Bamba Wassoulou Groove

A heavy dance machine

Biography

The Bamba Wassoulou Groove was born in Bamako in 2013 on the initiative of Bamba Dembélé, (who passed in 2018) percussionist and co-founder of the Super Djata Band, mythical group of Zani Diabaté, the most original and funky guitarist of music of Mali after independence. The Bamba Wassoulou Groove is composed of 6 musicians (three guitars,one bass, a drum and a singer) and is here to create a real wall of sound. Solis with Hendrixian virtuosos, trance voice, evil bass and drum sections, the band is a heavy dance machine who electrifies the Malian music and recreates the excitement of the hot nights in Bamako.

Philippe Conrath (creator of Festival Africolor) explains : “To create the Bamba Wassoulou Groove a connoisseur was needed, a man of confidence who would also ensure human and musical unity. Who better than Bamba Dembélé to build such a band? Bamba, the indispensable, the fixer, the invincible. Former member of Zani Diabatatés legendary Super Djata Band, he had all the contacts in Bamako to set up the Wassoulou Groove. Helaunched a formidable machine with an unrelenting rhythm, that allowed the three fierce guitars of the group to soar, carrying Ousmane Diakité’s voice into a trance. funk, rock, the Bamba Wassoulou Groove is a new virus that will contaminate the world’s dance floors.” « In our Music, no praises ” Maguett « Dr Drum » Diop drummer of Bamba Wassoulou Groove

Albums

Dankélé – 2020

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Bamba Wassoulou Groove

Une terrible machine à danser

A découvrir

Le Bamba Wassoulou Groove est né à Bamako en 2013 à l’initiative de Bamba Dembélé, (décédé en 2018) percussionniste et co fondateur du Super Djata Band, groupe mythique de Zani Diabaté, le guitariste le plus original et le plus funky de la musique du Mali post indépendance.

Le Bamba Wassoulou Groove composé de 6 musiciens (trois guitares, une basse, une batterie, et un chanteur) est à la manoeuvre pour ériger un véritable mur de son. Solis virtuoses hendrixiens, voix de transe, section basse-batterie diabolique , le groupe est une terrible machine à danser qui électrise la musique malienne et recrée l’effervescence des nuits torrides de Bamako.

Philippe Conrath (créateur du festival Africolor) en parle ainsi : “Pour fonder le Bamba Wassoulou Groove, il fallait un connaisseur, un homme de confiance aussi qui garantisse la cohésion humaine et musicale. Et qui d’autre que Bamba Dembélé pour monter un tel groupe ? Bamba, l’incontournable, le « fixeur », l’inévitable. Ancien membre du mythique Super Djata Band de Zani Diabaté, il avait tous les contacts à Bamako pour lancer le Wassoulou Groove. Il met alors sur pied une machine redoutable à la rythmique infernale, pour laisser s’envoler les trois guitares furieuses du groupe et porter la voix d’Ousmane Diakité jusqu’à la transe. Funky, rock, le Bamba Wassoulou Groove est le nouveau virus qui va contaminer les pistes de danse de la planète.”

Albums

Dankélé – 2020

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Dona bannièr

Dona Ivone Lara

A découvrir

Ivone Lara Da Costa, plus connue sous le nom de Dona Ivone Lara est née à Botafogo, dans l’état de Rio de Janeiro, au Brésil. Fille d’un chanteur traditionnel, elle commence à composer des chansons dès l’âge de 12 ans. Un de ses premiers morceaux est le refrain d’une chanson de samba intitulée “Tiê-tiê” (à cause d’un oiseau qu’elle aimait beaucoup). Elle étudie à “Orsina da Fonseca”, une école du comté, d’où elle sort diplômée à l’âge de 17 ans. A la mort de ses parents, elle déménage chez son oncle, musicien, Dionisio Bento da Silva et apprend à jouer du “cavaquinho ” (sorte de petite guitare à quatre cordes). En octobre 1947, elle part pour Madureira (une banlieue de Rio de Janeiro) et commence à fréquenter une école de samba aujourd’hui disparue (Prazer da Serrinha). Pendant cette période, elle se met à composer, mais ses créations sont présentées au petit monde de la samba comme étant celles de l’un de ses cousins, Mestre Fuleiro, également compositeur. Il y avait à cette époque encore beaucoup de préjugés sexistes et une femme ne pouvait pas être acceptée comme compositeur par la communauté.

 En 1947, Dona Ivone épouse Oscar Costa, le fils du président de l’école de samba de Prazer da Serrinha, et compose une samba (“Nasci para sofrer”), qui est choisie par l’école cette même année pour le défilé du carnaval. Cette première école de samba disparait ensuite et Ivone se tourne alors, vers une autre, appelée G.R.E.S. Imperio Serrano, formée en 1947 par un groupe de dissidents de Prazer da Serrinha.

Ivone continue à composer, et connaît un immense succès avec la chanson “Não me perguntes mais”. En 1965, sa samba intitulée “Os cincos Bailes Tradicionais da Historia do Rio” (interprété d’abord par Silas de Oliveira et Bacalhau) se classe à la quatrième place du défilé des écoles de samba; plus tard, en 1974, Dona Ivone la remettra au goût du jour.

Dona Ivone est la première femme à avoir écrit un morceau de samba; elle a aussi participé au célèbre “rodas de samba” (rassemblement des écoles de samba) au Teatro Opinião, à Rio de Janeiro. Elle est la marraine d’un groupe de compositeurs de l’école de samba Imperio Serrano et depuis 1968 défile en tant que membre du groupe des Baianas de cette même école.

L’année 1970 a été, sans aucun doute, d’une grande importance pour elle, en tant qu’interprète et compositrice, car c’est l’année où elle sort son premier album “Sambão 70” produit par Sargenteli et Adelson Alves sous le label Copacabana. Elle a, depuis, enregistré pour différents labels, Odeon, Copacabana, Warner, Som Livre et RGE.

Ses compositions ont été interprétées par de grands chanteurs brésiliens: En 1974, Christina Buarque de Hollanda reprend les chansons “Agradeço a Deus” et “Confesso”; “Sonho Meu”, enregistrée par Gal Costa et Maria Betânia, est élue chanson de l’année 1978. Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethânia et Caetano Veloso reprennent “Alguém me avisou”, et Roberto Ribeiro “Acreditar”.

Pour commémorer ses 50 années de vie artistique dédiées à la samba, le CD “Bodas de Ouro” est publié en 1997 par Sony Music, avec la participation de nombreux invités tels que Gilberto Gil, Beth Carvalho, Djavan, Zeca Pagodinho, Martinho da Villa, Almir Guineto, Araketu, Danilo Caymmi, Adryana Ribeiro, Isabel Filardis et Toni Garrido, Ataulpho Alves Jr. et Netinho (le chanteur de Negritude Jr.). En octobre 99, Dona Ivone reçoit la médaille “Pedro Ernesto” des mains de Vereadora Batista à la mairie de Rio de Janeiro.

En 2001, Dona Ivone enregistre pour le label Lusafrica, l’album “Nasci pra sonhar e cantar” qui marque la consécration de sa carrière et fait l’unanimité de la critique et du public. En octobre 2004, à l’âge de 83 ans, Dona Ivone Lara revient avec un album, “Sempre a Cantar”, enregistré à Rio de Janeiro au Studio Copacabana.

Albums

Sempre A Cantar – 2004

Nasci Pra Sonhar e Cantar – 2001

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Tiolino bannière

Tiolino

A découvrir

Même s’il vit et joue sur l’île voisine de Sal, Tiolino n’a pas oublié sa Boavista natale, celle de son père, lui aussi guitariste. Tout au long de ces onze titres enregistrés en accoustique, il raconte son île, ses traditions, ses rituels, la vie de tous les jours. L’accent et le créole de Bubista accompagnent des textes inspirés, dont l’ironie, la profondeur et la symbolique rappellent par moments ceux de Jorge Humberto. Et alors que Tiolino a pris le soin de puiser quasiment dans tous les styles musicaux du Cap-Vert, l’album parait d’une rare homogénéité et d’une précieuse cohérence

Albums

Rua Dreita – 2007

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Leyanis bannière

Leyanis Lopez

A découvrir

Leyanis a fait ses débuts à l’âge de sept ans comme membre du chœur de l’école primaire Fabio Rosell del Rio dans la province de Guantánamo, sous la direction de l’instructeur en arts Miguel Angel Durán. Ses dons naturels pour le chant la font très vite remarquer, et elle devient chanteuse soliste de différentes formations musicales au sein de l’organisation des Pionniers. Durant toute cette étape elle se présente lors de diverses manifestations culturelles à l’échelon local, provincial et national. En 1998Leyanis enregistre son premier CD pour le label français Lusafrica. Son répertoire, qui comprend les différents genres de la musique populaire, boléro, cancion, valse, güajira, et son cubains, permet d’apprécier l’impact de la musique savante sur la musique populaire depuis le début du siècle dans la région orientale de Cuba, ainsi que l’influence de la musique des années cinquante tout en intégrant les innovations de l’époque actuelle sur le plan des harmonies et des sonorités.

Albums

Corazon Presumido – 2005

Mi Corazon Y Yo – 2002

Como La Mariposa – 1999

Te Daré – 2013

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Sans titre (22)

Sally Nyolo

Sally Nyolo promène les mélopées de son bikutsi aux quatre coins de la planète. Véritable conteuse, elle fait voyager son public dans la magie des forêts de l’Afrique Centrale.

A découvrir

Sally Soleïnie Nyolo est originaire du sud du Cameroun. Elle est née en pays Eton, dans le petit village de Eyen-Meyong, près de la ville de Tala, dans le département de la Lékié. Elle quitte son pays natal à l’âge de 13 ans pour s’installer à Paris où elle vit depuis. Au cours de son adolescence, elle chante dans plusieurs groupes avant d’en faire une activité permanente à l’époque de la fac.

Sally construit son expérience professionnelle de 1982 à 1994, comme choriste d’abord en travaillant avec de nombreux artistes français ou africains comme Jacques Higelin, Sixun, Nicole CroisilleTouré KundaPrincess Erika et bien d’autres…

Mais Sally Nyolo compose également et elle entameparallèlement sa carrière solo en 1991 lorsqu’elle compose la musique du feuilleton radiophonique “Le jeune Joseph” qui est alors diffusé sur France-Culture. L’année suivante, le producteur Gérard Louvain la contacte pour travailler sur la bande originale du film “Ashakara” où elle interprète le titre “Semengue”, album publié chez BMG.

En 1993, Sally monte son groupe et elle se produit dans de nombreuses salles parisiennes et est invitée au mois d’août au prestigieux festival de world music lancé par Peter Gabriel, le Womad. L’année suivante, elle enregistre surson label, Real World,un premieralbum de quatre titres sur lequel la chanson “Djini Djome” est particulièrement remarquée.

Peu de temps après, Sally rencontre Marie Daulne, leader du groupe belge Zap Mama qui lui propose de rejoindre le groupe. Cette rencontre marque les débuts de l’aventure formidable de ce groupe de polyphonies vocales. Sally compose “Les Mamas des Mamas” qui figure sur le deuxième album du groupe “Sabsylma” publié sur le label belge Crammed Discs. Les Zap Mama entament alors une série de concerts aux quatre coins de la planète durant lesquels seront enregistrés deux disques live, l’un au Japon et l’autre à Montreux.

En 1996, Sally Nyolo enregistre son premier album en solo, intitulé “Tribu”, publié par le label Lusafrica. Tous les titres, chantés en Eton (sa langue natale), sont écrits et composés par Sally, à l’exception de “Tamtam” qu’elle a co-composé avec Sylvin Marc. Dotée d’une voix exceptionnelle relayée par des choristes non moins talentueuses, Sally Nyolo se taille un joli succès.

En Juin 97, Sally Nyolo reçoit le prix Découvertes 97 attribué par Radio France Internationale. Le jury, présidé par Manu Katché, consacre ainsi l’album “Tribu”, pour ses qualités artistiques, et Sally Nyolo, comme l’un des espoirs les plus sérieux de la nouvelle génération des musiciens africains. L’album s’est vendu à 300.000 exemplaires dans le monde, dont 100.000 aux Etats-Unis.

Essai transformé en mai 98 avec le second album “Multiculti” qui excelle à nouveau dans la veine du métissage talentueux. La jeune Camerounaise prouve sa grande connaissance des sons traditionnels de son continent qu’elle rhabille subtilement.

Albums

Zaïone – 2002

Beti – 2000

Multiculti – 1998

Tribu – 1996

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BOY G2 CANVAA

Boy Gé Mendès

Boy !

