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2013, Fri, Jul 26

Susana Baca


Susana Baca | © N. Chappell

Susana Baca | © N. Chappell

As a child, she heard the songs of the Cuban “Queen of Salsa,” Celia Cruz – and later it became ever clearer to Susana Baca that she had more in common with black musicians of Venezuela, Puerto Rico, or Cuba than Peru’s official self-image was prepared to acknowledge. The promotion of Afro-Peruvian culture, whose very existence was long denied in luxurious Lima districts like San Isidro and Miraflores, is the life work of the virtuoso singer, who gained an international following thanks to David Byrne’s label, Luaka Bop. It is no coincidence that, with her appointment as culture minister in 2011, Baca became the first black woman to attain high office in Peru. On her latest record, she reverses the perspective, presenting songs of her travels through the “Afrodiaspora” (album title) cloaked in the sound of her current band, including guitarist Ernesto Hermoza and cajon player Hugo Bravo.

Susana Baca is following the concert by Troker (7 p.m.)