Press Room

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September 13, 2010
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.




Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at 8 p.m.


FAIRFAX, Va., Sept. 13, 2010 – Hailed as the “flamenco queen” by the New York Post, this sensual songstress has gone from struggling artist to trailblazing force in contemporary Spanish music in just a few short years. Known for her unique blend of jazz, blues and soul with gypsy rumba, Afro-Cuban music and flamenco – Buika is a master of “coplas,” or torch songs.  “Luminous … magnificent … superb,” said The New York Times of her smoky and captivating voice that teems with heartbreaking emotion. “You have to want to sing about the many parts of who you are … the art of a person is sometimes in their pain,” Buika said. “It’s everywhere and I think one must live openly, bravely and tell it like it is at every moment.” Buika appears for the first time at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts. HSBC is the sponsor for the 2010-11 Global View series.

The daughter of African political refugees from Equatorial Guinea, Concha Buika (pronounced BWEE-kah) was born María Concepción Balboa Buika. She may have grown up poor in a gypsy neighborhood in Palma de Mallorca, the capital city on the island of Mallorca, but Buika’s childhood was rich with song. She grew up singing and learned to play the guitar, piano and bass, and later, the cello. “I am African and an African does not have musical training,” Buika said. “An African can’t live without music. Like meals, music was part of our daily life. There has always been music in my head and in my heart.” One of the few black residents in her neighborhood, Buika found a second home among the community of gypsy families who lived nearby and exposed her to flamenco’s emotional “cante jondo,” or deep song and “coplas.” She entered into the music scene as a professional blues singer in a hotel in Mallorca, and later branched out singing jazz and soul music in venues across Europe. In 2001, she accepted a job performing at several Las Vegas casinos as a Tina Turner impersonator, complete with the requisite wig, sparkly mini-dresses and platform shoes. While she called the experience “fun” in an interview with NPR, she also found sadness in the city, describing Las Vegas as “a land of broken dreams.” A year later, she returned to Mallorca, where she recorded an independent jazz album. In between touring abroad, she divides her time between Mallorca and Madrid, where she has found soulmates in a community of artists “more interested in the show than the business.” She has released four albums – the self-titled “Buika” in 2005, “Mi Niña Lola” (her U.S. debut) in 2006 and “Niña de Fuego” in 2008, which received a Latin Grammy nomination for album of the year, and in 2009, “El Último Trago,” a haunting tribute to the legendary 90-year-old Latin songstress Chavela Vargas, which received two Latin Grammy nominations. Buika recorded the album with master Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés and Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar contributed the album’s liner notes, as Vargas’ music has been featured on the soundtracks of several of his films. “Is there a more potent voice in the whole of popular music? A marvelously nuanced piece of work,” wrote the Times of London in a rave review of the album. Buika also recently collaborated with pop star Nelly Furtado on the Latin-inspired song “Fuerte” on Furtado’s 2009 album “Mi Plan” and sang on Seal’s single “You Get Me” on his latest album “Commitment.” Buika recently entered the acting world, as Almodóvar recently cast her in his latest film, “La Piel Que Habita” (The Skin I Live In) starring Antonio Banderas and Marisa Paredes. She also contributed two songs to the film’s soundtrack.

HSBC is the sponsor for the 2010-11 Global View series. 

Tickets for BUIKA are $42, $34, $21. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.