MIAMI — Eva Ayllón has been dubbed the Tina Turner of Afro-Peruvian music.
Two years after her last Miami performance, Ayllón said she couldn't wait any longer to again adorn the U.S. stage with her magnificent interpretations of her country's folkloric música criolla – a soul-stirring blend of native Peruvian, African and Spanish music.
Ayllón, Peru's most celebrated musical artist and a two-time Latin Grammy nominee, will perform on Saturday, Nov. 1 at the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.
Miami is an important concert destination for Ayllón because it’s a place to which she can truly relate.
“I have a special affinity to the city because of what it represents to the thousands of compatriots who have found refuge and prosperity there. I truly enjoy the Caribbean feel of the city, the blue-emerald ocean and the delicious Cuban food,” she told the South Florida Times during a phone interview.
Ayllón’s musical repertoire focuses on the elegant and vivacious genres of the coastal plains of Lima, Peru. The history of her music derives from the settlement of enslaved Africans in Peru in the 1500s. She is recognized for including all mestizo – mixed blends of Peru's indigenous, African and Spanish musical customs – in her songs.
Peru's population is so diverse that many people imply that all Peruvians have indigenous or African blood, or both. In the 1950s and '60s, a revival brought back the African-influenced styles of music and dance. Although it is unclear which interpretations are authentic or replicas, Afro-Peruvian music as a whole has been embraced by all Peruvians.
“Afro-Peruvian music is still underrated and unexplored in the U.S,’’ she said. “The melodies are rich and the rhythms contagious. I am just doing my part in spreading this musical gospel to the hearts and minds of all Americans.”
Among the highlights of Ayllón's performance is her rendition of the Afro-Peruvian standard “Toro Mata” – a piece that showcases the star’s exhilarating vocals and exuberant dance moves. Her art is music with a mission.
“This is the culture that truly motivates my senses,’’ she said. “The soulfulness of the music and its powerful rhythms are a reflection of my life. I try to live with a positive spirit and always full of joy celebrating my existence.”
Photo: Eva Ayllón
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Eva Ayllón: Queen of Afro- Peruvian Soul in Concert.
WHERE: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County: Knight Concert Hall, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami.
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.
COST: $35 to $60.
CONTACT: For tickets, visit www.arshtcenter.org or call 305-949-6722.