Omara Portuondo was born in October 1930 in Havana, Cayo Hueso in the quarter. Her father was a successful baseball player and one of the first to go to the USA. Her mother came from a wealthy Spanish family, and it was at that time a scandal when she eloped with the black baseball players and married him. Portuondo has two sisters. The parents were singing a lot, so that Omara started early to sing.
Portuondo began her career in 1945 in the famous Tropicana Club in Havana as a dancer. Together with her sister Haydee, who danced there too, Omara sang Frank Emilio Flynn's short time in band Loquibambla Swing. In 1952, teamed the two sisters with the singers Elena Burke and Moraima Secada and the pianist Aida Diestro ( 1916-1973 ) and formed the band Cuarteto las d' Aida. The band had great success, toured the U.S. and played along with Nat King Cole.
Omara Portuondo In 1959, her first solo album, Magia Negra, on. However, they remained in their band, even when her sister Haydee left the band in 1961 to emigrate to the USA.
In 1967, Omara also left the band and began her solo career. They recorded numerous albums and could also go outside Cuba on tour.
The international breakthrough they achieved with their singing on the plate produced by Ry Cooder Buena Vista Social Club in 1997. Using the eponymous film by Wim Wenders of 1998, she became known worldwide. The albums Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo (2000) and Flor de Amor ( 2004).
In April 2003, Portuondo was one of a group of prominent Cuban cultural workers who signed one in the newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, Granma published open letter, which was sent to friends of Cuba in the world and international criticism of the human rights policy of the Cuban government as anti-Cuban campaign of vilification rejected: in the weeks before President Fidel Castro had in a known as the " black spring" crackdown 75 critical journalists and civil rights activists sentenced to long prison terms in summary proceedings and leave three young black Cubans after the bloodless failed attempt of a ship hijacking also executed after summary trials.