Isabela, Ricardo Lemvo’s self-released fifth album, is the product of much hard work and knowledge. Its cosmopolitan bouquet of musical styles is sung in six languages (including Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Lingala and Kikongo), each with its own distinct musicality.
Isabela’s, repertoire ranges from "Kasongo Boogaloo," a fiery upbeat boogaloo, to ‘50s Congo classic “Lollobrigida” (written by the late Congolese guitarist Tino Baroza in honor of Italian movie star Gina Lollobrigida), to “Serenata Angolana,” a duet with Cape Verdean songstress Maria de Barros that Lemvo dedicated to his beloved Angola.
Lemvo even learned to sing in Turkish for his version of Candan Erçetin’s “Elbette,” which he turns into a Turkish tango. Invited guest musicians include Congolese guitar legend Papa Noël , singers Wuta Mayi and Nyboma, and Cuban Alfredo de la Fe on violin and cello.
Ricardo Lemvo’s mix of Cuban salsa and pan-African styles (soukous, Congolese rumba) has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "seamless and infectious."
Born in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, of Angolan ancestry, Lemvo formed his Los Angeles-based band Makina Loca in 1990. Since then he has refined his craft and vision, raising his joyous voice with strength, singing songs that celebrate life, and most importantly, inspiring his audiences to dance away their worries.
He has toured extensively in Europe, Australia, and Latin America, and has performed in some of the most prestigious venues in North America including The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Lincoln Center in New York City and The Montreal Jazz Festival.