Omara Portuondo to Embark on 85th Birthday World Tour

Rex Features via AP Images
Omara performs at the Portuondo Orquesta Buenavista Social Club Adios Tour Concert, Teatro Circo Price, Madrid, Spain on July 21, 2015. 

Buena Vista Social Club star to tour U.S., Latin America and Europe in 2016

The unsinkable Cuban diva Omara Portuondo, who emerged as the most enduring of the Buena Vista Social Club’s original stars, will embark on a world tour in celebration of her 85th birthday.

Portuondo is currently completing the final tour with Buena Vista Social Club, with concerts set for New York’s Beacon Theatre tonight and tomorrow night (Oct. 3 and 4). The group performed at the White House earlier this month.

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Portuondo, who turned 85 on October 29, will present her birthday show in the United States, Latin America and Europe, according to her management, the Barcelona-based Montuno agency. The solo tour is set to begin around the start of summer 2016 with dates and cities to be announced soon, Montuno told Billboard.

While Portuondo is best known as the lead female voice of Buena Vista Social Club, and did much to keep the international audience’s romance with the unlikely chart toppers aflame since the release of the 1997 Buena Vista album, the singer’s career stretches back to the late 1940s.

One of the most popular Cuban female singers of all time, Portuondo was a lead voice of filin, a smoky movement born in Havana clubs in the forties that mixed Cuban music with American-influenced jazz vocals. Portuondo performed with Nat King Cole, among many other artists of the day, and later recorded a fantastic Spanish-language version of the Roberta Flack hit “Killing Me Softly.”

Portuondo, who clearly has no immediate plans to retire, has kept up with the times, recording with younger artists and dancing onstage with moves that make it clear she is one of the world’s sexiest octogenarians.


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