Yma Sumac (Performer) | Playbill

Yma Sumac


Her first album for Capitol, "Voice of the Xtabay" in 1950, sold half a million copies. Listeners were bewitched by her warbling, almost unearthly song stylings, backed by pulsating Latin rhythms. Wrote a reviewer at the time, "Not being a musician I can't adequately describe the motion of sound in the number called 'Birds.' It begins in contralto, takes on the peculiar sounds of the birds, coasts along on coloratura and ends in what I would call a dirty trumpet howl."

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  • Born: Sep 13, 1922 in Peru
  • Death: Nov 01, 2008 in Los Angeles, California

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