born in 1944 in Chorrillos, Provincia de Lima, Peru
Susan Baca in Santa Cruz, 17 April 2010
Culture Minister of Peru
28 July 2011
|Succeeding||Juan Ossio Acuña|
Chorrillos, Lima Province, Peru
Susana Esther Baca de la Colina (born Chorrillos, Lima Province, Peru, 1944) is a prominent Peruvian singer of Afro-Peruvian descent. She has been a key figure in the revival of Afro-Peruvian music within Peru and has won a Latin Grammy Award in 2002.
In July 2011 she was named Peru's Minister of Culture in the Ollanta Humala government. She would become the first black cabinet minister in the history of independent Peru.
Baca grew up in a coastal fishing village Chorrillos, a district of the Lima Province of Peru, and part of greater Lima. Her music is a mixture of traditional and contemporary. Her backing band features indigenous Peruvian instruments such as the cajón ("wooden box", whose origins lie in an upturned fruit crate), udu (clay pot), and quijada (jawbone of a burro) "cheko" a dried gourd, as well as acoustic guitar and electric upright baby bass. Although many of her songs are based on traditional forms such as the landó or vals, she also incorporates elements of Cuban and Brazilian music. Her debut CD for Luaka Bop, produced by Greg Landau, brought her to the attention of World Music audiences worldwide.
Her songs are poetic (with lyrics composed by some of Latin America's premier poets, with whom she collaborates), rich with evocative imagery, and her voice is delicate yet soulful. She has an elegant and engaging stage presence, gliding gracefully about the stage while singing. Her delivery is so deeply felt and emotion-filled as to project a spiritual character, even in songs that are not expressly religious in subject matter.
Baca is an important figure in the revival of Afro-Peruvian music within Peru (see, for example, dancers from the Perú Negro troupe, as well as "Festejo" music), which, like the culture that produced it, had previously been little recognized, but which is now regarded as an important part of Peruvian culture. Baca has contributed much to its international popularity, which began in 1995 with the release of the compilation CD The Soul of Black Peru. The album, which features the Baca song "Maria Lando", was released by the Luaka Bop record label, which belongs to ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.
According to several important critics Susana is more than just an afro-Peruvian diva. Michael Heumann from "Stylus Magazine" says: "Maria Lando put Susana Baca on the world music map. Since then, she has released a number of very popular albums, most on Luka Bop, and all of incredibly high quality."
Timothy G. Merello from "PopMatters" says -about Susana's performance in Old Town School of Folk Music Chicago: "Susana Baca, more than just a singer, is a poet, a historian, a spelunker and explorer of Afro-Peruvian folklore and music [...] she and her band entertain, educate and entrance a sold out crowd with a musical melange of rhythms, melodies, beats, and dance."
While Deanne Sole also from "PopMatters" says -about Susana's 2009 album Seis Poemas (Six Poems): "After watching Peruvian singer Susana Baca perform on an open stage in burning heat with malfunctioning equipment, one cant help but respect Baca not only as a voice but as a performer, as a person [...] Seis Poemas, a small album but a charming one."
With her husband, Bolivian Ricardo Pereyra, Baca founded the Instituto Negrocontinuo (Black Continuum Institute) in her seafront home in Chorrillos. It fosters the collection, preservation, and creation of Afro-Peruvian culture, music, and dance.
In 2002, Susana Baca won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Folk Album, for her Lamento Negro CD besides a nomination for the Grammy as "Best World Music Album".
- 1987 - Poesía y Canto Negro
- 1991 - Vestida de Vida, Canto Negro de las Américas!
- 1992 - Fuego y Agua
- 1997 - Susana Baca
- 2000 - Eco De Sombras
- 2001 - Lamento Negro
- 2002 - Espiritu Vivo
- 2004 - The Best Of Susana Baca
- 2006 - Travesias
- 2009 - Seis Poemas
- 2010 - Mama
- 2010 - Cantos de Adoración
- 2011 - Afrodiaspora
- 2003 - Susana Baca: Memoria Viva. Directed by Marc Dixon.
- Singer Susana Baca will be Perus next minister of culture. Living in Peru (July 25, 2011).
- 2.0 2.1 Latin Grammy-winner named Peru's culture minister, Associated Press, July, 26 2011.
- Susana Baca page from Luaka Bop site
- An Interview with Susana Baca