Biography of Cesaria Evora

With the soul, and with bare feet August 27, 1941
December 17, 2011

Who is Cesaria Evora?

Born August 27, 1941 in Mindelo, on the island of Sao Vicente, Cape Verde Cesaria Evora, was the best-known performer of "morna", style that combines West African percussion with the Portuguese fado, Brazilian music and songs of the sea.

Cesaria Evora, "Cize" to his friends, thanks to his great voice and his amazing appearance began early in light, but his hopes of becoming a professional singer does not fulfilled completely. The singer Bana and the Association of women of Cape Verde Lisbon invited her to record some tracks, but no producer was interested. In 1988 Josê Da Silva, young Frenchman originally from Cape Verde, he proposed to travel to Paris to record an album. Cesaria accepted: 47 years, had never been to Paris and had nothing to lose.

In 1988 the Lusafrica produced his first album, "La Diva aux pieds nus", whose song "Bia Lulucha", a taste of coladera zouk (all typical dances of the Islands), it becomes very popular with the community of Cape Verde. "Distino di Belata", his second album, released two years later, mornas and coladeras acoustic contains. The piece achieved great success and her record label decides to make an acoustic album, then made in France, home to some of its exciting concerts.

"Mar Azul" comes out at the end of October 1991 and consensus begins to expand. The album is broadcast by France Inter Radio FIP and many other French radio and also his concert at the New Morning Club record sell-out. This time the audience is composed mainly of enthusiastic Europeans, Cesaria Evora has really broken through, managing to overcome the barriers of taste and genre.

A year later it was the turn of "Miss Perfumado" that the French press warmly proportionate to the objective beauty of the album. Critics compete to try to define this singular artist: comparisons with Billie Holiday abound. Are even beginning to circulate those anecdotes, those small details about her that will become part of his legend: his immoderate love for cognac and tobacco, his hard life in those forgotten Islands, the gentle nights of Mindelo and so on.

After two years of success comes the consecration of a sacred monster of Brazilian music: Caetano Veloso takes the stage with her to accompany her during a performance in Sao Paulo, a gesture that amounts to an official baptism. Veloso says that Casper is among the singers who inspire him. Cesaria Evora also triumphs in Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Africa and the Caribbean. Through the Lusafrica signed a contract with BMG and the anthology "Sodade, les plus belles Mornas de Cesária Évora" is published in the autumn. This dovetails with the album "Casper", went gold in France and international success, especially in the USA, where he received a nomination for a Grammy Award.

Meanwhile, his great love for direct contact with the public is not exhausted. After a series of concerts in Paris leaves for his first tour in the United States where the draws crowds of all kinds. Madonna, David Byrne, Branford Marsalis and all the greatest artists of New York run to attend his concert at the Bottom Line. Goran Bregovic instead, brilliant composer of soundtracks and music "in the Balkans", invites you to record "Ausencia" for the soundtrack of "Underground", directed by Emir Kusturica. After a grueling tour that touches the world (France, Switzerland, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Sweden, U.S.A, Canada, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and England), records a Duet with the trusty Caetano Veloso for the project Red Hot & Rio.

Internationally recognized star, Cesaria Evora has also had the privilege of having dedicated a special service by the franco-German cultural channel Arte.

Retired in September 2011 for health reasons, Cesaria Evora dies in Praia (Cape Verde) on December 17, 2011, at the age of 70 years.

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