Argentine Talents: Mercedes Sosa

(Photo by Wuniatu)

Mercedes Sosa, affectionately known as La Negra, was one of the greatest local folklore artists in Argentina. Her voice was known in all of Latin America and she performed in New York, London and Rome in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Coliseum, amongst others.

Her roots were typically Argentine, that is to say from mixed cultures, including Indigenous and French. She started singing at a young age and won a singing competition at 15 that would mark the beginning of a long and very prolific career in which she received national and international recognition and recorded forty albums.   During the military coup she was exiled and lived in both Paris and Madrid until she returned to Argentina in 1982.

In 2009, she passed away at the age of 74. A month later her album Cantora 1, was awarded with two Grammys. She is remembered for her powerful voice, and for one of her emblematic tunes Gracias a la Vida, which is part of a concept album from 1971 that was inspired by Chilean poet Violeta Parra.

La Negra’s brother, Orlando, has also graced us with some local culture but of the culinary kind. La Tucumanita, which specializes in regional empanadas and locro, has three venues in the city and is the perfect place to sample what Argentina is all about.

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