Yma Sumac's music
Yma Sumac's music

 A life summary of Yma Sumac music.

Yma Sumac music is liked for a long time. Singer Yma Sumac was born in Cajamaca, a city of Peru. She was born on 13th September, 1922 approximately. In 1946 when she arrived to United States, she started singing and was well known and famous for her voice that reached out to more than four Octaves. She was called as the “Peruvian Songbird” she surprised and thrilled the crowd. In 1960, slowly and gradually her stardom started fading, though she was performing occasionally and engaged in trendy music, but still the time for her was up. On 1st November 2008, she passed away in Los Angeles, California.

Early Stages of Yma Sumac

Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo was born approximately on 13th September, 1922 because some people also quote it to be 1925 and 1927. She was born in the town of Peru called Cajamarca. She spent her early days in Peru. Yma was born in a family; they claimed there selves to be the descended of the Incan emperor Atahualpa. Before she moved to the United States she used to perform in Lima and then there she started her singing career.

Stardom of the Yma Sumac

In New York, she became a popular singer, the one with the voice of more than four octaves and according to Yma it was five in fact. She was famous in clubs, television and radio, yma also performed on the “Borscht Belt” circuit. Later in 1950 when she released her very first album “Voice of the Xtabay” and her performance in the Broadway musical Flahooley in 1951, took her to the peak of her stardom and success.

She typically continued a glamorous look by wearing heavy jewelry and flashy colors which clearly highlighted the Sumac’s heritage on promotional materials. The emphasize on her upbringing may have urged a backlash, an unconfirmed rumor started spreading that Sumac was actually a Brooklynite Amy Camus which is backward spelled as Yma Sumac. But the rumor did not stop people from hearing Yma.

Sumac’s inspiring singing rang that fluctuated from baritone to high soprano was praised at the popular concerts. She gave her performances through the United States, Europe and South America. She gave out many hit albums, such as in 1954 she released Mambo!  And in 1959 she released Fuego del Ande .She also acted in the movies in 1954 she gave Secret of the Incas, which starred Charlton Heston, and in 1957 she gave Omar Khayyam.

A review of Yma Sumac’s Music

Sumac sung for viewers of 6,000 at the Hollywood Bowl. Her shrilling soprano voice—which was the reason of her nickname ‘Peruvian Songbird’ astonished and excited the gathering, who were formerly unaware with her range of singing , according to a  review of TIME:
[alert type=”success” icon-size=”hide-icon”]
“For the first few bars of a Peruvian folk chant called High Andes, the full-figured Peruvian girl onstage rumbled roundly at the bottom of the contralto range. Then, to their astonishment, she soared effortlessly up a full four octaves, began trilling like a canary at the top of coloratura. At the end of her first song, the audience was still too surprised to rise more than warm applause.

[alert type=”info” icon-size=”hide-icon”]

The second, Tumpa (Earthquake), brought cheers; after the third, a
pyrotechnical Inca Hymn to the Sun, the applause and cheers swelled to a roar for encores.”

After this concert her career touched the new level of success Time adds,

“By the next night-fall, there was nothing too good for 28-year-old Yma (pronounced Eema) Sumac, the girl with the four-octave range (normal: two octaves). The critics were raving, movie producers were fighting over her, Capitol was rushing out an Yma Sumac album called Voice of the Xtabay, which it had recorded this spring. So far as Yma herself was concerned, it was just about time for a little attention.”


Family life of Yma Sumac

In 1942, Yma Sumac tied the knot with the musician Moises Vivanco, who had been working with her in Peru at the start of her career. Vivanco go along with Sumac to the United States, and he also performed with her in the Inca Taqui Trio before she became a popular single artist.

The two divorced in 1950, as Vivanco was having twins with one more woman. They again married to each other but a second divorce was also filed in 1965. They both Sumac and Vivanco had one son named as Charles.

Late era of Yma Sumac’s music.

As the 1960 evolved, Yma Sumac’s popularity decreased. Even though she tried and gave concerts in the 60’s decade and also released a flop rock album Miracles but in 1972, she generally takes away from singing. However, her music was heard on film background music, including The Big Lebowski in 1998. In 1992 the documentary of Yma Sumac a Hollywood’s Inca Princess also flashed further attention in her profession. In 2006; the government of Peru honored Yma Sumac Orden del Sol (Order of the Sun) for her outstanding achievements. She was also honored by star on the Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. She was probably the age of 86, when she was diagnosed with the colon cancer in February of 2008

Sad demise of Yma Sumac

Peruvian Songbird passed away in Los Angeles, California on 1st November of 2008 in an aided home. She died after nine months of being diagnosed as colon cancer patient. She was buried at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in the Sanctuary of memories division.

Doodle of Yma Sumac

Google honored Yma Sumac in a doodle as she was dressed as a Peruvian Songbird.


Google Doodle of Yma Sumac in September 2016