Susana Baca

“Susana Baca – WOMAD 2006” by flykr is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Afro-Peruvian Singer • Born May 24, 1944 • Afro-Peruvian Folk Music

Fast Facts

  • Susana Baca is a well-known Afro-Peruvian singer-songwriter.
  • She is a two-time Latin Grammy Award winner.
  • In July 2011, Baca was named Minister of Culture in Peru, making her the second Afro-Peruvian member of the President’s cabinet and the first musician to hold the position.
  • She began gaining popularity around the world after her recording of “Maria Lando” was included on David Byrne’s album The Soul of Black Peru in 1995.
  • Baca features instruments in her band that are indigenous to Peru, such as the cajón, checo, and quijada.
  • While she is an exponent of Afro-Peruvian folk music, she also incorporates elements of Brazilian and Cuban music into her work.
  • The lyrics to some of Baca’s songs are written by some of Peru’s most celebrated poets.
  • Baca and her husband are the founders of the Instituto Negrocontinuo whose mission is to preserve Black music and dance.
  • She always performs barefoot, saying that is how she feels free.
  • Much of Baca’s work has been traveling to Afro-Peruvian communities to record their centuries-old songs and folklore that would otherwise be lost.

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