Omara Portuondo: 2006 National Music Award
The jury, presided by the master Harold Gramatges, awarded the prize also to the director of the National Choir, Digna Guerra; the musicologist María Teresa Linares; the percussionist Arístides Soto (Tata Güines), and the pedagogue Roberto Valera.
Portuondo, who is 76 years, began her career with the vocal duet Las Tailumitas, together with her sister Haydée, and afterwards she goes on to the quartet Loquibambia Swing, under the musical direction of the pianist Frank Emilio Flyn.
Her passing through the DAida quartet was one of the best stages of her career, as she has recognized herself.
Considered to be one of the most famous voices in Latin America, she integrated in 1997 the Buena Vista Social Club project, together with her compatriots Francisco Repilado (Compay Segundo), Eliades Ochoa, Ibrahim Ferrer and Rubén González, among others.
Founded by the Instituto de la Música (Music Institute) nine years ago, the award is given to the Cuban artists who are alive and living in the country for their lifetime work.
Among the artists who have received it are the trova singers Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés, the singers Esther Borja and Celina González, the guitar player Leo Brouwer, the pianist Jorge Luis Prats, and the singer and composer César Portillo de la Luz.
The jury of this edition was integrated also by the director of the Van Van band, Juan Formell, and the specialist Jesús Gómez Cairo.