A découvrir

Né en 1952 à Dakar, comme beaucoup de capverdiens, Gérard Mendes grandit au milieu de ses copains maliens, sénégalais, guinéens…et capverdien. Le goût du chant lui vient au collège catholique, puis dans les fêtes, les kermesses. Plus tard, il fait son apprentissage de la scène dans différents clubs de Dakar: le Black & White, le Marseille, l’Alhabama, des pianos bars qui ont mauvaise réputation. Mais c’est tellement bon de se produire en public tout en gagnant un peu d’argent! A cette époque, il chante des standards: les Stones, les Beatles, du Rythm’n’ Blues, de la salsa, en français, ou phonétiquement, en anglais et en espagnol. En 1967, les choses se précisent. Avec l’un de ses frères, il monte son premier groupe, les Beryl’s. Commence alors la vie trépidante des concerts, des festivals dans tout le Sénégal. Gérard Mendes sort de l’anonymat. En 1977 avec son frère Jean-Claude, Luis Silva et Emmanuel Lima, ils forment un groupe 100% capverdien, Cabo Verde Show, qui va devenir le groupe phare de la communauté exilée à Paris et en Hollande; cette étape est déterminante. Il lui vient l’envie de composer et d’écrire “en capverdien”. Sur le deuxième album de Cabo Verde Show, il inscrit trois compositions, plébiscitées par la communauté. Un succès qui attise son envie d’aller plus loin. Il quitte le Cabo Verde Show et lance avec son frère un nouveau projet, Mendes & Mendes.Trois albums plus tard, il laisse Paris derrière lui et s’installe à Nice en 1983. Arrive 1990, le déclic: Gérard Mendes devient Boy Gé Mendes, un clin d’oeil au surnom de son enfance (à Dakar, les gars s’interpellent ainsi : “Boy”!), il enregistre la chanson Grito de bo Fidge qui devient le premier tube de la musique capverdienne en dehors de la communauté. Après des années de concerts et de tournées, Boy Gé Mendes décide de faire un break. L’oiseau migrateur a envie de voyager. Entre le Brésil, New York, le Sénégal et Cap-Vert, il trimbale sa guitare sans façons, discrètement, se contente d’engranger de nouvelles compositions dans un coin de sa tête. Ainsi naît Lagoa (la lagune), une nouvelle composition et le titre symbole de son huitième album. Celui d’une renaissance, d’un retour à la terre, à l’intime. Dès la parution de cet album il quitte Nice et part s’installer au Cap-Vert. Là entre Mindelo, où il habite, et les îles de Boa Vista et de Santo Anton, où il aime se balader, il se ré-approprie le Cap-Vert. Celui des fêtes populaires de la San Jon, et du carnaval. Celui des “Noites caboverdiana”, lorsqu’avec des amis on refait le monde avec des guitares, autour de verres de grog. Celui des paysans déracinés, qui doivent s’exiler pour faire vivre leur famille. Celui de Baia das Gatas, le formidable festival de musique qui rassemble le petit peuple et les élites sur la plage lors de la pleine lune du mois d’août. Au Cap-Vert, Boy Gé retrouve calme et sérénité, propices à la méditation et à la création. C’est là qu’il compose les titres de son nouvel album, le neuvième, qu’il enregistre à Paris au printemps 99. Musiques capverdiennes sous influence brésilienneé et caraïbéennes, Boy Gé s’entoure des amis musiciens, venus d’horizons divers, avec qui il a tissé des liens au fil du temps: Mario Canonge, Thierry et Jean-Philippe Fanfant, Xavier Dessandre, Alan Hoist, Bago, Ravi Magnifique, Manu Lima… Un album doux et sensuel, qui instaure un climat musical élégant et savamment dosé dans lequel Boy Gé Mendes chante son amour pour ce petit pays.

Albums

Lagoa / Noite de Morabeza – 2018

Best Of – 2007

Noite De Morabeza – 1999

Lagoa – 1997

Cumba Ietu (Cuban Violin Mix) – 1997

Cumba Ietu (Revisited By Saint Germain Extended) – 1997

Di Oro – 1996

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Luis Morais Canva

Luis Morais

Le maître de toute une génération de musiciens capverdiens

A découvrir

Luis Morais enregistre de nombreux albums solo, mais surtout il est le compositeur de centaines de musiques, dont « Boas Festas », un instrumental qu’il a composé en 1961, et qui est devenu depuis cette époque LE titre de fin d’année qui réunit les capverdiens du monde entier.

Ami fidèle de Cesaria Evora, il l’a accompagnée régulièrement sur scène au tout début de sa carrière, lorsqu’elle chantait dans les bars. C’est Morais que José da Silva choisit comme directeur artistique, lorsqu’il produit, en 1988, l’album « La Diva aux Pieds Nus ».

Luis Morais avait retrouvé Cesaria Evora sur scène lors de la Nuit du Cap-Vert, le 28 avril 2001 au Zénith de Paris. Il avait rejoint ensuite le groupe de Cesaria pour différents concerts, notamment lors des tournées américaines en juillet et en octobre 2001, ou encore lors de la tournée européenne de l’été 2002. Il disparaît en septembre 2002, alors que Doçura (un label de Lusafrica) publiait son dernier enregistrement, l’album « Novidade de Mindelo », enregistré à Paris quelques mois auparavant.

Albums

Boas Festas – 2004

Novidade De Mindelo – 2002

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Boubacar Traoré

The vital connection between Mali and the Mississippi.

About

Boubacar Traoré carries within him all the beauty of African blues. A diamond among the jewels of Mandingo music, he shines with the dark glow of exceptional purity. Only the voice of “Kar Kar” (a footballing nickname meaning “The Dribbler” given him by his friends, who also love the beautiful game) can blend Niger and Mississippi river alluvia with such moving authenticity. His unique, inimitable, self-taught guitar technique owes a great deal to his kora influences, but its shades and phrasing also suggest the great black bluesmen of the deep South: Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and others.

Back in the 60s when the euphoria of African independence reigned, the 20-year-old Boubacar Traoré was Mali’s Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. He was the first to play Mandingo-based music on electric guitar, long before his junior, Ali Farka Touré. In those days, Malians would wake to the sound of Boubacar’s poignant voice and saturated riffs. Hits including “Mali Twist” (Children of independent Mali, we must stand on our feet / Let all the young people return to their homeland / We must build the country together) and “Kayeba” provided dance music for a generation who were enjoying freedom for the first time. But then the celebrations and lyrical illusions ended. On the 19th November 1968, a bitter wind blew across Mali when Modibo Keita’s socialist government was overthrown by a military coup. Kar Kar and his songs were exiled from the airwaves. Returning penniless to Kayes, his hometown in the Kassonké region (to the northeast of Bamako near the Senegalese border), Boubacar became a farm worker, opened a shop with his elder brother – the one who had introduced him to the guitar and given him his first one – and worked to feed his family.

He was rediscovered in 1987 when reporters from Malian national television visited Kayes. “Kar, you have to come to Bamako. You’ve never been seen on television since it began. Everyone should realise you’re not dead, you’re alive…” It was a renaissance for the artist. “People were amazed to see me. Most of them had only heard me on the radio,” he said at the time. Yet fate was to put a stop to Kar Kar’s musical rebirth. Pierrette, his beautiful mixed-race wife, his muse, his love, died bringing their last child into the world. Despairing and distraught, Kar Kar became a shadow of himself. It was then that he decided to look for work in Paris, where he joined the community of Malian migrant workers and shared their harsh life. “I was a building worker for two years,” is his only comment on this personal experience, but one of his songs says it all: “You can be a king at home, but when you’re a migrant, you’re a nobody.” The legacy of his time in the Barbès immigrant quarter of Paris and the hostel in Montreuil where he sometimes performed is the flat cap the tall Malian wears today.

In Paris, an English producer discovered him and took him to the studio to record his first album, “Mariama”, in 1990. Poignant, spare and melancholic, Kar Kar’s music had changed since his youth in the 60s. Now it was more refined, the art of a mature man expressing his heartaches and joys in song, his unique vocal timbre shrouded in nostalgia and poetry. Boubacar Traoré’s life changed quickly after the record’s release. He recorded another 6 albums: “Sécheresse” (Drought) in 1992; “Les enfants de Pierrette” (Pierrette’s Children) in 1995, “Sa Golo” in 1996, “Maciré” in 1999, music from the eponymous film directed by Jacques Sarasin: “Je chanterai pour toi” (I’ll Sing for You) in 2002, and “Kongo Magni” in 2005. Kar Kar made up for lost time, triumphing on stage first in Europe and then in the United States and Canada.

When Lusafrica bought the Marabi label in 2010, it is naturally that José da Silva proposed to Boubacar to join the catalog of Cesaria Evora and Bonga. Released in 2011, “Mali Denhou” is Kar Kar’s first album since 2005. It is recorded in June 2010 at Studio Moffou, on the outskirts of Bamako, with the same musical cast who had performed with him all over the world for years. The first takes were laid down with his old friend Madieye Niang on gourd and Vincent Bucher on harmonica, playing in live conditions.

The following album “Mbalimaou” (2015) was recorded at the Bogolan studios in Bamako. As with each new recording, he has added new, different touches to his music, but without losing sight of the basics that make up his supremely distinctive style. Accompanied by discreet percussion – from the young Babah Koné, precise and steady on the gourd, Yacouba Sissoko on the karignan, shaker and small traditional percussion instruments, Vincent Bucher on the harmonica and Fabrice Thompson, a drummer and percussionist from Guiana, who seasons tracks that include “Hona”, “Mbalimaou”, “Kolo Tigi”, “Saya Temokoto” and “Africa” with a heady mix of spice and original beats, Boubacar weaves gloriously simple patterns of guitar and inimitable vocals into these new songs, written whenever he could spare a moment between laboring in the fields and touring internationally. Ballaké Sissoko, a musician he has worked with before, has always been a fan. He joined in the album’s artistic production and his playing fits easily and comfortably into the elder man’s music. Ballake’s generosity, open-mindedness and responsiveness did a lot to create a relaxed, positive atmosphere during the sessions. His subtle, elegant kora perfectly complements the guitarist’s fluid, minimalist approach.

It is in the United States, in Lafayette Louisiana, that Boubacar Traoré wished to record his third album for the label Lusafrica. The guitarist’s intention was to change the coloration of his songs (old numbers like “Dounia Tabolo” ou “Kanou”, and new ones, “Ben de Kadi”, “Mousso”) while conserving their original character. So it is with musicians from the Southern States of the USA he had met on tour, Cedric Watson on violin and washboard, and Corey Harris on guitar, that he undertaked the recording of his album “Dounia Tabolo” at the end of 2016. And when he told them he wanted to add a cello and female voice to the album, Cedric Watson suggested Leyla McCalla. This recording is a new milestone in the work of this extraordinary but modest artist. From blues to folk and Cajun to Zydeco music, his new traveling companions have provided a touch of folly and swing (Cedric Watson), blues depth (Corey Harris) and discreet elegance (Leyla McCalla). More than ever, Boubacar Traoré has shown himself to be the living, vital connection between Mali and the Mississippi.

Boubacar Traoré is respected and acclaimed in his country, especially by young people. They are rediscovering the artist, one of the founding fathers and great ambassadors of modern Mandingo music. When his international tours end, Kar Kar returns to the piece of land he has bought on a hill in Bamako. There, he raises sheep and works a vegetable plot, his pride and joy. “In Mali, everyone is a farmer. It’s the most reliable way of making a living.”

Albums

M’Badehou (FNX Omar & Cee ElAssaad Remix) – 2018

Dounia Tabolo – 2017

Mbalimaou – 2015

Mali Denhou- 2011

Kongo Magni – 2005

Je Chanterai pour Toi – 2002

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Zé Luis

The power of his voice deserves to be heard

About

Zé Luis is nearly sixty. For years, he has been singing informally for Cape Verdean audiences. Now, for the first time, the rest of the world has a chance to hear his warm, enchanting voice on record.

José Luís was born in Praia in 1953. His mother passed on two great passions to him: music and cooking. He still remembers the fados – and, of course, the mornas – that she loved to sing while working around the house.

José Luís is at home with morna. He fully identifies with the genre as both an artist and a Cape Verdean. For the singer, morna is the most typically Cape Verdean style of romantic expression. Combining sadness, melancholy and sensuality, it is rooted in the soul and identity of his people.

When he was just eight, José’s family emigrated to Principe, one of the two islands that form São Tomé and Principe. The archipelago was then a Portuguese colony, as was Cape Verde. Back in the day, many Cape Verdeans moved there to farm the islands’ fertile volcanic soil. Many hoped to find a better life away from the poverty and famine of Cape Verde, but some were actually forced to move there by the Portuguese authorities. When they were not labouring in the fields, workers and their families gathered on Sundays, holidays and ceremonial occasions to meet and remember those they had left so far behind in their homeland. Their aim was to “kill nostalgia” (matar sodade). Of course music and particularly morna played a vital role at these reunions.

When in 1969 he finally returned to his homeland, the young José naturally found a place in the musical life of the capital, under the nickname of Zé Luis. His singing was recognised and enjoyed by all. Invited to every last serenade, party, musical competition and cultural event, he delighted audiences with his melodic, charming vocal talent and limitless repertoire as he performed the work of the greatest contemporary songwriters, along with forgotten songs which he revived with gusto. Yet he led a simple life, working as a carpenter. Music was always his great passion, a vital part of his life, but it was only for his personal pleasure. He sang as an amateur – rather fancifully, as if it were just a hobby. But today, at an age when most people are thinking of retiring, Zé Luís has decided to share the art he once kept for his small hometown community with the rest of the world. The power of his voice deserves to be heard by more than such a small audience.

Albums

Serenata – 2013

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Sans titre (21)

Tito Paris

The dear child of São Vicente

About

Tito Paris, «the dear child of São Vicente», began his professional career in a family of musicians in Mindelo when he was nine; first, he has been initiated by his brothers to the cavaquinho, then to the guitar; later he became a bass-player before to take his chances composing his owns songs. He was around 19 when Bana, the famous Capeverdean singer based in Lisbon, Portugal, invited Tito to join his band, The Voz de Cabo Verde.

