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Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo

Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo cover art

Track Listing

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1La sitiera (Rafael López)3:57
2He perdido contigo (María Teresa Vera & Luis Cardenas )3:49
3¿Dónde estabas tú? (Ernesto Duarte)3:47
4Mariposita de primavera (Miguel Matamoros)2:54
5Canta lo sentimental (Urbano Gómez)3:26
6Ella y yo (Oscar Hernández)3:24
7No me vayas a engañar (Osvaldo Farrés)2:53
8No me llores más (Arsenio Rodríguez)4:59
9Veinte años (María Teresa Vera)4:43
10El hombre que yo amé (The Man I Love) (George & Ira Gershwin)3:11
11Siempre en mi corazón (Ernesto Lecuona)3:42

News & Reviews

  • Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club to Tour US, Featuring Omara Portuondo, Guajiro Mirabal, Barbarito Torres, Eliades Ochoa

    On September 14, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club brings its world tour to the US for a run of dates that will hit New York, San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta, Indianapolis, and more. The 15-member lineup includes Latin Grammy Award winners Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa, trumpeter Guajiro Mirabal, and laúd virtuoso Barbarito Torres, all of whom count themselves among the original members of Buena Vista Social Club. Opening a number of concerts with his quintet will be Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca.

  • Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portuondo US Tour Opener Canceled; Remaining Shows Go On As Scheduled

    Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, featuring Omara Portuondo, was due to kick off a three-city US tour in Brooklyn's Prospect Park tonight. Unfortunately, the performance has been canceled due to visa delays. Instead, a special outdoor screening of Wim Wenders’ classic documentary Buena Vista Social Club will take place. The remainder of the tour, at Ravinia and the Hollywood Bowl, will take place as planned this weekend.

About this Album

World Circuit has produced albums of the other Buena Vista stars Rubén González and Ibrahim Ferrer. Now it is the turn of the only female star of the Buena Vista Social Club album and film, Omara Portuondo.

Variously tagged the Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday of Cuba, her album takes as its theme unrequited love—love lost and found. Her sonorous and expressive voice is set against a large soundscape provided by the Cuban arranger Demetrio Muñiz, director of Havana’s famous Tropicana cabaret. Muñiz has introduced a rich and varied accompaniment to the recordings, including lush string sections, Compay Segundo’s clarinet group, traditional Septeto style, '50s style jazz big band, and a string quartet; amongst other unusual combinations. The resulting sound could only have been made in Cuba.

Omara has recorded with a dream backing band, which includes the Buena Vista musicians Rubén González (piano), Orlando "Cachaíto" Lopez (bass), Manuel "Guajiro" Mirabal (trumpet), Jesus "Aguaje" Ramos (trombone), and Amadito Valdés (timbales).  There are also guest appearances from Eliades Ochoa, Compay Segundo, and Manuel Galbán (guitars) and the great Ibrahim Ferrer on vocals. 

Recorded in Havana by Jerry Boys, who engineered the original World Circuit / Nonesuch Buena Vista, Ibrahim Ferrer, and Rubén González albums, the album retains the distinctive Social Club sound—resonant and evocative of the heyday of the big band era.


Omara Portuondo, vocals
Ibrahim Ferrer, vocal (8)
Pio Leyva, vocal (6)
Rubén González, piano
Orlando ‘Cachaíto’ López, bass
Amadito Valdéz, timbales
Angel Terry Domech, congas
Filiberto Sánchez, bongos
Carlos González, bongos (11)
Alberto ‘Virgilio’ Valdéz, maracas, clave (4)
Roberto Garcia, guiro
Lázaro Villa, clave, chorus
Manuel Galbán, guitar (5)
Eliades Ochoa, guitar (1, 2)
Compay Segundo, guitar (6)
Benito  Suárez, guitar (6)
Gilberto ‘Papi’ Oviedo, tres (8)
Manuel ‘Guajiro’ Mirabal, trumpet (all solos)
Yaure Muñiz, trumpet, flugelhorn
Alejandro Pichardo, trumpet
Yanko Pichardo, trumpet
Daniel Ramos, trumpet
Jesús ‘Aguaje’ Ramos, trombone (all solos), chorus
Demetrio Muñiz, trombone
Antonio Leal, trombone
Panteleón Sánchez, alto sax (all solos)
Javier Zalba, alto and soprano sax
Antonio Jiménez, tenor sax
Rafael ‘Jimmy’ Jenks, tenor sax
Carlos Fernández, tenor sax
Ventura Gutiérrez, baritone sax
Rafael Lázaro Inciarte, clarinet (6)
Haskell Armenteros, clarinet (6)
Dania Valdéz, chorus
Teresita Garcia Caturla, chorus
Xiomara Valdéz, chorus
Pedro Depestre González, Humberto Legat, Aeyoth Marichal, Gerardo Garcia, Rogelio Martinez, Ariel Sarduy, Augusto Diago, Hugo Cruz, Julián Corrales, violin; Angel Zaldivar, José Marón, Rafael Cutiño, Roberto Herrera, viola
Arelis Zaldivar, Roy Avila Serrano, cello
Augusto Diago, Ariel Sarduy, Jose Maron, violin; Arelis Zaldivar, cello (string quartet on 4)
Roger Beaujolais, vibes (5)

A World Circuit production
Produced by Nick Gold and Jerry Boys
Recorded and mixed by Jerry Boys and Simon Burwell
Musical director: Demetrio Muñiz with Jesús ‘Aguaje’ Ramos
Recorded at EGREM Studios, Havana, December 1999 & January 2000
Mixed and mastered at Livingston Studios, London, February 2000
Mastered by Tom Leader and the Jerry Boys

Cover photograph by Francis Giacobetti
Design by Public Art


This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States and Canada only.

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