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| Susana Baca, the spirit of the afro-peruvian music |

Susana Baca de la Colina (born in 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 (see, for example, dancers from the Peru 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 front man David Byrne.

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 cajon ("wooden box", whose origins lie in an upturned fruit crate), guapeo (clay pot), and quijada (jawbone of a burro), as well as acoustic guitar and double boss. Although many of her songs are based on traditional forms such as the lando or vals, she also incorporates elements of Cuban and Brazilian music.


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.

With her husband, Bolivian musicologist 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. The recordings were found in Cuba and were released by Tumi Music. Her last album, Espiritu Vivo, brings to life the rich culture of black Peru with such bubbly songs as "Caracunde" and the reflective "Si Me Quitaran." Using a combination of native hand percussion and common instruments (guitars and organ), this album features a mixture of exotic flavors and readily identifiable sounds.

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