Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hoofing It: Susana Baca and "Se Me Van Los Pies"

Today's random tune is by Susana Baca, a Peruvian singer who is widely credited with reviving the Afro-Peruvian musical tradition. She grew up in a small coastal fishing village and recounts on her website how black families came together with music. She heard Cuban music and the music of Celia Cruz, and as she states on her website, "....The culture, music, and our whole selves are all about the mixture of Spanish Indian and African cultures." Baca has won two Latin Grammys, and in 2011 she was named Minister of Culture, only the second Afro-Peruvian to sit on the Peruvian cabinet. She also founded the Instituto Negrocontinuo, which collects, preserves and encourages the creation of Afro-Peruvian culture, music, and dance. Her music often utilizes traditional instruments, including the jawbone of a burro, gourd, wooden box, and clay pot, and her singing has been described as "spiritual", even if she is not singing about anything religious. This song, Se Me Van Los Pies, can be found on her 2000 album Susana Baca.