Born in Mallorca, Spain to jazz-loving African parents and now residing in Miami, Buika traces the full arc of her musical heritage on her latest CD, La Noche Más Larga, a path she’ll retrace at the Kimmel Center on Thursday night. The album features the husky-voiced singer’s heart-wrenching expressivity on a range of material, from Flamenco to jazz and Latin classics. She seizes absolute control of tunes by Abbey Lincoln, Jacques Brel, and Billie Holiday, and engages in a gripping symphonic duo with Pat Metheny on the aching “No Lo Se.”
Metheny is not the only impressive name that can be counted among Concha Buika’s fans. She’s worked with a stunning variety of artists, including Chick Corea, Nelly Furtado, Anoushka Shankar, and extensively with Cuban piano great Chucho Valdés as well as his late father Bebo. She reached even more ears when Spanish director Pedro Almodovar used two of her songs in his 2011 thriller The Skin I Live In. Her sound has gradually evolved to incorporate jazz and Afro-Cuban influences into her Flamenco roots, making the music that surrounds her compelling vocals equally as involving and unpredictable.