Fire in her lungs Buika

Pasatiempo - - ON THE COVER -

The dy­namic fla­menco singer Buika plays the Len­sic Pe­form­ing Arts Cen­ter at 7:30 p.m. on Fri­day, July 28, as part of the 2017 New Mex­ico Jazz Fes­ti­val. She was born María Con­cep­ción Bal­boa Buika on the Span­ish is­land of Mal­lorca, the daugh­ter of African par­ents of the Bubi tribe from Equa­to­rial Guinea, and those in­flu­ences are just the be­gin­ning of her mu­si­cal scope. Her mother had a sub­stan­tial jazz record col­lec­tion, so it’s no sur­prise that Buika counts Di­nah Wash­ing­ton and Ella Fitzger­ald among her in­flu­ences.

Her singing is im­pro­vi­sa­tional, vo­cally ath­letic, and im­pas­sioned. She runs the gamut from husky, emo­tion­ally tor­tured bal­ladeer­ing to yelling sto­ry­telling to lush, Sade-style R&B, but she is a con­sis­tently re­mark­able per­former. Her de­but al­bum Con­cha Buika was re­leased in 2005. She teamed up with Cuban pi­ano star Chu­cho Valdes for 2009’s El Úl­timo Trago, which earned her a Latin Grammy Award.

La Noche Más Larga, from 2013, shows off her great rhyth­mic and stylis­tic va­ri­ety, in­clud­ing with cov­ers of Bil­lie Hol­i­day’s “Don’t Ex­plain” and Abbey Lin­coln’s “Throw It Away” sung in English, along with Jac­ques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas” in French. Buika is also the au­thor of the book A los que amaron a mu­jeres difí­ciles y acabaron por soltarse (2014), which fea­tures her po­etry, sto­ries, and pho­to­graphs.

She is joined on the Len­sic stage by Ra­mon Por­rina, per­cus­sion and back­ing vo­cals; An­dres Vadin Valdés, gui­tar; Je­sus De Rosario, gui­tar and vo­cals; Is­rael Suarez, per­cus­sion and vo­cals; and San­ti­ago Cañada Valverde, key­boards and trom­bone. Ac­cord­ing to Buika’s Face­book page, she will be pre­sent­ing her new re­lease Para Mí at the Len­sic event. Tick­ets, $25 to $60, are avail­able at www.tick­etssantafe.org or by call­ing 505-988-1234. — Paul Wei­de­man

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