In Lisbon, Tito got soon his fame on the very flourishing Capeverdean musical scene: besides Bana, he was backing many other musicians, such as Dany Silva, Paulino Vieira, Paulo de Carvalho, Celina Peirera, or Vitorino… But it was as a composer that he made a name for himself, writting songs for many singers like Bana and Cesaria Evora. With a wealth of success on the Lisboan scene, he founded his own band with which he offered a acoustic but also electric show.

In the acoustic formation (piano, cavaquinho, bass, clarinet) Tito, who accompanied himself on the guitar, sang amazingly, with his husky voice, the standards of the Capeverdean morna; in its electric version and with an excellent brass section, the band that was really guitar oriented, gave a colorful and energetic show, that was composed of coladeras. And Tito has already become a coladera master.

Previously, Tito Paris has recorded two albums: Tito Paris ( released in Portuga, 1987) and Dança ma mi criola (on the Boston based label, MB Records in 94). His first record produced by Lusafrica, Graça de tchega, was released in October 96. On that occasion, Tito performed in Paris, Brussels, in the Netherlands and for the ’97 Midem in Cannes. But Tito’s heart belongs to Lisbon, his adoptive city, where he likes to perform. That’s where that, in June 98, Lusafrica decided to record a live album, at the Club B. Leza.

Albums

Preto É Mi (Bruxas Remix) – 2018

Live in Lisbon – 1998

Graça de Tchega – 1996

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Teofilo Chantre

A solar swing

About

It has often been said of Teofilo Chantre that he “appeared in the shadow of Cesaria Evora” before making a name with his own records. The expression used should be corrected, since it is hard to imagine an art as bright as that of the great lady of Cape Verde spreading anything other than light.

In fact, Teofilo Chantre’s name was immediately noted by lovers of Cesaria’s records, from “Miss Perfumado”, on which he was already credited with three tracks, to “São Vicente di longe”, where he provided no fewer than five songs. Teofilo also wrote the lyrics for Cesaria’s Ausencia, to music composed by Goran Bregovic for the original soundtrack of the Emir Kusturica film Underground.

Since 1993, the six albums he has released in his own name have made him increasingly famous. There is a Teofilo “style”, which cannot be summed up as just Cape Verdean “authenticity”. Indeed, Teofilo Chantre has lived in France for more than twenty-five years and the diversity of his musical tastes – ranging from Bossa Nova to the classical boleros of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean – have shaped his ear and heart, opening them to wider horizons. All his influences are marvellously distilled in a writing whose melodic obviousness (his refrains often seem immediately familiar) is fully equal to its great harmonic sophistication. Suddenly, given modulations, given passages in distant keys, bring delightful surprises. And while most of his songs are steeped in “sodade” – Cape Verde’s unique insular melancholy – the elegant swing of his coladeras reminds us that dancing is still one of the finest antidotes for sadness.

In 2004, “Azulando” – which might be translated as “blueing” – offers a rich palette of shades, from indigo to ultramarine. “For me, blue is inextricably linked to sodade,” explains Teofilo. “But it’s not really a concept album or anything like that. Some of the songs on the record were written fifteen years ago; I’m happy to continue down my path.” True to the musical team who have been his companions for several years on both record and stage (Jacky Fourniret, accordion; Fabrice Thompson, drums and percussion; Sébastien Gastine, double bass and electric bass; Kim Dan Le Oc Mach, violin), Teofilo Chantre is also accompanied by many guests, including Cesaria Evora (featuring on Mae pa fidje) and Bonga, the great Angolan singer (Canta Cabo Verde). In the course of a track – Des bleuets dans les blés (Cornflowers in the wheat), co-written by Marc Estève, Art Mengo’s partner – Teofilo effortlessly proves that the language of Molière is perfect for his sea-mist voice… As always, the lyrics convey his concern for the humble and disowned, favouring cosy intimacy over braying manifestos. Some are signed Vitorino Chantre, the singer’s father. “He always encouraged me,” Teofilo says. “It was a sort of tribute when I asked him for lyrics.”

In 2007 sees the release of “Viajá”. The record showcases his warm voice, sinuous guitar work and personal lyrics. It features an emergent Brazilian style that is often apparent on “Viajá” today, as if Teofilo were inventing Cape Verdean bossa nova, a light Creole jazz. Just listen to Segunda Geração, a sublime duet with his compatriot Mayra Andrade, also a lover of Brazilian melodies. Other songs – the tender, disenchanted Chelicha (Whim), the fraternal Appel pa tude Naçon (A Call to All Nations), the regret of Tchoro di Guiné (Guinea’s Lament), the partings and reflection of Bô Viaja (Bon Voyage) or the frustrated love of Dérobade (Evasion) are co-written with Vitorino Chantre.
“Viajá” was partly recorded in Mindelo with the help of the great Bau, one of the finest musicians in Cape Verde, and Hernani Almeida, the rising young guitarist of the moment. It was a first for Teofilo Chantre, who enjoyed the very special atmosphere: “We took our time, eating together as friends before we recorded. Sometimes it was magical, like the voice I have on Bô Viaja, a voice I’ve kept. I could never do it again in Paris”.

Teofilo Chantre has succeeded in translating into musical form the famous saying of the great Miguel Torga: “The universal is the local without walls.”

Albums

Rodatempo / Viajá – 2018

MeStissage – 2011

Viajá – 2007

Azulando – 2004

Live … – 2002

Rodatempo – 2000

Di Alma – 1997

Terra & Cretcheu – 1997

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Tcheka banner

Tcheka

A new reading of batuque

About

Manuel Lopes Andrade, aka Tcheka, was born on the 20th July 1973 in the port of Ribeira Barca, Santa Catarina district, on Santiago, the most African island of the Cape Verde archipelago. At a very early age, he began to perform alongside his father, Nho Raul Andrade, a highly popular violinist at the island’s village dances and festivities. Tcheka was in good hands. Every wrong note brought a rap on the knuckles from his father’s bow, but he learned quickly and soon made his mark at dances, weddings, baptisms and so on.

However, the boy had other ambitions. At 15, he began to develop a more personal style, based on batuque, one of Santiago Island’s more popular beats, originally played by women. One of the first pieces he wrote, “Man’ba des bes kumida dâ”, gave a clear idea of the musical path he wished to follow. His aim was to widen the appeal of batuque, turning it into a beat that everyone would love.

In the meantime, a man must earn his living. Tcheka left his rural home and went to live in Praia, where he became a cameraman for national television, a job that involved travel and broadened his horizons. In Praia, Tcheka met journalist Julio Rodrigues and wrote a number of songs with him. The two played informally in the bars of the Cape Verdean capital and other musicians soon joined them: percussionist Pery, bassist Kizo, flautist Robert Pemberton (a Scotsman who lived in Cape Verde) and, more recently, percussionist Raul.

Today, Tcheka is well-known in Praia for his work in modernising “batuque”, in much the same way as Catchas updated Funana, the other great Santiago beat, in the seventies. Providing a new reading of batuque while conserving its traditional structures is the message of Tcheka.

Albums

Dor De Mar – 2011

Lonji – 2007

Nu Monda – 2006

Argui ! – 2003

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Sans titre (20)

Sékouba Bambino

A leading light of Guinean Music

About

Born in 1964 in Kintinya, High Guinea  Sékouba “Bambino” Diabaté is a leading light of Guinean Music and has spent most of his career in Guinea. After being noticed in various local groups, young Sékou wins Best Guinean Singer Award in 1979 which gets him hired in Bembeya Jazz. This is when he is given the nickname Bambino: to make the difference with Sékou Bembeya Diabaté, the group’s guitar virtuoso.

The year 1992 confirms him as a real star with the release of his second solo album “le Destin”, followed by other successes such as Kassa in 1996. In 1997, producer Ibrahima Sylla hires him on the Africando project, a unique artistic experience which takes the singer around the world and connects him with latin music. With Sylla, he records and releases several successful albums among which Sinikan (2002), 15ème Anniversaire (2004), Can History (2006) and participates to the Mandekalou experience – two albums (in 2004 and 2006) gathering the greatest mandingue contemporary griots.

Sékouba Bambino comes back releasing Innovation in 2012, an album with a dancing atmosphere and a lusophone inspiration, under the auspices of famous producer Manu Lima’s who has composed with Sekou the strong single, Sinontena.

Albums

Innovation – 2012

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polomoncanva

Polo Montañez

From farm worker to a international star

About

Polo Montanez was discovered in 1999 by José da Silva, who recognised his genuine talent as a singer-songwriter. José quickly made up his mind to record the artist, who had already adopted the name Polo Montanez in honour of the “mountains” where he was born on the 5th June 1955, an area of wooded hills around sixty kilometres from Havana.

Lusafrica released Polo Montanez’ first album, Guajiro Natural, on the 14th March 2000. A few months later, the record was released on the MTM label in Colombia and met with almost immediate success, making a star of the artist overnight. The tracks Guajiro Natural then Un monton de Estrellas reached number 1 on all the country’s radio stations and the album’s sales rapidly climbed to an extraordinary level (to date, it has sold a total of 60,000 copies in Colombia where a platinum record is awarded for sales of over 40,000). This success spread to other countries in the region: Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico… The modest Cuban farm worker was suddenly a household name.

The Cuban media finally paid tribute to this remarkable triumph. At the end of 2001, Polo became a sensation in his own country where his guajiro build and plain speaking won the hearts of the people, unaccustomed to such unaffectedness. A tour was organised for the following spring and Polo Montanez succeeded in doing what no other Cuban artist had done before him: holding around twenty concerts in the island’s largest towns and managing to draw a frenzied crowd of 50,000 to 150,000 in each provincial stadium and more than 100.000 on La Piragua, in Havana. This was considered as an unprecedented feat for a popular artist. Cuban television broadcast the event to many other Latin countries.

Polo Montañez’ second album, Guitarra Mia (recorded in Havana and Paris), was released by Lusafrica in Colombia and Cuba at the start of summer 2002, then in Europe in October. The artist came to perform in Europe at the start of October. During his stay, he recorded 3 tracks: Locura de Amor, Pueblo Mío and Amor e Distancia, a song he had just written in Paris for Cesaria Evora. Polo then flew back to Cuba with many plans. The European tour had gone very well and another, bigger one was being prepared for the following spring. Otherwise, he was to leave again 10 days later to launch Guitarra Mia in Mexico, where he was expected for a week of intensive promotion.

But fate decided otherwise. Fernando Borrego Linares died in the night of the 26th November 2002 at the Cimex hospital in Havana. He had been fighting for life since being brought there after a terrible road accident on the 20th November. The singer’s death was a tragedy for the Cuban people, who had been kept informed day by day, hour by hour, of his condition after the accident.

Now, two years after he passed away, Lusafrica has decided to bring out a posthumous album of 10 previously-unreleased tracks, including Siete Anos, on which Polo gave his backing vocalist Gladis Pérez her big chance, as well as a new orchestration of Guitarra Mía and 3 major tracks from his previous albums: La Ultima Cancíon and Desde Abajo from the Guitarra Mía album and Un Monton de Estrellas, his greatest hit, from the Guajiro Natural album.

Albums

Guajiro Natural / Guitarra Mia – 2018

Un Montón De Estrellas (Mo Laudi Remix) – 2018

Memoria – 2004

Guitarra Mía – 2002

Guajiro Natural – 2000

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17

Pierre Akendengue

The poet troubadour

About

Pierre Akendengue is a pioneer. Although the term is often misused, it fits perfectly in his case. Born on the 25th April 1943 on Aouta, an island to the southwest of Gabon, the singer-poet and storyteller-philosopher who studied at the Mireille Petit Conservatoire released his first album, Nandipo, in 1974, on Pierre Barouh’s Saravah label. Back then, he played a part in the emergence of a primarily African-flavoured world-music explosion in France, where he had come to study and would stay for twenty years, before returning to Gabon in 1985. Over his career, Akendengué has increasingly filled out his orchestrations and given more emphasis to his lyrics. A brilliant storyteller, he sculpts fluid music copiously nourished by woody percussion sounds and flamboyant backing vocals. His songs draw metaphors to achieve a dazzling parable effect.

The singer explains that storytelling is a heritage of ancestral society. “I’m loyal to the oral civilisation I come from. Aside from that, I think it’s also a way of expressing what’s on my mind. Artists can’t sing aimlessly. Art should be a hotbed of protest in society to avoid it stagnating. Stories provide this possibility of protest. They say one thing and mean another.” While he was a student in France, Pierre Akendengué was banned from the airwaves in Gabon and even from returning there. He was guilty of belonging to the AGEG – the General Association of Gabonese Students, a Marxist organisation. Times change though. Since 2004, he has been personal advisor to the President of the Republic of Gabon, responsible for cultural affairs, youth and sport. The songs he writes convey his philosophical and humanist aspirations; his commitment shines through them. Pierre Akendengué refuses to sing solely for pleasure. “The artist’s role,” he emphasises, “is to sound the alarm, enlighten people and heighten their awareness.” He does this as best he can, whatever clouds, pitfalls and frowns life may bring, because he still believes in his ideals. So he sings about his dreams of freedom, his hopes of a united Africa and his trust in humanity. He sings in French, the language of his audiences when he started out, and in Myene, his native tongue. “Since I don’t sing to pass the time, I try to convey a number of my ancestral culture’s values, things that involve my native language and are often untranslatable. It’s essential that we preserve the vitality of our languages. A country that loses its language loses its culture and so its identity.” On Afrika Obota (one of two covers, along with Considérable, re-recorded for Vérité d’Afrique), he sings of African unity, something he sees as fundamental. “I still believe in it – more and more, in fact. If Africa is to construct its political and economic independence, it really must unite. With the help of our survival instinct, we’ll achieve unity in the end. Humanity isn’t in the business of scuppering itself. I believe in our ability to react. African unity is part of that reaction. Dreams of unity aren’t at all utopian. They were behind the OAU – now disbanded – which re-appeared as the African Union, actually much more efficient than the former OAU, which often used to simply mark time. The African Union intervenes more in African conflicts.”

