A New Master of Batuque


Nu Monda (Lusafrica, 2006/Times Square 4Q, 2007)

The small country of Cape Verde produces some mesmerizing artists. Although a lot of the recent Cape Verdian sensations have been female, Tcheka breaks the mold. He’s a male guitarist. He has warm, charismatic voice, but what really stands out is his use of the guitar. Tcheka is backed by Kizo Oliveira (bass guitar), Paul Ribeiro (percussion) and Hernani Almeida, a young guitar prodigy who uses the guitar in multiple ways, providing inspiring solos, utilizing it as a percussive accompaniment and also harmonizing.

While other Cape Verdian singers focus exclusively on the vocals, Tcheka‘s music combines his alluring vocals with the wonderful sound of the guitar, accompanied by West African percussion.

On Nu Monda Tcheka has returned to batuque (one of Santiago Island’s more popular beats, which was originally played by women). He also explores other styles, such as tabanka, a carnival beat; and talulu, which is played on All Saint’s Day on the island of Fogo. 

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.