Concha Buika sees soulful Spanish flamenco through a cultural kaleidoscope. Born to African political exiles in hiding on the Spanish island of Mallorca, Buika was raised in a hardscrabble Roma neighborhood where she learned cante jondo flamenco from her friends, listened to her parents' jazz records, and sang Guinean folk songs with her mother. Turned down for gigs as a drummer and bassist because she was a woman, Buika became a singer, recording a string of acclaimed flamenco albums inflected with R&B, jazz, soul, son, and ranchera. Buika's layered harmonies and rhythms are intoxicating, her singing "so musical and overpowering that it can override your built-in genre switch," raves The New York Times.
Buika's live performances are rare and wholly immersive experiences. She commands the stage with her formidable voice, gliding between powerful belting and sultry crooning with ease. A musical collaborator of the great Chucho Valdés and filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, an interpreter of the songs of the legendary Chavela Vargas, and a producer and composer in her own right, Buika was nominated for a GRAMMY for her 2017 recording, Para mí. Ranking Buika in a list of the world's fifty best singers, NPR once called her "the voice of freedom," a remarkable epithet that recognizes her rich heritage, her electrifying presence, and her ability to draw new and unexpected ideas from her enormous musical vocabulary.