Artist picture of Omara Portuondo

Omara Portuondo

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Omara Portuondo is a Cuban vocalist who helped found the singing group Cuarteto d'Aida, performed with many celebrated Latin artists over a long career and since 1996 has sung with the Buena Vista Social Club.

Born in Havana, she danced at the Cabaret Tropicana and joined pianist Frank Emilio Flynn's band, Loquibambia Swing and then the Orquesta Anacaona. With her elder sister Haydee, Elena Burke and Moraima Secada, she formed Cuarteto d'Aida and toured the United States.

Portuondo made her debut as a solo recording artist in 1958 with 'Magia Negra' and performed jazz and Cuban music with pianist Julio Gutierrez. She has recorded many albums since including several with Chucho Valdés including 'Defasios' (1999) and 'Omara & Chuchu' (2011) and with the Buena Vista Social Club including 'Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo' (2000) and 'Roots of Buena Vista' (2000).

She released 'Singles' in 2007 and 'Magia Negra: The Beginning' in 2014. Active in Latin American politics, she has worked with the International Red Cross as she continues to perform in Cuba at venues such as the Tropicana Club. Her 2008 album 'Gracias' marked the 60th anniversary of her singing career.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved