The Regent Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles opened its doors early with lines eager to get in and see a star. Cuban artist Omara Portuondo from the Buena Vista Social Club has come a long historical way and the show was a reflection of all those years.
Omara was born in 1930 and started her musical career at the age of 15. She is a Grammy and Billboard winner with a history too long to tell. Her voice is as strong as ever and she exudes live inspiration. We are living an age of disappearing legends and getting to witness them is an opportunity not to be missed. Her strong presence and casual charm woke up tears of joy in different corners of the theatre. From a concert goer perspective, being at The Regent was like being in Omara Portuondo’s living room sharing songs and smiles.
She performed music from her own productions, traditional Cuban songs and from Buena Vista Social Club. Repeated times Omara said “if you know it, sing along” and the crowd followed. She listened to the love shouts and between sitting in a leather chair and holding on to the grand piano, her performance was one not to be forgotten.
Cuban-American DJ Canyon Cody open up with a set that had people dancing since the beginning of the night. With natural yet swift moves, dancers swung like experts that were born with that heat proper of the music. By 10PM, holding on to her last breath Omara pleased the crowd with an encore and was escorted holding on to her strong pianist arm. The time to learn and see these living legends is now.
Photos and Words: Farah Sosa