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Omara Portuondo not ready for final bow

By / Published on Sunday, 20 Mar 2016 13:15 PM / No Comments / 148 views
Omara Portuondo not ready for final bow

Omara Portuondo is one of the founders of the Buena Vista Social Club. Photo: AFP


Omara Portuondo’s tiny frame belies the sheer power of a sonorous voice that made her a star in Cuba well before she found global fame with the Buena Vista Social Club around the age most people start claiming their pensions.

Even as the group winds down with their final farewell “Adios Tour”, the 85-year-old Portuondo, who has been performing since she was just 15, insists she is not ready to hang up the microphone.

“None of us could ever have imagined the great success of Buena Vista Social Club – we’ve achieved more than we could ever have dreamed but it was time for the band to say goodbye,” she says before the Hong Kong leg of the the tour.

But she is adamant that “Music is my life and I won’t stop singing.”

It has been 20 years since a twist of fate led American guitarist Ry Cooder and World Circuit’s Nick Gold to Cuban star Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, who encouraged a coterie of the island’s musical talent – some out of retirement – to join together and create a record.