The term "world music" usually means any music that's not American. But the music of soulful singer Buika truly defines "world": Her family comes from Equatorial Guinea, and she was one of a few people of African descent in the village she grew up in on the Spanish island of Mallorca, where, in turn, she was exposed to a good deal of gypsy culture. So her music, which has won her two Latin Grammy nominations, is a hybrid of flamenco, jazz, soul, the blues and every strum and note in between. Today, in a concert hosted by the Society for the Performing Arts, she'll perform songs from her 2009 album, El Ultimo Trago (The Last Drink), recorded with Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, as well as new work. The work is an homage to the Mexican singer Chavela Vargas. Lest this all sound too, well, foreign, rest assured that she's worked hard for her all-American cred: She once worked as a Tina Turner impersonator in Las Vegas. 8 p.m. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit www.spahouston.org. $24 to $49.
Fri., Nov. 12, 8 p.m., 2010