Mario Lucio


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.


Kreol – 2010

Badyo – 2008

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