Peruvian singer-songwriter Susana Baca said she has been working 30 years "for the sole purpose of bringing to light the musical riches that Afro-Peruvians have contributed to Peru's musical heritage" so that young people don't have a "disparaging" attitude toward their roots.
Baca made the statement in an interview with Efe over the weekend on the subject of the prize she was to be awarded Monday in the eastern Spanish city of Cartagena at the 19th La Mar de Musicas Festival, which this year has Peru as its special guest country.
The prize, which honors her lifetime of work promoting traditional Afro-Peruvian music, "has great significance" since "this is not a competitive prize but one of recognition," a prize "awarded by a Spain that is neither commercial nor of the big television media, but a Spain that makes sacrifices, that sings and dances," Baca said.
Baca, who was born in Lima in 1944, has won other prestigious music awards including two Latin Grammys.
Spain and Peru "have taken a long time to look at themselves and believe in each other, which has led to mutual lack of understanding," Baca said, adding that she was hopeful that both countries would learn to "value and appreciate each other in their true dimensions."
After accepting the La Mar de Musicas Award, Baca will give a concert, the only one she will perform in Spain this year, accompanied by such artists as Martirio, Andrea Echevarrio and Juan de Juan. EFE