Albums

La Couleur de l’Afrique – 2018

Gabon, Eveil de la conscience patriotique (Single) – 2017

Libérée la liberté / Mvt Arusha (Single) – 2016

Destinée – 2013

Véritée d’Afrique – 2011

Gorée – 2005

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orquestacanva

Orquesta Aragón

A history page of Cuban music

About

Double bass player Orestes Aragón Cantero formed the Orquesta Aragón in 1939. With now 70 years of uninterrupted existence, it is probably the oldest band still playing today, in terms of popular music.

The group played its first gig at a private party on September 30, 1939 in a house on the corner of Cristina and Gloria Streets. The date was chosen as the official birth of the band first called Rítmica del 39. The young musicians chose Rítmica rather than Tipica as they wanted to show that while they respected the old danzon, the interpretation they gave was full of real vim and vitality. The group’s name soon changed and their very first slogan proclaimed: “Dance with Rítmica Aragón. We take our commitments seriously, we’re carefully presented and have a select repertoire.” At the end of 1940 they settled on their final name of Orquesta Aragón. The first months were hard, but, by dint of their work, the band carved out a solid reputation in Cienfuegos that spread out through the whole Las Villas province. Rafael Lay distinguished himself as an outstanding violinist, and the band gradually filled out: after ten years, the Orquesta was a clear match for the best bands in Havana. The capital, however, operated as a closed shop, nevertheless Orquesta Aragón did succeed in it in an unexpected way. Then, led by Rafael Lay, the band set off to conquer the world at the start of the fifties.

Albums

The Lusafrica Years – 2009

En Route – 2001

La Charanga Eterna – 1999

Quien Sabe Sabe – 1998

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ngomaacanva

Oliver N’Goma

 The king of Afro-Zouk

About

Oliver N’Goma (his true name Olivier N’Goma), Noli to his friends, was born in Mayumba in Southeast Gabon on the 23rd March 1959. His father, a teacher, was reputed to be the best harmonium player in the region and introduced young Oliver to the instrument at the age of eight.
In 1971, the family left Mayumba for the Gabonese capital, Libreville, where Oliver studied accountancy at secondary school. He soon joined the school band, Capo Sound, playing guitar. Refining his stagecraft at parties and dances, he covered African and international standards with the group.

Oliver’s accountancy lessons did not interest him much. He preferred to concentrate on his two great passions: films and music. Beginning to collect musical instruments, he put together a little home studio and entertained secret hopes of becoming a professional musician. However, when an opportunity arose, it was in the shape of his other love, the camera. He went to work for Gabon’s second TV channel as a cameraman, travelling to Paris for training in 1988. During the long winter he spent in the French capital, Oliver worked on his home demos.

Then he met Manu Lima, one of the best producers on the African show scene in Paris. Former leader of Cabo Verde Show, Manu had relaunched the careers of many great African artists, from Monique Séka to Pépé Kallé. He was interested by the tunes that Oliver brought him and agreed to work on his first record as artistic director. When the album – which included the song BANE – was finally released, it met with only modest critical acclaim at first. But in 1990, thanks especially to Radio Africa N°1 and Gilles Obringer on Radio France International, and subsequently both French and African discotheques, BANE became a tremendous hit throughout Africa, in France and as far as the French West Indies, where even today, it can still be heard at any party worthy of the name.
BANE is one of the greatest hits of modern African music, alongside Franco’s MARIO, Alpha Blondy’s BRIGADIER SABARI, Zao’s ANCIEN COMBATTANT (Veteran) and Kanda Bongo Man’s KWASSA KWASSA. On the track, Manu Lima achieved a perfect balance between Africa’s rich melodic heritage and a Zouk-style beat that proved irresistible on the dance floor.
A second track from the album, ICOLE, was also a huge success. BANE the album became one of the bestselling records in the history of African music. Oliver visited the continent’s major capitals to perform his hit and was greeted like a head of state. Since 1990, no new song has managed to overshadow BANE, either in the charts or in the public’s affections.

Oliver refused to get carried away by this massive success, realising he would have to live up to his new status. As he calmly got back to work, he knew that his second album would come under close scrutiny on its release. He continued his partnership with Manu Lima and the two started recording sessions together in the late summer of 1995. The album, ADIA, appeared in mid-December of the same year. Combining sophistication with a proliferation of beats, ADIA proved that Oliver was no one-hit wonder. In 2001, he made SÉVA without Manu Lima, but then got back together with the French-Cape Verdean producer whose skill had been so crucial in shaping his first 2 albums. The result, SAGA, was released in May 2006.

Manu’s trademark skills successfully pervade SAGA, which is primarily a dance record of African-style zouk. Apart from title track SAGA, the record includes several other excellent songs, such as NOLI, a kind of rumba-zouk with featured vocalists and Congolese guitars, as well as a joint venture with Parisian MC Kevin Sauron: LUBUGE.

Albums

Saga – 2006

Best of Oliver n’Goma – 2003

Seva – 2000

Adia – 1995

Bane -1985

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Neuza

unveils the secrets of Fogo Island rythms

About

Neuza was born in 1985 in Praia, the capital city of Cape Verde on the island of Santiago. Her mother, who was born in the island of Fogo, had moved in Praia in the 1980s in search of a better life. There would sing in the city’s bars in exchange for food, tobacco and drink, while Neuza would stay at home in their humble stone house under the care of her older sisters.
Neuza was only 6 when the excess of tobacco took her mother away forever. The little girl went to live with her godmother in Fogo. She went back and forth from one island to the other while finishing her studies. From her mom, Neuza kept the sound of the melodies she had always heard her sing; a good ear as well. She soon learnt the traditional songs from the Island of the Volcano from the passengers singing to avoid being too bored or sick during that dangerous crossing. But she was reluctant to embrace a musical career; it recalled too many bad memories. On the contrary, when she became a mother herself, Neuza chose an ordinary life with a normal job.

But destiny was stronger than her will. She was working in a restaurant when she was 24 and due to her fun and happy personality, she often sang while setting the room before service. Her co-workers were stunned by the clarity of the young woman’s voice and encouraged her to take the microphone and give it a try in front of an audience. Hesitant at first, Neuza finally jumped in and soon gained more and more fans among the restaurant’s customers.
Later, Manuel de Candinho invited her to perform on the stage of a famous restaurant in Praia where she earns her first fee. That night, her lived changed. Upon the invitation of other artists, she started singing in other venues of the Cape Verdean capital. One day, Francisco Cruz, a friend, brought Jose Da Silva to listen to the young lady in a bar. The singer’s high pitched voice and her repertoire made of traditions from Fogo hardly ever recorded on disc decided the producer to offer to record for the Harmonia label.

At the beginning of summer 2013, “Flor di Bila” unveils the secrets of Fogo Island rythms such as talaia baxo, rabolo or samba. In “Trabessado”, one of the main titles of this album, Neuza gives an opportunity to discover curcutiçan, a traditional lyrical battle between female and male voices using irony and provocation, the women taking the men on their virility. Neuza presents this tradition from the countryside along with Michel Montrond who is an author, composer and singer and a volcano child as well.

Albums

Culanfuntun – 2017

Flor Di Bila – 2013

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BIG VISUEL KREOL

Mario Lucio

About

Lúcio Matias de Sousa Mendes, better known by his stage name of Mário Lúcio, was born in Tarrafal on the island of Santiago in Cape Verde on the 21stOctober 1964. He went to primary school there until his father died when he was just twelve. He was then taken in by the Cape Verdean army. When his mother died three years later, she left 8 orphaned children. Mário Lúcio completed his secondary education in the care of the military authorities and lived in the Tarrafal barracks, which had long served as a concentration camp during the colonial period. He won a scholarship which allowed him to study in the capital, Praia, then in 1984, a grant from the Cuban government to study law in Havana. He returned to Cape Verde six years later to work as a lawyer. In 1992, he was appointed cultural advisor to the Ministry of Culture. From 1996 to 2001, he was a member of the Cape Verdean parliament.

Mário Lúcio Sousa founded the group Simentera, which marked the seminal return of Cape Verdean music to its acoustic roots and claimed mainland African culture as an integral part of Cape Verdean cultural identity. His ideas brought him an appointment as advisor to the commissioner responsible for Expo 92 in Seville. At the fair – and later at Expo 98 in Lisbon – he developed musical projects to represent his country.

Mário Lúcio Sousa plays a range of musical instruments and has arranged a number of albums for other Cape Verdean artists. He is a founding member and director of the “Quintal da Música” association, which runs a private cultural centre dedicated to the promotion of traditional music. Children can learn and develop their talents there.

Albums

Kreol – 2010

Badyo – 2008

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MOUNIRACANVA

Mounira Mitchala

The Sweet Panther

About

In Chadian Arabic, her first name, Mounira, means “radiant”, and her stage name, Mitchala, the “sweet panther”.. The resplendent young artist more than lives up to them.

One of the few female Chadian singers to have won an international following, Mounira has faced a succession of obstacles in her career and has had to struggle for acceptance in her highly conservative country, which has suffered continual political conflict and a number of civil wars. As a female singer in Chad, where “artists are seen as worthless” and the weight of religion and tradition make things even harder, Mounira showed exceptional courage and determination in gaining recognition.
After the jury chaired by Salif Keita unanimously awarded her the Prix Découvertes RFI in 2007, Mounira Mitchala released her first album, Talou Lena (Marabi, 2008), and then recorded a second one for the Lusafrica label: Chili Houritki, produced by Camel Zekri, for release on 5 March 2012.

Albums

Chili Houritki – 2012

Talou Lena – 2007

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Jey Liba

The Cool Catché

About

Jey-Liba is a duet of artists from Togo (Ben and Bill), two young modern griots who inspire from various traditions. They make us discover « Cool Catché », the new tendency making the Togolese people proud. To move forward and gain their place among African music leaders, the group has worked to become the best in their genre. « Cool Catché » simply means « cool » in the hood. Just like Coupé-Décalé, « Cool Catché » is a dance from Togo which is becoming as famous and as entertaining.

Albums

Odyssée – 2012

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Bau

virtuoso guitarist from Cape Verde

About

When did his talent for music appear? Back in his childhood, obviously. It couldn’t have been any other way. Many of his family were involved in music to a greater or lesser extent. You can’t escape your surroundings, the obsessions and passions of the people closest to you. Bau’s father was a stringed-instrument maker in Mindelo, the port of São Vicente island, the most famous in the Archipelago since the success of Cesaria Evora, also a native of this scrap of land that is also the home of many of Cape Verde’s greatest artists and composers. Rufino Almeida was born there on the 19th December 1962. At the time, nobody knew that he would one day be know as Bau, tour the world with Cesaria Evora, record several solo albums, leave his mark (“Raquel”) on the original soundtrack of a film by Pedro Almodovar, “Habla con ella” (Talk to her). When his father, who enjoyed playing the violin himself, handed Bau a cavaquinho when he was just six, he didn’t realized what it would lead to. He had know idea that as he grew up, his son (and he was to be his first music teacher) would fall unconditionally in love with this small, high-pitched, four-string guitar and become a virtuoso, like the instrument’s Brazilian master, Waldir Azevedo. Azavedo would later be one of Bau’s models.

When the boy was 17, he formed his first group, Gaiatos, with Tito Paris and Bius. Now he called himself Bau, a nickname taken from Djoy, a footballer in the local team that he particularly admired. Every weekend, he played with Gaiatos in Mindelo, in a discotheque called Katem, a club that has since been transformed and renamed Café Musique, where groups can still be seen today. When Tito Paris left for Lisbon and the keyboards player began his national service, the venture came to an end. It had lasted one year. A new affair began, named Grito de Mindelo, a group with a vocation for dance music, like Gaiatos. Their repertoire combined local styles (funana, coladeira), zouk and Marley. These were the days of open-air dances, very popular at the time, but which failed to stand up to the competition of the discotheques that became highly popular with young people in Mindelo. At the end of the 80s, Bau abandoned the electric guitar that he had generally played until then and began to work on an acoustic project, mainly drawing on Cape Verdean tradition with forays into Brazilian music. He was also determined to highlight the possibilities of the cavaquinho as a solo instrument. Why this sudden turnabout? “I discovered the range of our music. It was pointless to carry on imitating things from other countries when we could put our hearts into serving traditional music from our country, the music my father played at home,” explains Bau.

At the start of the 90s, he recorded his first album with the Mindel Band, including the first pieces he had written himself – “Mindelo” (Lusafrica) – and performed on “Mar Azul”, the album that launched Cesaria Evora in 1991. In 1994, he joined the singer’s orchestra and, two years later, became its musical director, before passing the baton to pianist Nando Andrade in 1999. From the beginning of the 90s, Bau has published 6 solo albums of a sparkling beauty.
.

