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Sumac, Yma (orig. Emperatriz Chavarri)

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Born: 1922 AD
Currently alive, at 92 years of age.

Nationality: Peruvian
Categories: Singer

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1922 – She was born Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo on the 22nd day of September this year in Ichocán (Cajamarca, Peru).

 

1942 - She first appeared on radio in this year, and married composer and bandleader Moisés Vivanco on June 6 the same year.

 

1943 - She recorded at least eighteen tracks of Peruvian folk songs in Argentina in this year.

 

1946 – She and Vivanco moved to New York City, where she performed with the Inca Taky Trio, with Moisés Vivanco on guitar, Yma Sumac's cousin Cholita Rivero singing contralto and dancing, and Yma Sumac providing the soprano.

 

1950 – She was signed by Capitol Records. In the 1950s, she produced a series of legendary lounge recordings featuring Hollywood-style versions of Incan and South American folk songs, working with the likes of Les Baxter and Billy May

 

1951 - She popularized Jorge Bravo de Rueda's classic song "Vírgenes del Sol".

 

1954 - During the height of her popularity, she appeared in the films Secret of the Incas in this year, and Omar Khayyam in 1957.

 

1955 – She became a U.S. citizen on the 22nd of July this year.

 

1957 - She and Vivanco divorced. They remarried that same year before divorcing again in 1965. They had one son, Charles, born in 1949.

 

1961 – Apparently due to financial difficulties, Yma Sumac and the original Inca Taky Trio went on a world tour in this year, which lasted for five years.

 

1971 – She released a rock album, called Miracles, and then returned to live in Peru. She performed in concert from time to time during the 1970s in Peru and later in New York. In the 1980s, she had a number of concerts both in the U.S. and abroad including at New York's The Ballroom in 1987.

 

1989 - She sang once again at The Ballroom in New York. - She recorded the song "I Wonder" from the Disney film Sleeping Beauty for Stay Awake, an album of songs from Disney movies, produced by Hal Willner.

 

1990- She played the role of Heidi in Stephen Sondheim's Follies, in Long Beach, California, her first attempt at 'serious theater' since Flahooley in 1951.

 

1996 – She also did several concerts in the summer of this year in San Francisco and Hollywood and two more in Montreal, Canada in July 1997 as part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

 

2006 – She flew to Lima, where she was given the "Orden del Sol" award by Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, and the Jorge Basadre medal by the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.


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Page last updated: 2:28pm, 08th May '07