as a musician and a Cuban.
OP. It is a beautiful experience, even more so with children’s music. It gives me great pleasure, even though you may not believe it. You can also be recognized in this genre. It is well prepared music for children, but adults will enjoy it as well. Childhood is very interesting. Children and infants need music, colors, and joy in their lives. They are all part of a human’s development. Thus, ended my interview with this legend of Cuban music who at her age has not been forgotten by her fans, and won’t be for many years.
By Clao York