Albums

Play Vasco Martins – 2012

Ilha Azul – 2006

Café Musique – 2005

Silencio – 2003

Blimundo – 2000

Inspiração – 1998

Jaílza – 1995

Top D’Coroa -1994

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Jey Liba

Ambiance Cool Catché

A découvrir

JEY-LIBA (prononcez Djéliba) est un duo d’artistes togolais (BEN et BILL), deux jeunes griots des temps modernes qui se sont inspirés des traditions d’ici et d’ailleurs. Ils nous font découvrir le « Cool Catché », la nouvelle tendance du moment qui est devenue la fierté national des togolais. Pour avancer et se faire une place parmi les leaders de la musique africaine, le groupe a mis les bouchées doubles pour s’imposer comme le meilleur dans sa catégorie le « Cool Catché » qui veut tout simplement dire « cool » dans le quartier.
A l’instar du coupé décalé ivoirien, le « Cool Catché » est une danse originaire du TOGO qui est entrain de devenir tout aussi connue et tout aussi entraînante.

Albums

Odyssée – 2012

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Bau

Le guitariste surdoué Cap-verdien

A découvrir

When did his talent for music appear? Back in his childhood, obviously. It couldn’t have been any other way. Many of his family were involved in music to a greater or lesser extent. You can’t escape your surroundings, the obsessions and passions of the people closest to you. Bau’s father was a stringed-instrument maker in Mindelo, the port of São Vicente island, the most famous in the Archipelago since the success of Cesaria Evora, also a native of this scrap of land that is also the home of many of Cape Verde’s greatest artists and composers. Rufino Almeida was born there on the 19th December 1962. At the time, nobody knew that he would one day be know as Bau, tour the world with Cesaria Evora, record several solo albums, leave his mark (“Raquel”) on the original soundtrack of a film by Pedro Almodovar, “Habla con ella” (Talk to her). When his father, who enjoyed playing the violin himself, handed Bau a cavaquinho when he was just six, he didn’t realized what it would lead to. He had know idea that as he grew up, his son (and he was to be his first music teacher) would fall unconditionally in love with this small, high-pitched, four-string guitar and become a virtuoso, like the instrument’s Brazilian master, Waldir Azevedo. Azavedo would later be one of Bau’s models.

When the boy was 17, he formed his first group, Gaiatos, with Tito Paris and Bius. Now he called himself Bau, a nickname taken from Djoy, a footballer in the local team that he particularly admired. Every weekend, he played with Gaiatos in Mindelo, in a discotheque called Katem, a club that has since been transformed and renamed Café Musique, where groups can still be seen today. When Tito Paris left for Lisbon and the keyboards player began his national service, the venture came to an end. It had lasted one year. A new affair began, named Grito de Mindelo, a group with a vocation for dance music, like Gaiatos. Their repertoire combined local styles (funana, coladeira), zouk and Marley. These were the days of open-air dances, very popular at the time, but which failed to stand up to the competition of the discotheques that became highly popular with young people in Mindelo. At the end of the 80s, Bau abandoned the electric guitar that he had generally played until then and began to work on an acoustic project, mainly drawing on Cape Verdean tradition with forays into Brazilian music. He was also determined to highlight the possibilities of the cavaquinho as a solo instrument. Why this sudden turnabout? “I discovered the range of our music. It was pointless to carry on imitating things from other countries when we could put our hearts into serving traditional music from our country, the music my father played at home,” explains Bau.

At the start of the 90s, he recorded his first album with the Mindel Band, including the first pieces he had written himself – “Mindelo” (Lusafrica) – and performed on “Mar Azul”, the album that launched Cesaria Evora in 1991. In 1994, he joined the singer’s orchestra and, two years later, became its musical director, before passing the baton to pianist Nando Andrade in 1999. From the beginning of the 90s, Bau has published 6 solo albums of a sparkling beauty.

Albums

Play Vasco Martins – 2012

Ilha Azul – 2006

Café Musique – 2005

Silencio – 2003

Blimundo – 2000

Inspiração – 1998

Jaílza – 1995

Top D’Coroa -1994

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Tcheka banner

Tcheka

Une nouvelle interprétation du batuque

A découvrir

Tcheka – de son vrai nom Manuel Lopes Andrade – est né en 1973 à Ribeira da Barca, bourgade rurale de la côte nord-est de l’île de Santiago, dont les modestes ressources proviennent de la pêche et de l’agriculture. Avant-dernier de sa fratrie, Tcheka est issu d’une famille qui compte de nombreux musiciens – pendant plusieurs années, la musique est même la principale source de revenus familiaux. Son père, Nho Raul Andrade, est un violoniste connu dans la région. Il enseigne la musique à ses fils et fonde un petit ensemble familial qui anime mariages, funérailles et baptêmes. À 8 ans, contraint et forcé, Tcheka apprend à jouer de la guitare acoustique. À 9 ans, il intègre l’ensemble familial sous la direction sévère de son père. Comme tant d’autres jeunes Capverdiens, il ne peut poursuivre ses études secondaires par manque de moyens financiers et passe son adolescence à pêcher, plonger et explorer la côte aux alentours de sa ville natale. C’est à cette époque qu’il commence à composer des chansons. Dominée par les sommets inquiétants de la Serra Malagueta, bordée par les flots agités de l’océan, Ribeira da Barca offre à l’artiste le cadre idéal qui va façonner sa vision personnelle du monde. Paradoxalement, Tcheka réussit à élargir son champ musical grâce à son premier emploi sans lien aucun avec la musique. En 1991, à 18 ans, il est engagé comme caméraman assistant par la télévision nationale TNCV à Praia, la capitale du Cap-Vert. Pendant neuf ans, Tcheka mène une double vie: caméraman le jour, musicien la nuit, jouant avec des amis dans les bars, les hôtels et les restaurants de la capitale et des ses environs. Son premier enregistrement: Ma’n ba des des kumida da ? [Y aura-t-il une moisson cette fois-ci?] fait partie d’une compilation intitulée Cap-Vert Les Enfants, parue en 1999 au profit d’une association humanitaire. Il travaille encore à plein temps à la TNCV à l’époque, et cette première prestation discographique reste relativement confidentielle.

La valeur n’attend pas le nombre des années… malgré son jeune âge, Tcheka a inventé un art dont il est incontestablement un maître, un vrai, à l’essence insaisissable, indéfinissable. Contrairement à ce qu’écrivent les journalistes, il n’est ni moderniste, ni traditionaliste. Sa musique résiste à toute tentative de catégorisation ou de comparaison. Si elle fait allusion à de multiples genres musicaux capverdiens (batuque, funana, finaçon, tabanka, morna et coladera), elle est aussi un carrefour extrêmement animé où la pop capverdienne, brésilienne et africaine croise les formes traditionnelles, le folk, le jazz, le blues, le rock, la littérature, l’anthropologie et le cinéma. Typique de Santiago, certes, purement capverdienne, certes, la musique de Tcheka transcende ses origines et va même bien au-delà de la musique. L’artiste nous offre une vision tout à fait novatrice de la créolité à l’ère de la globalisation. Être créole aujourd’hui, c’est être le produit hybride des forces de l’Histoire, de l’esclavage, du colonialisme et des mouvements d’indépendance nationale. Mais c’est aussi être profondément affecté par les forces du postmodernisme, par l’inévitabilité croissante des voyages et des échanges transnationaux, par l’émergence de nouveaux régimes du savoir, de l’art et du capitalisme et par l’inséparabilité grandissante de la technologie et de l’imagination humaine.

Albums

Dor De Mar – 2011

Lonji – 2007

Nu Monda – 2006

Argui ! – 2003

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Bau_SILENCIO_visCD_rvb

Bau

Le guitariste surdoué Cap-verdien

A découvrir

Au début des années 1990, il enregistre ses premières compositions avec le Mindel Band sur le CD «Mindelo» (Lusafrica) et participe à «Mar Azul», l’album qui révèle, en 1991, Cesaria Evora. En 1994, il intègre la formation de la chanteuse dont il devient deux ans plus tard le directeur musical avant de passer le relais au pianiste Nando Andrade en 1999. Depuis le début des années 90, il a publié 6 albums solo d’une lumineuse beauté.

Albums

Play Vasco Martins – 2012

Ilha Azul – 2006

Café Musique – 2005

Silencio – 2003

Blimundo – 2000

Inspiração – 1998

Jaílza – 1995

Top D’Coroa -1994

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Jenifer Solidade

Bring traditional music to its future

About

Jenifer Solidade is a young singer with a husky, modern, generous, incredibly stylish voice! Born in Mindelo on the island of São Vicente, she began her artistic career backing such great musicians as Tito Paris, Ildo Lobo, Nancy Vieira and Mayra Andrade.

Ultimately, though, it was in the clubs of Cape Verde that she made her name, particularly with her highly distinctive cover of Hit the Road Jack, she popularized the end of 2013 through a video.

 Jenifer Solidade just recorded her first solo album entitled “Um Click”, which means  “One Click”, in reference to the title “Cuidôd Na Click” (Be aware to click) in which the singer asks to pay attention to what you publish on social networks.

Albums

Ariah (Single) – 2016

Um Click – 2015

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Ildo Lobo

Le leader d’Os Tubaroes

About

Ildo Lobo, son of Antoninho Lobo, also a singer, was descended from a long line of musicians and vocalists. Born in Pedra de Lume on the island of Sal on the 25th November 1953, Ildo Lobo passed away the 20thOctober 2004, at his home in Praia, the capital of Cape Verde. He was a giant of the Capeverdean music – both physically and in terms of his talent.

In his native Cape Verde, Ildo Lobo is seen as the archipelago’s greatest singers, heir to a tradition shaped by Bana and popularized worldwide by Cesaria Evora. Lobo also has strong political commitments and his plain speaking is legendary.

For years, he was the singer and star of the Os Tubaroes group, long viewed as Cape Verde’s “official” band in the days of the Marxist government. As such, he regularly traveled abroad to represent his country. Os Tubaroes (The Sharks) became the ambassadors of Capeverdean music, exporting their funana, coladera and morna beats all over the world.

Today, the group is no more. One of its particularities was that none of its members was a full-time musician, they were also lawyers, doctors, civil servants and so on. In fact, Ildo Lobo is a customs officer. As you might imagine, it is difficult to keep up another career while working in the performing arts, but in countries such as Cape Verde (or Martinique for Malavoi in Paul Rosine’s day), it is rarely an option for musicians to practice their art full-time.

In 1996, Ildo Lobo recorded his first solo album, “Nos Morna”. The record was a tribute to his father who had died a few years before and was composed entirely of mornas. Antoninho Lobo was one of Cape Verde’s great singers, leaving his personal mark on the morna played on the island of Santiago, and his son is carrying on the tradition today. « Nos Morna » was produced by Mario Lucio, the charismatic front man of the band Simentera, and recorded in Paris with the finest musicians from the island of Santiago.

In 2001, Ildo has released his new album entitled « Intelectual », still in partnership with his old songwriting companions, but accompanied by Cesaria Evora’s musicians this time.

After some health problems that kept him away from his musical activities for a while, Ildo returned to the studio during the summer 2004, together with Cesaria Evora’s musicians. The pianist Fernando (Nando) Andrade, who made the arrangements on Cesaria’s two last albums, produced the album.

Ildo decided to name the album from the song « INCONDICIONAL », the title of a morna composed by Constantino Cardoso, a young writer he wanted to give his chance. Another beautiful morna opens the CD, Nha Fidjo Matcho, the last song written by Ildo, in which a father gives advice to his son: « My son listen to my advice, Do not open your mouth to sing, If you sing or play the music, Beautiful women will cause your lost ».

Albums

Inconditional – 2005

Intelectual – 2001

Nós Morna – 1997

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G’Ny

« You can never be as free as when you are deeply rooted »

About

G’Ny has brewed her Libèté (freedom in French Creole) for years. After having experienced live performances and amazing collaborations, G’Ny now takes up without a safety net and reveals herself trick less and confident about a new content that makes you vibrate, dream, think, and even love. With G’Ny, Freedom is found at any level – would it be in the themes brought in the lyrics she wrote, implicitly in her very personal creative choices, or in the building process of this album demonstrating the will of a free spirit.

Libèté is the completion of a dreamer facing up reality. The little girl who grew up in a feminine environment where people stick together, don’t mind the superfluous and don’t look for distraction for they create it themselves. Her reverie stays with her alongside her slow blossoming process through which she feeds from dance, music, singing and the people she meets on the road. She can feel it; freedom is there, at the end of the path. There, things can be said. Things that matter “Everyday life is too constraining, you have to present with emotion and let the rest go” she says.

Not an acrobat, nor hothead, G’Ny is a builder and somehow a seeker as well. Her field of expertise? Truth, her own one. Her attack strategy? An Afro-Caribbean groove she represents as a genuine diva. She endlessly works on this sensitive cord allowing her transmitting lifeline and awareness. In Libèté, sounds blended with percussion – among which ka drum, congas or cajon -, electro, zouk or RnB beats. All express the ground heat and the blossoming of a rare flower in the rising sun. Rare, but not ephemeral. G’Ny carries a structural joy, like a talisman against curses. Deep inside, music and dance consolidate a groove that can either be chanted or romantic but always positive, throbbing and militant. Proud of her island, she stands as its metaphorical figure incarnating a strong femininity mixing inner nature, Caribbean tradition, power and world influence.

About Guadeloupe, she only claims one certainty – “You can never be as free as when you are deeply rooted”. It is by forgetting herself that she becomes free to perform. Stage has been calling her ever since she tasted it in the musical Rue Zabym. G’Ny knows there is a world you can sometimes touch on nights of grace, nights of chance. Willing to experience it again, she tries to recreate that world she foresees – a world of pure expression that has to be lived and can barely be taught in words. If Libèté is the fruit, stage will be the sunshine. 

