HAVANA – At 87, Omara Portuondo Pelaez, also known as the diva of the Buena Vista Social Club, is still recording in Havana. She is working on a new album with Aymee Nuviola, a Miami-based Cuban artist who deeply admires her.
The new album, which they have yet to name, will include a bit of Cuban son and cha-cha-chá. Nuviola is best known for playing Celia Cruz in a Spanish-language soap opera about the life of the Cuban-American singer who died in 2003.
"The only person who I think would be able to do this is Omara," Nuviola said in Spanish. "I have always had a strong connection with her."
Nuviola, the 45-year-old two-time Grammy Award nominee said she is honored to have the opportunity to work with Portuondo, also the legendary founding member of the popular vocal group Cuarteto d'Aida.
Portuondo is also very fond of Nuviola and said she is also grateful to have found "my little Lulu," referring fondly to an American-Canadian animated series featuring a little girl with curly black hair. She said Nuviola earned the nickname because "she is a big deal."
The two artists will be performing separate shows during Artes de Cuba: From the Island to the World, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Nuviola will be performing at 7:30 p.m., May 3. Tickets are $19 to $39. Portuondo will be performing at 8 p.m., May 8. Tickets are $19 to $69.