Susana Baca – Afrodiaspora

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Susana Baca – “Detrás de la Puerta”

Susana Baca is one of the finest Afro-Peruvian singers around. She was born in the black coastal barrio of Chorrillos, outside Lima, a place descendants of slaves have called home since the days of the Spanish Empire. Susana was encouraged to pursue the arts at an early age as her father played guitar and her mother was a dancer. She listened to a lot of Cuban musicians like Pérez Prado and Beny Moré as a child. Ever since her contribution to the Luaka Bop record The Soul of Black Peru, Susana has gained more and more attention across the globe.

Her latest set is entitled Afrodiaspora. Susana tries to mix musical genres on each of her releases, implementing many Latin and African styles. This record takes that approach even further as each track seems to come from a different place, yet they are all united together. From tango, salsa, and flamenco to New Orleans-styled brass band blues and dance numbers, each song has a distinct Afro-Peruvian feel to them. It is fascinating to hear how blues and salsa can meld together, suggesting that all of these genres are not so distant relatives of each other. She and her husband have setup the Instituto Negrocontinuo (Black Continuum) in Lima to preserve Afro-Peruvian culture. Susana has also become the Minister of Culture in Peru, the first artist and black woman to receive the title. The first track on the record is a cumbia entitled “Detrás de la Puerta (Behind the Door).” Enjoy this fine song from an excellent record.

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