Omara Portuondo… the Lady of Cuban music

Omara Portuondo
Omara Portuondo

My interview to Omara Portuondo, the singer of the Buena Vista Social Club and three time nominated for Latin Grammy. The reìna of Cuban Music!

A new month is starting and new appointments are waiting for us… here in my online column called “PIAZZA NAVONA”.

Today we meet a great woman, the singer, one of the founders of the famous band Buena called Buena Vista Social Club. I am talking about Omara Portuondo.

It is an honour for me to have as a guest in my virtual square this wonderful singer.

We are sitting in this beautiful square, breathing the history’s perfume. All is wonderful around us. And I am so excited to have the chance to interview this important singer. She sang with the legendary Cumpay Segundo. The creator of Buena Vista Social Club. The legend.

Mrs Portuondo and me are lovely talking about her life and her career.

Omara Portuondo (Ph. Carlos Pericas)
Omara Portuondo (Ph. Carlos Pericas)

And my first question is:

  • How was born your love for Music?

I guess it was at home my parents used to listen a lot music.

But Mrs Portuondo started her career not as a singer even if the Music was inside her life and her heart. So I would like to know much more about it. And I ask her:

  • What abot your début?

It was with my sister Aydee, she was a dancer at Tropicana Cabaret and she invited me to join her. I was very nervous.

We are talking and we admire the space around us. Mrs Omara is stunned by this place. She seems to love this square full of tourists, artists, musicians and some dancers. It seems to remind her what she did at the beginning, her love for the Art, her love for the Music. It remained unchanged.

Omara Portuondo (Ph. Carlos Pericas)
Omara Portuondo (Ph. Carlos Pericas)

My next question is about the focus of her career. And I ask her:

  • How did you take part in Buena Vista Social Club?

I was recording at the same studio and Juan De Marcos called me to sing a song. Nobody knew how big this project was going to be!

From that moment she dedicated her life completely to the Music. She tested so many kinds of music styles. Even today her styles are boler, danzòn, habanera. But I would like to know:

  • What is Music for you? What does it mean for you?

Music is feeling, is emotion. You can say and feel so many things with music. It’s another way to communicate.

Omara Portuondo
Omara Portuondo

In this place we breathe the scent of Art. In fact, this place gave birth to so many artworks and masterpieces. We have just to watch around us to realizing it. And our soul is shivering. This magic atmosphere makes me asking her:

  • What does inspire your Music and your Art?

A lot of things. From a smile, to a bird. My family.

Omara Portuondo
Omara Portuondo

In this moment I am thinking that each of us has a favourite song. I could say the song of own life… And Omara Portuondo as a singer, as a woman, as a musician has to have a special feeling about it. And I ask her:

  • What is the song of your life, of your heart?

I have several ones… every one is different and has an important meaning for many reasons. Veinte años, La sitiera, Dos gardenias

Omara Portuondo is a wonderful woman about… well it is forbidden to reveal the age of a lady. But she is wonderful. And she is full of life. And full of professional engagements, too. She is tireless. She lives for her Art. I know about her strength and her forcefulness. And I am so curious to know about her plans for the future. And I cannot ask her this question:

  • What about your next projects?

I’m happy to share that I’ll be touring with the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club in May 2018, and also have some recording projects that I’ll announce very shortly.

Omara Portuondo and Orquesta Buena Vista Socia lClub
Omara Portuondo and Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club

Unfortunately in this moment I realize that our available time is about to end. I cannot hide that I am so sorry.. If it is possible I would go on to talk to Omara Portuondo for a long time. She is a wonderful creature to know. But we are here… in the centre of Rome… someone told about this place that it is the centre of the world… It is certain this is Rome, the eternal city. I live here. And I would like to know if the capital will host her in the future. If we could have the chance to listen her voice, her Music, her famous sound. And I am so happy to ask her

  • What do you think about Rome? And what do you remember of this city and about Italy?

Oh, yes we have been several times in Rome and in Italy. Such an amazing Country. We played at Parco della Musica in Roma. The audience was so happy and dancing with us!

Omara Portuondo
Omara Portuondo

We are laughing together. It is wonderful to think to this dancing audience. And I am sure the audience will dance again!

Now the moment is arrived. I have to say goodbye to Omara Portuondo but I wouldn’t. I am sure that I will meet her again… in this wonderful virtual square. Mrs Portuondo loves us but we love her too. And before to say her goodbye I want to thank her for her Music… and for all those emotions she gave us… the Music is a wonderful and precious language. Today we have talked thanks to it. Two Countries, two women, two languages. Just one heart.

Thank you Omara Portuondo. It is sure… see you soon! In Italy! In Rome! Again!

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