Can You Feel Buika’s Flamenco Fusion?

Watching Concha
Buika
perform is akin to having an outer body experience. The Afro-Spanish
singer laid her heart out on Thursday night at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors
festival, and the emotion was palpable. She sang (and wailed) about love. The
kind that makes you want to cry, scream, slash tires and do all sorts of crazy
things. And the audience was electrified. We watched with mouths agape and
goose bumps all over as she mixed flamenco, jazz and Cuban music to create
something extraordinary.

She said she was
nervous, and giggled in between songs. But we couldn’t get enough. Wearing a
long, backless crimson dress, the siren reinterpreted—and owned—classics like
“Volver, Volver.”
To think she
began her career as a Tina Turner impersonator in Las Vegas. The 37-year-old,
who was born in Majorca to parents from Equatorial Guinea, has come a long way
since “Proud Mary.” Last year, her second record, Niña de Fuego, was nominated for a Latin Grammy for
Album of the Year. And, if last night’s show was any indication, her next CD, El
Ultimo Trago
(out October 20), which pays tribute to Mexican songstress Chavela Vargas and
features Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes, is bound to be a raw, soul-stirring
production.
If you missed
the open-air concert, here she is performing the gypsy milonga “La Falsa
Moneda."

 

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About this author1

Grace Bastidas, Deputy Editor

Born and raised in Queens, New York, where more languages are spoken than anywhere in the world, Grace Bastidas is Latina’s Deputy Editor. She oversees lifestyle content, including topics as diverse as career, health and relationships, and occasionally writes about her own experiences in The Good Life section. As a writer, Grace’s work has appeared in The New York TimesNew York magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure. She is fluent in Spanish.

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