Albums

Libèté – 2013

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Fode Baro

The Agitator.

About

Born in a Fulani-Mandingo notable family of the city of Kankan, where many griots come from, Fodé Baro is the exception to the rule according which, only griots can make music in Guinea.
From his early childhood, Fodé Baro is enchanted by the talent of the one called “the dragon of African song” aka Aboubacar Demba Camara, outstanding guinean artist from the 70s. As a teenager, Fode excels in the artistic subjects such as theatre and music… and starts playing n’goni and guitar. But for his parents, a young man of his rank cannot tarnish with artists; it would be a humiliation for the family.

But young Fodé is already stubborn. He drops out of school at the beginning of the 80s and escapes to Sierra Leone, then to Liberia. There he is accommodated by a French catholic priest who teaches him music. And, for almost five years, although he is a muslim, Fodé Baro runs chants and canticles during catholic masses.
His family finally forgives him and Fodé returns to Guinea in 1985 where he meets Myriam Makeba living in Conakry at the time. Her daughter Bongui Makeba is looking for a bass player for her band – Fodé auditions and is hired. A solid musical relation ship grows between Bongui and Fodé. The story is beautiful (they record an album and tour Europe together) but shortened by Bongui’s unexpected death. After a period of dejection, he is hired by Les Messagers, Mory Findian’s group where he is brought to rub elbows with most Mandingo figures when they perform in Conakry, among which Mory Kanté, Sory Kandia or Salif Keïta.

But the youngster wants more and sets off to Paris. There, he goes to school during the day and at night, hangs out in the local African artistic community blossoming in the 90s.
Fodé then meets producer Ibrahima Sylla who produces Ismaël Lo and Baaba Maal at the time, and together they release Yirikiki, Fodé’s first Mandingo Afro Zouk (expression he claims to be his own) hit that automatically grants him success throughout the continent and gets him an award from Africa #1 in Gabon in 1999.
Ever since, Fodé Baro has regularly released albums that have shaken the dance floors from Nouakchott to Libreville. He settles in Dakar as a bridge between France where he records, and Africa where his songs become hits one after the other. The last one, Yanfanté, came out in 2009.

After such success in Africa, Fode now wants to conquer Europe and share his conception of music with the world – a dancing beat but words to think about. This is how he releases the album Libération in July 2010 gathering the songs from Yanfanté, released back home a year earlier, with 4 exclusive tracks – Söry, Katoucha (a tribute to Katoucha Niane, the model who disappeared tragically), Chaptalat and finally Libération. On a hot beat he exposes the politics abandoning his country, Guinea, one of the poorest and most corrupted of Africa whereas it possesses incredible resources like iron, bauxite… and water, the future’s black gold. With Libération, Fodé Baro wants to prove we can dance and speak about serious issues at the same time. He deserves the nicknames his fans (and detractors) gave him – Fodé the Agitator.

Albums

La Vérité – 2013

Libération – 2010

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Oliver N’Goma

L’indétrônable afro-zoukeur

A découvrir

Oliver N’Goma, de son vrai nom Olivier N’Goma, ou bien encore Noli, pour les intimes, est né à Mayumba, dans le sud-ouest du Gabon, le 23 mars 1959. Son père, enseignant, passe pour être le meilleur joueur d’harmonium de la région; il initie dès l’âge de huit ans le jeune Oliver.
En 1971, la famille quitte Mayumba pour la capitale, Libreville. Oliver y fait des études de comptabilité au lycée technique. Très vite il se lie à l’orchestre du lycée, Capo Sound, dans lequel il devient guitariste. De bals, en soirées dansantes, Oliver se familiarise à la scène en reprenant avec le groupe des standards de la musique africaine ou internationale.

Mais les études pour devenir comptable ne l’emballent guère, Oliver préfère se consacrer à ses deux passions: le cinéma et la musique. Il commence à collectionner des instruments de musique, se bricole un petit home studio, et nourrit le secret espoir de devenir musicien professionnel, mais c’est du coté de sa deuxième passion, la caméra, que le destin se précise: il est engagé comme caméraman à la deuxième chaîne de la TV gabonaise, et part en stage à Paris, en 1988. Pendant un long hiver passé à Paris, il peaufine les maquettes réalisées à la maison.

Un jour, il rencontre Manu Lima, l’un des meilleurs réalisateurs/producteurs de la scène africaine parisienne, ex leader de Cabo Verde Show, et qui a relancé la carrière de nombreux grands artistes africains, de Monique Séka à Pépé Kallé. Manu est intéressé par les mélodies que lui apporte Oliver, il se charge de la direction artistique du premier disque d’Oliver. L’album incluant la chanson BANE sort enfin en provoquant d’abord un petit succès d’estime. Mais grâce notamment à la radio Africa N°1, à Gilles Obringer sur R.F.I., puis aux discothèques en France, comme en Afrique, BANE devient un tube colossal en 1990 dans toute l’Afrique, en France, jusqu’aux Antilles, où même encore aujourd’hui il n’existe pas une “soirée” digne de ce nom, sans que l’on ne passe sur les platines BANE.
La chanson BANE fait partie des plus grands hits de la musique africaine moderne à l’égal du MARIO de Franco, du BRIGADIER SABARI d’Alpha Blondy, d’ANCIEN COMBATTANT de Zao, ou encore du KWASSA KWASSA de Kanda Bongo Man. Manu Lima a su trouver pour ce titre l’équilibre entre la richesse mélodique africaine, et une rythmique zoukante très efficace pour la danse.
Un deuxième titre extrait de l’album, ICOLE, connaîtra aussi un énorme succès. BANE, l’album, devient l’une des plus grosses ventes de l’histoire de la musique africaine, Oliver découvre les grandes capitales africaines où il est reçu comme un chef d’état pour interpréter son titre. Depuis 1990 aucun autre titre n’a réussi à faire d’ombre à BANE, dans les hit-parades comme dans le coeur du public.

Fort de cet immense succès, Oliver ne se laisse pas griser, et décide de faire face à son nouveau statut. Il se remet calmement au travail, sachant qu’il est attendu au tournant pour la sortie de son deuxième album. Oliver reconduit sa collaboration avec Manu Lima, et tous deux commencent l’enregistrement à la fin de l’été 95. L’album ADIA voit le jour mi-décembre 95. Mariant sophistication et foisonnement rythmique, ADIA prouve qu’Oliver n’était pas l’homme d’un seul tube. Après SÉVA, en 2001, réalisé sans Manu Lima, Oliver publie SAGA en mai 2006. A cette occasion, il renoue avec le producteur franco-capverdien qui avait tant imprimé son savoir faire sur les 2 premiers albums d’Oliver.

Cette marque de fabrique imprègne avec bonheur SAGA qui est avant tout un disque de danse pour zouker à l’Africaine. Hormis SAGA, le morceau titre de l’album, le disque contient quelques excellentes chansons comme NOLI, une sorte de rumba zouk avec ses animations et ses guitares congolaises, ainsi qu’une collaboration avec le MC parisien Kevin Sauron sur le titre LUBUGE.

Albums

Saga – 2006

Best of Oliver n’Goma – 2003

Seva – 2000

Adia – 1995

Bane -1990

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Sans titre (20)

Sékouba Bambino

Figure de proue de la musique guinéenne moderne

A découvrir

Figure de proue de la musique guinéenne moderne, né en 1964 à Kintinya près de Siguiri en Haute Guinée, Sékouba Diabaté a effectué la majeure partie de sa carrière dans son pays. Après s’être fait remarqué dans divers groupes locaux, le jeune Sékouremporte en 1979 le Prix du meilleur chanteur de Guinée avec à la clef un engagement dans le Bembeya Jazz.

C’est la qu’il reçoit le surnom de “Bambino”, pour le différencier de Sékou “Bembeya” Diabaté, le guitariste virtuose du groupe.

Albums

Innovation – 2012

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Orquesta Aragón

Une jolie page d’histoire de la musique cubaine

A découvrir

Fondée en 1939 par le contrebassiste Orestes Aragón Cantero, la Orquesta Aragón est probablement aujourd’hui (si l’on considère la musique populaire du XXème siècle) la plus ancienne formation musicale en activité : 70 années d’existence, sans interruption…

Le groupe donne son premier concert le 30 septembre 1939 dans la ville de Cienfuegos à l’occasion d’une fête privée, dans une maison à l’angle des rues Cristina et Gloria. C’est cette date qui sera retenue pour la naissance officielle de la formation que ses membres ont baptisée dans la précipitation Ritmica del 39. Ritmica, et non Tipica : les musiciens sont jeunes, ils veulent montrer que, s’ils restent fidèles au vieux danzon, leur façon de l’interpréter est pleine de fougue et de dynanisme. Leur nom ne tarde pas à changer et leur toute première publicité assure : « Dansez avec la Ritmica Aragón, sérieuse dans ses engagements, présentation soignée et répertoire choisi. » Fin 1940, le groupe adopte le nom définitif d’Orquesta Aragón. Les temps sont durs mais, à force de travail, le groupe se taille une solide réputation à Cienfuegos puis dans toute la province de Las Villas. Rafael Lay se distingue comme un violoniste exceptionnel, et le groupe s’étoffe progressivement : dix ans après sa fondation, l’Orquesta n’a sans doute rien à envier aux meilleures formations de La Havane, mais la capitale est un milieu très fermé, pourtant le groupe va y réussir de façon inattendue, puis, sous la direction de Rafael Lay, partir à la conquête du monde.

Albums

The Lusafrica Years – 2009

En Route – 2001

La Charanga Eterna – 1999

Quien Sabe Sabe – 1998

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DINOCANVA

Dino D’Santiago

A moving voice.

About

Dino Santiago was born in 1982 in the Algarve, southern Portugal province. His parents are from the island of Santiago in Cape Verde. Finalist in 2003 of a reality TV program on Portuguese television, he then pointed in various electro nu soul groups of the scene in Lisbon. He decided in 2012 to delve into the roots of Cape Verde, a fusion between traditional rhythms and fado.

Albums

Eva – 2013

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Omitto iuris dictionem in libera civitate contra leges senatusque consulta; caedes relinquo; libidines praetereo, quarum acerbissimum extat indicium et ad insignem memoriam turpitudinis et paene ad iustum odium imperii nostri, quod constat nobilissimas virgines se in puteos abiecisse et morte voluntaria necessariam turpitudinem depulisse. Nec haec idcirco omitto, quod non gravissima sint, sed quia nunc sine teste dico.

Fieri, inquam, Triari, nullo pacto potest, ut non dicas, quid non probes eius, a quo dissentias. quid enim me prohiberet Epicureum esse, si probarem, quae ille diceret? cum praesertim illa perdiscere ludus esset. Quam ob rem dissentientium inter se reprehensiones non sunt vituperandae, maledicta, contumeliae, tum iracundiae, contentiones concertationesque in disputando pertinaces indignae philosophia mihi videri solent.

Et olim licet otiosae sint tribus pacataeque centuriae et nulla suffragiorum certamina set Pompiliani redierit securitas temporis, per omnes tamen quotquot sunt partes terrarum, ut domina suscipitur et regina et ubique patrum reverenda cum auctoritate canities populique Romani nomen circumspectum et verecundum.

Ob haec et huius modi multa, quae cernebantur in paucis, omnibus timeri sunt coepta. et ne tot malis dissimulatis paulatimque serpentibus acervi crescerent aerumnarum, nobilitatis decreto legati mittuntur: Praetextatus ex urbi praefecto et ex vicario Venustus et ex consulari Minervius oraturi, ne delictis supplicia sint grandiora, neve senator quisquam inusitato et inlicito more tormentis exponeretur.

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Cubanito

The Beatles of reggaeton

About

In Cuba, you can praise the sound of American hip-hop and mention Maïakovski in the same flight of enthusiasm. The island’s collision of cultures and influences is one of the keys to understanding the melting pot of genres that has made the new Cuban wave of reggaeton the most popular movement since the emergence of salsa.
Flashback… before Cubanito 20.02 became the star group of the new Cuban scene, the term reggaeton gained currency in the West following a few American hits, including the famous “Oye Mi Canto” by New York rapper Noreaga. But the genre – seen as the latest fashion in the USA – had a very different significance in the land of salsa. With Cubanito 20.02, the rebel island launched its music into the third millennium, blending tradition with modernity.

Albums

Imaginate (Single) – 2013

My World – 2012

Tocame – 2005

Soy Cubanito – 2004

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Cordas Do Sol

 They have built a language that touches a chord in all their listeners

About

Over the last few years, Cordas do Sol has become the star group of the island of Sant’Anton, the most mountainous island in the Cape Verde archipelago, famous for its production of sugar cane and rum. Lying a short distance from the port of Mindelo, Sant’Anton is seen as the granary and garden of the neighbouring island São Vicente, which has almost no reserves of drinking water.

Sant’Anton is well-known for its music, especially its mazurka and contredanse beats (probably originally brought there by French sailors), and its multiplicity of farming traditions. Since the English established a port on the island of São Vicente at the end of the 19th century, it has also provided an inexhaustible supply of musicians who have regularly crossed the Mar de Canal (the sound separating the two islands) to play in the taverns of Mindelo and entertain sailors on shore leave.

