Show #53: Music of Cape Verde (Rising Stars)

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Last week we listened to “The Classics”; this week, we check out the newer acts that constantly refresh the Cape Verde music scene with new talent. Our “Rising Stars” edition begins with Sara Tavares, who was my favorite artist performing at the Kriol Jazz Festival in Praia, Santiago, Cape Verde. I loved her earlier album Balancê; after that she was off the scene with a serious illness, a brain tumor. Fortunately, the surgery was successful and she (and her band who were absolutely stellar) was her most impressive music so far. I want her to tour again, please!

Ferro Gaita is a group of guys performing some traditional music, and we follow that with some new reggae from Domu Afrika and Maria de Barros. After that, two great cover versions, first of a Mongo Santamaria classic, “Afro Blue”, sung by a U.S.-based Cape Verdean artist,  Candida Rose, followed by Ray Charles’ classic, “Hit the Road Jack” by a new artist, Jenifer Solidade. We cap the program with music by Bino Barros, Dino D’Santiago, then a quartet of fine women singers, Nancy Vieira (who tours the U.S. this summer in a tribute show to the late Cesaria Evora, the LA show is at Grand Performances), then a Paris-based young singer named Mayra Andrade, and finally, music by Neuza and Ceuzany.

There are so many Cape Verdean artists we don’t know about; most people know only of Cesaria Evora. But most of these artists were influenced and inspired by the late Barefoot Diva, and we owe it to Cesaria to find out more about them as well.


Rhythm Planet Playlist: 5/2/14

  1. Sara Tavares / Balance / Alive in Lisboa / Times Square
  2. Ferro Gaita / Restam Dama  / Cidade Velha (Old Town) / Fazenda
  3. Domu Afrika / Cab Verd / Right Now! / Domuafrika
  4. Maria de Barros / Riberonzinha / Nha Mundo / Narada
  5. Jenifer Solidade / Hit the Road Jack / Single / Harmonia
  6. Candida Rose / Afro BlueKabumerikana: The Sum of Me / Golden Rose Music
  7. Bino Barros / Menina / Praia Maria / Not Listed
  8. Dino D’Santiago / Nos Tradison / Eva / Lusafrica
  9. Nancy Vieira / Cab Verde Na Coracon / No Ama / Harmonia
  10. Mayra Andrade / Odjus FitchaduStoria Sroria / Sony BMG
  11. Neuza / Djar FogoFlor di Bila / Lusafrica
  12. Ceuzany / Ultimo ChanceNha Vida / Lusafrica

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Here is Sara Tavares performing a song from the recently concluded Kriol Jazz Festival. I was there and it was an incredible show.  Sure didn’t need the fog machines for this band though. Sara has perfect pitch in her singing, a big vocal range, and finger-style guitar work that is second to none.