Blogs » Digital Babble » Music Scene: ¡Azúcar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz


I was happy to find out that an exhibit featuring the life and works of Celia Cruz is currently featured at The Museo Alameda in San Antonio. The exhibit runs until April 2008.

Here is some more info:

Legacy of Cuban Singer Honored
September 28, 2007
Ramiro Burr -- San Antonio Express-News

SAN ANTONIO -- Salsa singer Celia Cruz came from humble origins in Cuba to become a larger than life persona known for her unforgettable performances.

Her professional accomplishments, from her struggles to her greatest moments, are examined in the new national touring Smithsonian exhibition "Azucar! The Life and Music of Celia Cruz."

"Celia was one of the most popular, important singers in the 20th century and she deserves to be honored," said Marvette Perez, the curator of Latino History and Culture at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. "Her music and her legacy deserve to be recognized. For people who only knew of her contemporary career, there's a lot of information on the beginning of her life. The exhibit is a great historical overview of her career."

The exhibit traces Cruz's life through personal documents, photographs, costumes, music and rare video footage.


Cruz's career spanned six decades and took her from humble beginnings in Havana to many world stages. She was known for her piercing voice, flamboyant sequined dresses and headpieces, and her signature rebel yell Azucar! (sugar).

The exhibit includes items from her childhood and early appearances with the band La Sonora Matancera in Cuba.

"There are original costumes going back to the 1950s and (including) the last dress she wore before her death, and also her wigs and her shoes" Perez said. "There's also lots of photographs and some of which were never seen before, many from her days in Cuba.

"There's also many personal documents of her, like her makeup case, and you get a really good idea about the power of her performances, the power of her voice, and how amazing she was."

Brun also worked with Smithsonian officials to produce a compilation CD to the exhibit that will be on sale at the museum.

Brun said the 10-track "The Music of Celia Cruz" includes many of her hits from her heyday with New York's Fania All-Stars.

This is of great interest to me because I have been a fan of Celia Cruz since I  took my first shaky, precarious attempts at salsa dancing several years ago. Over the years my passion for her music grew, while my dancing skills, well, lets just say I won't be winning competitions any time soon.

The music of Celia Cruz transcends language and cultural barriers, as evidenced by her appearance in 1987 on Sesame Street. Even Big Bird was shaking his hips. ¡Azúcar!