|Spectacle with Omara Portuando “Cuban Edit Piaf”
(Vest, 21.10.2002) - A concert of the “Queen of Emotion,” as many call Omara Portuando at the Univerzalna Sala today is the peak of this year’s Skopje Jazz Festival.
Portuando started her career as a dancer but after an accidental event at a club in Havana her voice would entertain visitors of music clubs in Havana for fifty years. Music critics call her “Cuban Edit Piaf,” but she had to wait for her album “Buena Vista Social Club” (music from Vim Wenders’ film with the same title) to gain international reputation. Portuando was a part of Buena Vista’s concert tour of Amsterdam and New York.
Asked in an interview by a foreign newspaper what kind of music she listened to, Portuando replied: “I would like to sing like Tom Jones, he is really a sex-bomb. But I also like Esma Redzepova, her voice is really something special, and her songs are exotic. Maybe in future, I will sing a song with her! Last year I met Cesaria Evora and her music is close to me. I hope that we will soon work together.”
Trumpet player Dave Douglas is opening for the Cuban star. Douglas has been chosen the musician and trumpet player of the year by “Jazz Time,” “Jazzes,” and “Down Bit” magazines in the past years. He was the member of John Zorie’s group “Masada” and appeared in famous jazz musicians’ albums: Antony Braxton, Don Byron, Fred Hersh. As a composer, improvisator and trumpet player, Douglas is dedicated to developing music that widens the traditional jazz language, which is typical for the music he writes and performs with his group.