Susana Baca | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | International | Chicago Reader

Susana Baca Member Picks All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Fri., April 23, 8 p.m. 2010

Last year two of Peru's greatest living female singers, Eva Ayllon and Susana Baca, paid tribute to Chabuca Granda, one of the grand dames of Peruvian song. Granda died in 1983, and late in her career she'd begun exploring Afro-Peruvian music, though at the time it existed at the margins of the country's popular culture—a little like race records in the States in the 20s and 30s. Shortly before her death Granda encouraged Baca to carry that torch, and since then she's made it her mission to preserve Afro-Peruvian folklore and traditions; her records have been dominated by Afro-Peruvian songs, and in the early 90s she and her husband founded the Instituto Negrocontinuo to support their work. Her latest release, last year's Seis Poemas (Luaka Bop), uses relatively stripped-down arrangements well suited to the intimacy of the songs and the tenderness of her singing—on most tracks she's backed only by hand percussion, acoustic guitar or violin, and bass. For this concert, her first in Chicago in several years, she's supported by a trio—and in a departure from tradition, the percussionist is playing congas rather than cajon. —Peter Margasak

Price: $28, $26 members, $24 seniors and kids

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