Special: Cesaria Evora

Cesaria Evora

Cesaria Evora
Sao Vincente
Windham Hill

Her smooth style and haunting voice resonates through every song she sings. She is a performer who has pur music from Cape Verde on the map. Her previous album was nominated for a Grammy, and she is critically-acclaimed all over the World.

I am talking about Cesaria Evora, a passionate woman with passionate music. Sao Vincent, her latest album, picks up where the Grammy-nominated Café Atlantico (1999) left off, drawing upon traditional sounds of African and South America. Her deep, powerful voice at the center, she is backed up by horns and strings, putting a contemporary sound to morna, a traditional style that combines Cape Verdian music with Portuguese fado and Brazilian modhinas. She collaborates with many noted musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Caetano Veloso and Pedro Guerra, but each track remains distinctly her own.

Evora is from the island of Cape Verde and has been singing since she was sixteen. Performing regularly during the 1960's, she garnered a fair bit of critical acclaim, but could not rely on music to make a living. In the 1970's she quit the music scene, but returned in the mid-80's at the age of 45. Thanks to the World Music explosion of the mid to late 90's which brought such acts as the Buena Vista Social Club into the international spotlight, Evora found her and her music thrust into the mainstream, winning over American audiences.

Sao Vincente will definitely keep Evora in the spotlight, of which she is most definitely deserving. Cape Verdian music combines many traditional World influences, and when combined with a vocalist with the range and talent of Cesaria Evora, it is a powerful mix that simply cannot go wrong.