Home New York Report Afro-Peruvian Diva, Susana Baca takes Brooklyn by Storm

Afro-Peruvian Diva, Susana Baca takes Brooklyn by Storm


MARCH 17,2017

“Our greatest challenge is to find the one true rhythm of freedom—something like the wind that allows a bird to fly, or a new language more powerful than speech, which holds you.” Susana Baca

The Afro-Peruvian singer-songwriter Susana Baca made a rare appearance PIONEER WORKS, sprawling art and exhibition space in the heart of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

The songstress has come a long way since her interpretation of “Maria Lando” appeared on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop compilation, THE SOUL OF BLACK PERU (1995), which launched her career and sparked a revival of Afro-Peruvian music.

Dressed in a stunning, royal blue outfit and backed by a spectacular 4-piece group that included a guitar, violin, bass, and Afro-Peruvian percussion, she was the spitting image of the Yoruban deity, Yemaya, Goddess of the sea and mother of all. The repertoire consisted of poetic songs (with lyrics by some of Latin America’s premier poets) and traditional and modern songs whose themes revolve around work, love, struggle, sorrow, and Black pride.

Susana Baca’s shows have as much to do with basking in her presence as they do with the music. She is a Diva and a consummate show-woman who knows how to work a crowd, get her message out and present centuries of passionate tradition.

Nothing tops seeing Baca in a small, intimate setting but watching her convert a large, noisy crowd – many apparently first-time listeners, and turn them into “believers” is a sight to behold.

Kudos to the guitarist Ernesto Hermoza, violinist Maria Elena Pacheco, bassist Oscar Huaranga, percussionist Hugo Brava and invited guest violinist Ali Bello for their artistry and passion.

What’s next for Peru’s former Minister of Culture? Given her amazing trajectory, anything is possible. Whatever the future holds, let’s hope it won’t be long before she returns to New York and graces us with her light and presence.

Thank you, WORLD MUSIC INSTITUTE and PIONEER WORKS for making the event possible.

WEBSITE: http://susanabaca.com
PIONEER WORKS: http://pioneerworks.org
WORLD MUSIC INSTITUTE: http://worldmusicinstitute.org

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here