/ The DC Traveler
Washington DC — By Jon Rochetti on December 26, 2009 at 3:53 am

Hear Cuban Singing Icon Omara Portuondo

Cuban singer and Latin Grammy winner Omara Portuondo was the only female star of the Buena Vista Social Club ensemble’s album and an original member of the famous Cuban female singing group, Cuarteto Las D’Aida.   And she’s coming to Washington, DC in February for a rare live US performance.

Omara_Portuondo_Cuban_Singing_Diva The remarkable vocalist and grande dame of Cuban music has been making music for over 50 years.  Early in her career, she  toured the states with Nat King Cole.  Yet she actually started her profession in the arts as a dancer in 1945, along with her sister, at the famous Havana nightclub and cabaret, the Tropicana Club.

She would also sing American jazz standards and Bossa Nova tunes with a Cuban flair with a group of musicians and singers from Havana’s nightclubs.

Along with several other female singers, the quartet Cuarteto Las D’Aida was formed in the early 1950s.  Over the 15 years they performed, they achieved widespread acclaim.  Her style, called filin, blends American big band and the sounds of jazz standards paired with traditional romantic Cuban music, all delivered with passionate emotions.

Omara_Portuondo with bandOmara was singing in a Miami club in October, 1962, when the Cuban missile crisis erupted. She, unlike her sister, immediately returned to her home in Cuba, not to return to perform in the US for years.  This year, she was one of the few Cuban artists since 2003 that have been issues travel visas to perform.

Today the Cuban diva still sings at the Tropicana in Havana, having finally reached international acclaim.  Her latest album, Gracias won the Best Contemporary Tropical Album.

Tickets will go fast for this phenomenal singers, so act fast.

Omara Portuondo
GW Lisner Auditorium
730 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052  (map it)

Dates & Times – Wednesday, February 24, 2009 – 8:00 p.m.

Tickets - $49.50 and $59.50 and are available online or by phone at 202-994-6800.

Nearest Metro Subway Station – Foggy Bottom/GWU – Orange and Blue lines, then a 3-block walk.

Parking – Limited metered street parking and area paid garage parking is available.

Images – Flickrsinging, with band

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