Cordas do Sol first formed in 1994. Initially, the group was simply an informal gathering of friends who met in their free time to talk about life and play serenades on moonlit evenings. But soon, they decided to work on a genuine musical project focusing on every kind of musical tribute to the history of Sant’Anton. The musicians talked to elders in villages and remote rural areas, seeking out different sounds and musical techniques that had often fallen into disuse, absorbing the great musical wealth inherited from the island’s traditional musical genres, including the mazurka, cola-sanjom, coladera and morna, and adapting them for contemporary instruments. They collected examples of oral tradition, costumes and anecdotes illustrating everyday rural life in days gone by, reviving colourful characters and their lost social mores.

Finally, the group began to explore another approach: paying tribute to the island’s particular accent in their songs, so helping to perpetuate its original Creole expression while consolidating their project. In fact, Sant’Anton Creole is often seen as a clumsy dialect. For a long time now, the populations of other islands have mocked its diction, pronunciation and expressions (although a little less today).

Over the years, Cordas do Sol have successfully developed their own style. By skilfully merging their poetic and harmonic heritage, and blending themes and genres, they have built a language that touches a chord in all their listeners. Their audiences’ enthusiasm is particularly apparent at the group’s concerts in Cape Verde, and above all when they play for the country’s diaspora worldwide, with growing numbers flocking to see them in something of a festive communion. Cordas do Sol have recorded two albums locally: Linga d´Sentonton in 2000 and Marijoana in 2002, compiled on a single CD for the international market: Terra de Sodade (2004).

Lume d’Lenha (Wood Fire), revives memories of nocturnal gatherings in clearings around a blazing bonfire, where the community came together after dark to sing of its joys and pains, pass on news brought by passing visitors and remember dead elders. Inland from the island’s magnificent shores, imagine the remote, towering, majestic mountains sculpted by deep rivers, and lush valleys with their often exuberant vegetation, just a few hours’ walk from the coast. Nature is generous there (although its bounty demands a great deal of hard work) and the people are warm and proud. Lume d’Lenha is all of that.

Albums

Lume d’Lenha – 2010

Terra De Sodade – 2004

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Lucibela

“My aim is to carry on the work Cesaria began. I want to sing Cabo Verdean musical genres – such as morna and coladera – pretty much anywhere in the world”

About

Lucibela was born in Tarrafal on the island of São Nicolau in Cabo Verde on April 18, 1986.

She began to show an interest in singing at a very early age. When her family moved to Mindelo on the island of São Vicente, it proved to be the perfect place for her to build on her childhood passion. On entering high school, she naturally joined a local group called Mindel Som.

A few years later, she started to sing in the hotels of Santa Maria on the island of Sal and Sal Rei on the island of Boa Vista. She perfected her technique and became an immediate hit with the tourists, performing songs made famous by the great singers of Cabo Verde: Cesaria Evora, Titina, Bana…

In 2012, the young woman moved to Praia where she was soon a star attraction at musical events in the capital. She met different musicians there, including the guitarist Kaku Alves, who had played all over the world with Cesaria for around fifteen years.

In 2016, Lucibela made her debut in Lisbon. Certain journalists compared her to Cesaria Evora. “Cesaria is unique and there’ll never be another Cesaria,” modestly insisted the young singer. “My aim is to carry on the work Cesaria began. I want to sing Cabo Verdean musical genres – such as morna and coladera – pretty much anywhere in the world,” she confided, “and I want to succeed because of my own talent.” Chosen to take part in the 2017 Atlantic Music Expo – a major music fair where musicians and producers from all over the globe meet in mid-Atlantic in Praia, truly a hub of world music – Lucibela caused a stir. Local music lovers had already become fans of the singer during the few years when she performed in the bars and clubs of Praia, but she was a genuine revelation for the professionals, journalists and show promoters visiting the Expo.

Following this success, Lucibela participated in the Sfinks Festival in Belgium then, in October and November 2017, she recorded her first album in Lisbon with Toy Vieira to the realization, one of the most famous Cape Verdean musicians of the local scene, who accompanied the greatest voices in the past, Bana, Titina, Tito Paris, Cesaria Evora, Lura and many others.

With this album named Laço Umbilical (Umbilival cord) to be released in February 2018, the chanteuse is determined to conquer the scenes of the world.

Lucibela was sure that the Woman would be the main subject of her new album. With Amdjer, released on June 3rd 2022, Lucibela tributes to Cape Verdean women, but also to women in general.

Albums

Amdjer – 2022

Laço Umbilical (Bonus Version) – 2019

Laço Umbilical – 2018

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blackbazarcanva

Black Bazar

The new master of the african scene

About

Black Bazar is a musical concept introduced and produced by the writer Alain Mabanckou in 2012 with the support of the label Lusafrica, and managed by Caroline Blache. The first album featured a return to the musical roots of Congolese Rumba. Audiences were enthusiastic and the numerous artists involved in the project hailed as “the new masters of the African scene in Paris”. This “first round” introduced the musical combo BLACK BAZAR, and new audiences are continuing to discover them at some of the world’s best music festivals.
The album Black Bazar – Round 2 – is based on compositions by the legendary guitarist Popolipo Beniko and the talented bass-player Michel Lumana. Each track is full of atmosphere and deeply rooted in musical tradition, while also opening onto new avenues described by the German press as “dancehall Rumba”, orchestrated by the producer Francky Moulet. The sounds of Kinshasa, Brazzaville, Praia and Lagos come together alongside the traditional rhythms and beats that have set on fire the nightclubs of the African diaspora. Several well-known musicians have joined forces and decided to participate in the initiative: Ferré Gola, Soleil Wanga, Flamme Kapaya, Olivier Tshimanga, Roi David from the Congo-DRC; Karachika from Congo-Brazzaville; Wole Sentimenta from Nigeria; Izé Teixeira from Cape Verde or even the Haitian Fanfan from the famous Caribbean group Tabou Combo, who claims to be a “Congolese born in Haiti”.
As soon as the bell announces the opening of the first round of Black Bazar – Round 2, you will find yourself transported into this exciting universe, carried along by such great musicians as Caien Madoka, Jimmy Kusekimina, Do Akongo Dikoel, Ballou Canta, Pims Lomena… This stellar line-up has managed to bring together diverse styles and show the world once again that music knows no borders.

Albums

Round 2 – 2013

Black Bazar – 2012

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Djeneba & Fousco

Where urban and traditional genres meet.

About

Discovered very early on by Ballaké Sissoko, Djeneba & Fousco embody the Africa of the 21st-century where urban and traditional genres meet.

Djeneba, her voice at once childlike and rock-infused, brings her lyrical flights to the beats laid down by Fousco, one of the best songwriters in Mali today and a brilliant guitar and vocal improvisation virtuoso.

In town and on stage, this new duo of Malian music express the new generation’s desire for freedom, but also pay tribute to great figures of the past, such as Ali Farka Touré.

Albums

Kayeba Khasso – 2018

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Boulpik

Les troubadours Haïtiens

About

‘Chèche lavi.’  Seek living. A two-word expression in Haitian Creole that sums up the phrase ‘Seeking ways of earning a living’ and suggests that a living is not something that comes easily, but a goal to be sought – as if you were on a quest for a lost prize or buried treasure. So Franckel Sifranc and his fellow musicians in Boulpik are seekers of life. Nothing particularly extraordinary has happened in their careers. In fact, their past is very like that of millions of other Haitians – except that they have a gift for music.

Albums

Konpa Lakay – 2014

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ceuzany11

Ceuzany

 A natural vocal talent.

About

Born to Cape Verdean parents in Senegal (her father was from Fogo and her mother from São Vicente), Ceuzany lived in that country until the age of 2, when her family returned to Mindelo. In 2008, she won an award at a gala contest for singers from the island of Fogo. Arlindo Evora, the leader of Cordas do Sol, met her there and invited her to join the group. From 2007 to 2013, she brought her distinctive shine to the concerts and records of the band (who were then at the height of their popularity), channeling all her energy and exuberance into their performances.

With her first solo album, Nha Vida (released in 2012, it included the track Ultimo Chance), Ceuzany revealed her tremendous vocal potential and talent as a performer, attracting huge interest from professionals and national and foreign media.

Ilha d’Melodia, her second album, further underlines the quality of her melodic expression and vocal power. On it, Ceuzany bares her soul: each of the songs reveals the experiences and emotions that have shaped the facets of her personality.

Albums

Ilha d’Melodia – 2016

Nha Vida – 2014

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MOUNIRACANVA

Mounira Mitchala

Une voix du Tchad, entre gazelle et panthère

A découvrir

Son prénom Mounira signifie en arabe tchadien “la radieuse” et son nom de scène Mitchala la “panthère douce”, et le moins que l’on puisse dire est que cette lumineuse jeune femme les porte bien.

Rare voix féminine tchadienne à avoir fait irruption sur la scène internationale, Mounira a eu un parcours semé d’embûches, et il lui a fallu combattre pour se faire accepter dans un pays très conservateur, en proie à des turbulences politiques permanentes et qui a connu plusieurs guerres civiles. Être femme, chanteuse au Tchad où « l‘artiste est considéré comme quelqu’un qui ne vaut rien » et où le poids de la religion et des traditions n’arrange pas les choses. Il faudra à Mounira un courage et une détermination hors du commun pour se faire reconnaître.

Albums

Chili Houritki – 2012

Talou Lena – 2007

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Nancy Vieira

The finest voice of Cabo Verde

Biography

Her forebears came from the island of Boa Vista with its Saharan sands, she grew up on the African Santiago and the nomadic São Vicente, and launched her musical career in Lisbon, capital of fado and pop. Naturally, the singer with her direct, open gaze is very much at home in the world of international Portuguese-speaking culture.

Manhã Florida is the singer’s fifth album and her second recorded for the Harmonia label, Lusafrica’s partner in the archipelago. It opens with Mi Sem Bo Amor, a superb morna penned by two great figures of Cabo-Verdean music: Vitorino Chantre, poet, musician and father of Teofilo, and Amândio Cabral, writer of the iconic Sodade. The first impression is of Nancy’s controlled, supremely true, highly characteristic voice, which has won the young woman acclaim from Portuguese critics as the “finest voice of Cabo Verde” of the new generation; the second is the wealth of musical worlds that unfold over a background of uncompromising classicism.

We find ourselves swept away on a journey to Cabo Verde that leads us from one island to the next in the heart of the Atlantic, between Africa, Brazil, Europe and the Caribbean, serenaded by the guitars and cavaquinhos of some of Cabo Verde’s greatest instrumentalists: Bau, Hernani Almeida, Zeca Mauricio and Zé Paris, not to mention Teofilo Chantre, who also directed the album’s flawless production.

Teofilo, the most Parisian of Cabo-Verdean musicians, is above all famous for the songs he wrote for Cesaria Evora (starting with the 1992 album Miss Perfumado), but also for his collaborations with Bernard Lavilliers – Elle Chante (She Sings), Y a pas qu’à New-York (Not Only in New York) – and Marc Estève (for Enrico Macias). Over the last 25 years, Teofilo Chantre has made his name as one of the key artisans of Cabo-Verdean music’s success worldwide, firstly with his own records (6 studio albums and one live to his credit) and then for his numerous collaborations as songwriter or artistic producer with other artists from the archipelago. So Nancy Vieira, who had been performing his songs for a long time, very naturally asked him to produce Manhã Florida. She wanted to dedicate the album to Cabo-Verdean guitar, whose melancholy, nostalgia and joie de vivre so beautifully accompany the charms of the archipelago’s melodies. Nancy carefully selected the pieces – which laid the foundations of Cesaria’s success and seem to be of another age – from the repertoires of the great classic writers (Amândio Cabral, Eugenio Tavares, Kaka Barbosa…) or the songs of today’s generation (Teofilo, Mário Lúcio, Betu, Tiolino, Antonio Alves).

Albums

Manha Florida – 2018

No Ama – 2012

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Elida Almeida

A stunning new talent

Biography

Winner of the Prix Découvertes RFI in 2015, Elida, a young woman born on the island of Santiago, developed her vocal techniques with simple church singing. Elida Almeida has made a name for herself performing at world music venues in Europe, Africa and North America.

The unknown Elida won huge acclaim for her first album and the song Nta Konsigui (2.7 million views on YouTube), her warm, smooth voice conveying a powerful exultation. On her second album, Kebrada (named for the village where she grew up), she asserts her African identity, seasoning her Cabo Verdean beats – batuque, funaná, coladera and tabanka – with Latino energy. Her fiery temperament and joie de vivre do nothing to undermine the social criticism she expresses in her nostalgic ballads tinged with pop.

Elida Almeida shows an impressive maturity, talent and generosity.

Albums

Gerasonobu – 6 Nov 2020

Nada Ka Muda – (single 2020)

Ta Due with Roberta Campos – (single 2019)

Homi Nha Amiga – feat Elji Beatzkilla (single) – 2019

Anu Nobu (single) – 2019

Sou Free – feat Flavia Coelho -Mo Laudi Remix (single) – 2018

Kebrada – 2017

E Zonban (single) – 2017

Djunta Kudjer (EP) 2017

Ora Doci Ora Margos- 2014

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Cordas Do Sol

Une bande de copains venus de Sant’Anton

A découvrir

Cordas do Sol existe depuis 1994. Au départ, il s’agit simplement d’une réunion informelle d’amis qui se rencontrent pendant leurs temps libres pour parler de la vie et jouer des sérénades les soirs de lune. Mais bientôt, il s’agit de développer un vrai projet musical pour mettre en valeur tout ce qui exalte l’histoire de Sant’Anton à travers la musique. Les musiciens cherchent auprès des anciens, dans les villages et dans les campagnes reculées les sonorités, les façons de jouer souvent tombées en désuétude, s’imprègnent de la grande richesse mélodique héritée des genres musicaux traditionnels de l’île comme la mazurka, la cola-sanjom, la coladera, la morna, en les réadaptant aux instruments contemporains. Ils collectent la tradition orale, les coutumes, les anecdotes qui mettent en scène les choses vécues autrefois à la campagne, ressuscitent des personnages haut en couleur avec leurs règles sociales des années passées.

