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Friday, 23 December 2011

Cesária Évora

Since Cesária Évora died last weekend, I thought it was about I should do a blog post to commemorate her and her contribution to the world of music. It was funny because I'd been thinking about doing a blog post on her in the week that she died. I thought I should do a post on her music because I've always liked the way in which her voice resounds to convey her deep emotions and messages.

Cesária Évora grew up on the Island of Cape Verde. She had quite an impoverished childhood because her father died when she was seven years old, and so her mother had so little money that she had to live in an orphanage from the age of ten. Her musical career began, when she was sixteen years old and her friend convinced her to sing in a sailors tavern. This led to her performing on Portuguese cruise ships travelling to Mindelo as well as the local radio. Nevertheless, she only started to become a famous singer, when José da Silva heard her singing and asked her to record some of her music in Paris. She released her first album, La Diva Aux Pieds Nus (The Barefooted Diva), in 1988. She called herself the barefooted diva because she would perform barefooted in her concerts. Her reason for doing this was to show her support for the homeless people and poor women and children of Cape Verde. This was a suitable accompaniment to her music, which often focused on the slave trade and Cape Verde's history of isolation. Her music was a combination of folk tunes with acoustic guitar, cavaquinho, violin, accordion, and clarinet.

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