Yma Sumac, 'Peruvian songbird' with multi-octave range, dies at 86
The singer with a persona matching her exotic voice became an
international sensation in the 1950s.
Yma Sumac, the Peruvian-born singer whose spectacular multi-octave vocal range and exotic persona made her an international sensation in the 1950s, has died. She was 86.
Sumac, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in February, died Saturday in an assisted-living facility in Silver Lake, said Damon Devine, her personal assistant and close friend.
Bursting onto the American music scene after signing with Capitol Records in 1950, the raven-haired Sumac was known as the "Nightingale of the Andes," the "Peruvian Songbird" and a "singing marvel" with a 4 1/2-octave (she said five-octave) voice.
Source: Los Angeles Times by Dennis McLellan
November 3, 2008.
Video Description: Yma Sumac, the Castafiore Inca.
Yma S˙mac (1922 - 2008), is a Peruvian singer with one of the most
spectacular ranges and styles ever heard (an amazing four-octave range). She mixes Hollywood pizzazz
with indigenous Incan songs splendidly.
Yma Sumac, from Ima Shumaq, Quechua for "beautiful flower" or "how
beautiful!", was born in Cajamarca, Peru as Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri
Sumac was said to have been a descendant of Inca kings, an Incan princess
that was one of the Golden Virgins.
El Condor Pasa is a typical
Inca dance, based on authentic Incan folk melodies. Around 1916,
Peruvian composer Daniel Alomia Robles
notated this popular traditional melody and used it as the basis
for an instrumental suite. The English Lyrics, 'If I could, I
surely would' words, are by Paul Simon (Simon & Garfunkel)!
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The Castafiore Inca,
Machu Picchu, the
Secret of the Incas,
Tumpa, the Secret
of the Incas,
the Forest Creatures, Malambo #1,
La Pampa y