On International Women’s Day

Singer Amparo Sánchez speaks to the woman’s soul
A bilingual interview and article.

By Lupita Peimbert

How do you convey the meaning and force of a song from Spanish into English? The power may not be in literal translation but in real communication. “Music does that” says Spanish singer Amparo Sánchez. “Music crosses frontiers, uniting us, making us feel we are one, in that we are part of the same universe.” She sings in Spanish. Some of her fans speak other languages.

Amparo Sanchez in Paris, Francia, February 2013.  Foto by Julieta Schneebeli
Amparo Sanchez in Paris, Francia, February 2013. Foto by Julieta Schneebeli

The songwriter and singer’s most recent material “Alma de Cantaora,” touches on the soul of women, emphasizing its beauty, depth, and awareness towards herself, and her role in the world. Amparo’s music does not fit a specific category; simply said, it is musical fusion full of passion.

Amparo Sánchez performed (in a live broadcast) at Radio France International in Paris on February 28, in front of an audience of approximately three hundred.

When she entered the softly-lit stage followed by three  musicians, the audience saw a curvy, feminine figure walking confidently yet tactfully, comfortable leading a show about to start, enthusiastic with what could happen in the exchange between the artist and the public.

Amparo con su pelo largo,
adornada la cabeza con una flor lila,
un vestido pegado,
muy española, y muy Amparo.

Amparo, long-hair Amparo,
a flower adorning her head,
tied to her dress, very Spanish,
very Amparo.

   The music starts. Amparo is not just talented but experienced. She knows how to get the attention, attract the audience, and bring everybody together to a flow, little by little, like the melodies of a song one cannot but follow. “We try to create a dialogue, a conversation with the public that will unite us, making us accomplices, stopping time and enjoying the moment.”

During her concert in Radio France, Feb. 2013.  Photo: Julieta Schneebeli.
During her concert in Radio France, Feb. 2013. Photo: Julieta Schneebeli.

   For many years Amparo Sánchez wrote and sang blues; and performed as part of the band “Paranoia.” Her voice shows skill: deep and with a solid and sustained grasping, passionate, honest like an open book. Add to the mix a strong social message, Caribbean rhythms, Spanish guitars, Trova, a hint of classical notes, and this and that. He music is not new, because it has been done before, but it is unique in that, it can inspire and, awaken the heart, causing nothing but good, unexpected emotions. For the naturally passionate, Amparo’s songs can make the heart dance and cry. Here is how one of her songs starts:

Voice of Abuela Margarita, a capela:
 Soy el poder dentro de mí
Soy el amor que cubre la tierra
Soy el espíritu y soy eterna
Mi vida está llena de amor y alegría.

The sound of a Spanish guitar:
tan-tan-tan, tan-tan-tan,
tan-tan-tan, tan-tan-tan.

Amparo Sánchez begins singing:
Soy presente, soy Aurora, soy la luz y soy la sombra,
el presente, el ahora, Alma de Cantaora.

Abuela Margarita, of undefined age and pictured below, is a medicine woman or Shamana from a small town in Jalisco, Mexico. Inspired by her, Amparo wrote and composed “Alma de Cantaora.”  This empowering hymn to women is presented through a beautifully done video; when the song is presented live, the band puts musical variations into the mix. Some may say that, once a woman listens to it, she can’t stop listening again, and again, and again! ;-)!.

Abuela Margarita
Abuela Margarita is a Shamana (medicine woman), a true communicator, and her talks are thought-provoking. From her natal Mexico, she travels to Europe often.

The other songs included in the “Alma de Cantaora” CD, are also very good and interesting to listen to. But what inspires and empowers the most is Amparo Sánchez herself. The artist, the women, the mother, business owner, the friend, the wife, the human soul in its entirety; one that projects a path walked, internal victories, and with a purpose. She is an ambassador to women.

– “What would you like to say to women? – we asked.
– “My  message is one of hope, and I hope to be a force in support of women, so that when they see me on the stage perhaps they can believe more in themselves, to follow and achieve their dreams.”

A friendly and approachable Amparo Sánchez being interviewed. Photo by Julieta Schneebeli.
A friendly and approachable Amparo Sánchez being interviewed. Photo by Julieta Schneebeli.

Amparo Sánchez has been in the music industry for a quite while.

Her latest material was published in Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Japan, Argentina, and Mexico. She recently performed in the Dominican Republic and is going to Australia. Both the US Market and the Hispanic Market are on her list, and so is the rest of the world. Like her “Cantaora” says, Amparo Sánchez wants to sing and perform as far as she can.

“Y cantaré, mientras se escuche mi voz,
no dejaré, un rincón sin mi canción.”

Find the video “Alma de Cantaora” en Youtube.

Find the song “Alma de Cantaora” en Itunes. You can buy it.

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