Albums

Lume d’Lenha – 2010

Terra De Sodade – 2004

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Cesaria Evora Orchestra

it brings together the cream of Cape-Verdean musicianship and some of today’s greatest voices

About

When Grammy Award winner Cesaria Evora suddenly left us on December 17, 2011, there was a huge outpouring of emotion from her fans. In 2012, thousands flocked to pay their respects to the great artist at a series of memorable concerts, especially in Toulouse, Lisbon, Amsterdam and Paris.
Some of the greatest singers in world music joined the musicians who had regularly accompanied Cesaria, lending their voices to this ultimate tribute to the woman known as The Barefoot Diva. Bonga, Angélique Kidjo, Lura, Ismaël Lô, Mayra Andrade and Bernard Lavilliers, Tito Paris were there, to name but a few.
Once the musical events were over, Cesaria’s musicians were more determined than ever to keep alive her repertoire, which had enchanted audiences all over the world.
A few formed the Cesaria Evora Orchestra, playing a first concert at the 2014 Gamboa Festival in Praia (Cabo Verde) as a tribute to the iconic singer and her tremendous achievements – especially as the international Ambassador of Cape-Verdean music.
Since then, the Cesaria Evora Orchestra has performed regularly around the world to celebrate Cesaria Evora.

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Cesaria Evora

Notre diva aux pieds nus

Biographie

Cesaria Evora est d’abord un mystère. Elle plaît. Elle fascine. Elle séduit. Que l’on soit noir, rouge, blanc ou jaune, elle est tout de suite l’amie, la grande soeur, la mère. Quand elle vient aux Antilles, terres du zouk et du rythme, des foules massives prennent d’assaut les guichets. Tout le monde s’y précipite, depuis les intégristes du gros-ka, via les inconditionnels des biguines-mazurkas jusqu’aux intoxiqués du rap et du ragga : tous veulent s’enivrer de sa mélancolie. On y emmène ses charges de rides et son lait de jeunesse. Je n’ai jamais réussi à la voir. Guichets toujours clos. Je n’ai pu que l’imaginer, contempler ses photos, lorgner ses clips, vivre au songe de ses tempos pleins de douleurs anciennes.

Véronique Mortaigne, dans son livre sur la chanteuse du Cap-Vert, sait qu’un tel mystère ne s’élucide pas : qu’il s’aborde, s’éprouve, se fréquente. Son livre, d’écriture belle, sensibilité vraie, est de ce fait magnifique. Elle a compris que le secret de Cesaria Evora s’étoile en de multiples gisements, une géographie d’ombre, d’oasis et de lumière où il fallait mener non l’abscisse d’un voyage mais les courbes d’une errance dans la vapeur des punchs et de la catchupa. Il fallait bien sûr l’écouter, ni paysanne ni “dame de mer”, silhouette des rues tortueuses, des bars et des boutiques. Entendre ses savoureuses conversations avec Vitoria, sa bonne amie d’enfance. Savoir le récit de ses colères et le fracas de ses injures. La voir vivre à Mindelo, son île, sa ville, son port, sa case, au bord d’une mer chargée des haines et des amours de ceux qui sont tout à la fois forcés de partir et forcés de rester. Elle a vu ceux qui l’entourent et qui l’aiment, ceux qui la soutiennent ou qui l’exploitent. Elle a vu son tablier à larges poches, ses bigoudis en plastique, son dandinement entre les paniers de poissons et d’herbes aromatiques. Elle a vu ce qu’elle mange, entendu les recettes dont elle confie le chiffre, goûté à ses rhums qu’elle met à libre disposition, qui lui ont fait tant de mal et auxquels la chanteuse ne touche plus “depuis Noël 94”. Il lui fallait aussi comprendre l’archipel du Cap-Vert. Sa catastrophe initiale dans la colonisation portugaise et l’esclavage. Sa lutte vers la liberté jusqu’à l’indépendance, ses combats et ses aliénations, ses misères et ses joies, son mystère de vie et de sel dans les menaces grandissantes du Sahel.

Cesaria Evora est faite de cet humus dans le sec de ces sables. Ce n’est pas une biographie, c’est une révélation obscure, chargée de terre, de vie, de musiques, de simplicité, d’amitié, d’amour, d’interrogation et de lucidité. J’ai compris dans ces pages que Cesaria Evora est à elle seule une terre créole où la diversité des imaginaires et des hommes donnait naissance à une musique valable pour tous, là où la mélodie, l’harmonie et la polyrythmie ont rencontré les souffrances des hommes : creuset du blues, du jazz et de la morna. J’ai compris que Cesaria Evora est aussi une douleur, la sienne d’abord, celle de sa vie, de ses amours terribles, de cette ivresse destructrice qui suppléait aux bourgeons abîmés de l’espoir. Et cette vie familière des extrêmes parle à la nôtre en un direct sensible. Quand elle chante, elle vient avec une existence entière rescapée des bars sordides et des dorures factices de chez les grandes gens, dotores du Cap-Vert qui voulaient l’écouter. Elle vient aussi avec son exil immobile, ce but d’exil irrépressible qui maintenant gît en chacun de nous, îles en dérive dans le monde qui fait monde. Elle vient avec une incomparable tristesse envers le tout possible. Elle dit le bonheur perdu mais à portée de main. Elle dit la blessure nègre en absence et silence. Elle dit le souvenir en ses limons précieux. Elle dit la mort et l’oubli, la fidélité et la patience, la liberté offerte sur des vagues amères où l’on ose mettre le pied. Elle dit le monde ouvert des îles tellement peu clos, tellement livré aux métissages et aux souffles de la terre. Elle dit sous la fatalité, la joie, l’espoir, la force ronde, la patience aiguisée. Ses pieds sont nus, sa voix est nue, son coeur nu est offert dans la parure de toutes les grâces. Chez les êtres humains, Cesaria est une reine.

Texte écrit par Patrick Chamoiseau, paru dans Le Monde, à propos de la publication de la biographie écrite par Véronique Mortaigne, peu après la sortie de l’album « Cabo Verde » en février 1997.

Patrick Chamoiseau, né le 3 décembre 1953 à Fort-de-France, est un écrivain français originaire de la Martinique. Auteur de romans, de contes, d’essais, théoricien de la créolité, il a également écrit pour le théâtre et le cinéma.

Albums

La Diva Aux Pieds Nus – 1988

Distino Di Belita – 1990

Mar Azul – 1991

Miss Perfumado – 1992

Cesaria – 1995

Cabo Verde – 1997

Cesaria Best Of – 1997

Café Atlantico – 1999

Sao Vicente di Longe – 2001

Mornas & Coladeras (Compilation) – 2002

Voz d’Amor – 2003

Club Sodade (Remix Album) – 2003

Rogamar – 2006

Radio Mindelo – 2008

Nha Sentimento – 2009

Cesaria Evora & – 2010

Miss Perfumado (20th anniversary) – 2012

Mae Carinhosa – 2013

Greatest Hits – 2015

Carnaval de Mindelo (EP) – 2018

Nha Cancera Ka Tem Medida (Djeff Remix) – 2018

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Cesaria Evora

Our Barefoot Diva

Biography

Cesaria Evora is first and foremost a mystery. She delights, fascinates and charms. Whatever our color, she is at once our friend, big sister and mother. When she comes to the Antilles, islands of zouk and beats, huge crowds stand in line at the ticket office. Everybody flocks to her concerts, from gros-ka fundamentalists to hardcore biguine-mazurka fans and addicts of rap and ragga: all want to immerse themselves in her melancholy. They take their shares of wrinkles and milk of youth. I have never had a chance to see her. The venues are always sold out. I can only imagine, gaze at her photos, be absorbed by her videos and dream of her tempi full of ancient pain.

In her book devoted to the Cabo-Verdean singer, Véronique Mortaigne makes it clear that a mystery such as hers cannot be solved, but only approached, experienced and revisited. This makes her fine writing and true sensitivity magnificent. She has understood that the secret of Cesaria Evora branches into many seams. Rather than a journey, she has to map erratic wanderings misted by fumes of punch and catchupa, through a geography of shadows, oases and light. Naturally, she has to listen to Cesaria – neither a peasant woman nor a ‘lady of the sea’, but a figure glimpsed in winding streets, bars and stores. She has to hear her delicious conversations with Vitoria, her good friend since childhood; learn the story of her fits of anger and torrent of insults; see her living in Mindelo, her island, town, port and hut, by a sea teeming with the hatreds and loves of those who were both forced to leave and compelled to remain. She sees the people who surround and love Cesaria, and those who support or take advantage of her. She sees her apron with its vast pockets, her plastic hair curlers and her waddling walk as she carries baskets of fish and herbs. She sees what Cesaria eats and learns the recipes, giving their number. She tastes the rum the singer shares freely, that did her so much harm and which the singer has no longer touched “since Christmas ’94”. She also has to understand the Cabo Verde archipelago and its initial catastrophe: Portuguese colonization and slavery. And then its struggle towards freedom and independence, its combats and alienations, its griefs and joys, and its mystery of life and salt in the growing threat of the Sahel.

Cesaria Evora is of that soil in the dryness of the sands. The book is not a biography, but an obscure revelation brimming with earth, life, music, simplicity, friendship, love, questions and lucidity. In its pages, I realize that Cesaria Evora is a Creole land in herself, whose diversity of imagination and people produces a music that connects with everyone, where melody, harmony and multiple rhythms encounter human suffering in a melting pot of blues, jazz and morna. I realize that Cesaria Evora is also a suffering – firstly hers, that of her life, her disastrous love affairs and a destructive intoxication to compensate for the wilting of the buds of hope. That familiar life of extremes ties in with ours in a tangible bond. When she sings, she brings us an entire life, escaping from the sordid bars and the fake gilt of socialite residences – the homes of Cabo Verde dotores who wanted to hear her sing. She also brings us her stationary exile, an irrepressible goal of exile that now lingers in each of us, drifting islands in a world that is a world unto itself. She reveals an incomparable sadness about everything possible. She tells us that happiness is lost but within reach. She speaks of black wounds of absence and silence. She describes the precious loam of memory. She tells of death and oblivion, loyalty and patience, liberty offered over bitter waves that one dares to tread. She tells of an open world of islands that are so accessible, so amenable to cultural fusions and the winds of the earth. She tells of inevitability, joy, hope, rounded strength and sharpened patience. Her feet are bare, her voice is naked, and so is her heart, proffered in a parure of all the graces. Among human beings, Cesaria is a queen.

Article written by Patrick Chamoiseau, published in the newspaper Le Monde for the publication of the biography written by Véronique Mortaigne, shortly after the release of the album “Cabo Verde” in February 1997. 

Patrick Chamoiseau, a French writer from Martinique, was born on December 3, 1953, in Fort-de-France. Author of novels, short stories and essays, he is a theoretician of Creole culture and also writes for the theater and cinema.

Albums

La Diva Aux Pieds Nus – 1988

Distino Di Belita – 1990

Mar Azul – 1991

Miss Perfumado – 1992

Cesaria – 1995

Cabo Verde – 1997

Cesaria Best Of – 1997

Café Atlantico – 1999

Sao Vicente di Longe – 2001

Mornas & Coladeras (Compilation) – 2002

Voz d’Amor – 2003

Club Sodade (Remix Album) – 2003

Rogamar – 2006

Radio Mindelo – 2008

Nha Sentimento – 2009

Cesaria Evora & – 2010

Miss Perfumado (20th anniversary) – 2012

Mae Carinhosa – 2013

Greatest Hits – 2015

Carnaval de Mindelo (EP) – 2018

Nha Cancera Ka Tem Medida (Djeff Remix) – 2018

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Sia Tolno

Explosive: a woman takes up Afrobeat!

Biography

The Yoruba, funk, jazz fusion of Afrobeat is rough, rowdy and political. It was introduced at the end of the 60s by the prince of the Nigerian resistance, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Yet Guinea’s Sia Tolno is not afraid to take up Fela’s torch. Her third album, African Woman, challenges male supremacy in a forceful style derived from Ghanaian ‘high-life’.

Albums

African Woman – 2014

Mouka Mouka- 2014 (EP)

My Life – 2011

Odju Watcha – 2011 (EP)

Eh Sangah – 2009

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BIG VISUEL KREOL

Mario Lucio

La force des sources

A découvrir

Mário Lúcio Sousa est le fondateur du groupe Simentera, qui marqua le retour décisif de la musique capverdienne vers ses racines acoustiques et réclama la culture d’Afrique continentale comme faisant partie intégrante de l’identité culturelle capverdienne. Ses conceptions lui valurent d’être nommé conseiller du Commissaire chargé de l’Expo 92 à Séville. Pour celle-ci et plus tard pour l’Expo 98 à Lisbonne il fut l’auteur des projets musicaux représentant son pays.

Mário Lúcio Sousa est multi-instrumentaliste et arrangeur de bon nombres d’albums d’autres artistes capverdiens. Il est membre fondateur et directeur de l’association « Quintal da Música », dont le centre culturel privé se dédie à la valorisation de la musique traditionnelle. Les enfants peuvent y appren