Susana Baca

The Music of Black Peru: Cultural Identity in the Black Pacific

The “Black Pacific” is a term coined by our guide, ethnomusicologist Heidi Carolyn Feldman. She describes the circumstance of African descendants displaced not only from their ancestral homes in Africa, but also from the Atlantic coast nations where their enslaved ancestors were originally brought.

This Hip Deep edition explores the sonically vibrant realm of Afro-Peruvian music, a young genre identification that has flourished since the 1950s and has now produced artists of international renown, such as singer Susana Baca, and the black folkloric company Peru Negro.

The music is sensuous and deeply beautiful, and represents a fascinating and little-understood history. We will hear from Juan Morillo—who represents Peru Negro—from Susana Baca, and from other artists and community scholars Feldman has worked with during her extensive research of this topic.