Susana Baca is being heralded for “bringing to light the musical riches that Afro-Peruvians have contributed”…
The 69-year-old Peruvian singer, Peru’s former Minister of Culture, received the La Mar de Musicas Award in Cartagena, Spain for her tireless work promoting traditional Afro-Peruvian music.
“I feel honored and proud to receive this award, which I dedicate to all Peruvians, who are about to celebrate our Independence,” she told the audience upon receiving the award.
Prior to receiving the prize, Baca told the media that she’s been working for 30 years “for the sole purpose of bringing to light the musical riches that Afro-Peruvians have contributed to Peru’s musical heritage” so that young people don’t have a “disparaging” attitude toward their roots.
After accepting the award, Baca took to the stage to perform alongside Brazilian Gilberto Gil, Colombian Andrea Echevarrio and Spanish flamenco dancer Juan de Juan.
Baca’s music is a mixture of traditional and contemporary. She typically performs with the back of indigenous Peruvian instruments such as the cajon (wooden box), udu (clay pot), quijada (jawbone of a burro), checko (dried gourd), along with an acoustic guitar and electric upright baby bas.
In 2002 Baca won the Latin Grammy for Best Folk Album for her CD “Lamento Negro.” In 2011 she won the second Latin Grammy for her collaboration with Calle 13, in the song “Latinoamerica.”
Baca, who was born in Chorrillos district in Lima, also earned a spot in President Humala Ollanta’s cabinet in 2011, when she was sworn in as Minister of Culture. She became the second Afro-Peruvian cabinet minister in the history of independent Peru, though she would resign six months later.