On her latest album, La Noche Mas Larga (The Longest Night), the husky-voiced singer Buika takes on songs associated with jazz legend Billie Holiday, Argentine rocker Fito Paez, and Belgian chanson singer Jacques Brel. A tall order for some, perhaps, but the eclecticism made sense for the Miami-based performer of Equatorial Guinean heritage who was raised in a Gypsy neighborhood on the Spanish island of Mallorca and later spent time in Las Vegas working as a Tina Turner impersonator. With the aid of longtime collaborators and some of New York’s top Latin jazz players, Buika melds the cuts into her own seamless mix, hitting dramatic high notes and hopscotching over percussive piano rhythms, flamenco guitar, and Afro-Latino drumming. “World music” can be a troubling term, but Buika both defines and redefines it.
Buika performs at 8 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $49.50–$55. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com.