The World to Brooklyn Series Continues with Cape Verdean Vocalist Fantcha

Fantcha - Photo by Gilles Larrain
The World to Brooklyn, a new series showcasing vibrant artists from different cultures in an exciting new venue in downtown Brooklyn, continues on December 3rd with Cape Verdean singer Fantcha.

Singing in a rich, sensuous voice in her native Creole, she performs mornas – the languid bluesy ballads about love, loss and longing made famous by her mentor and homeland icon Cesaria Evora. To lift spirits, she offers her country’s playful uptempo dance numbers, coladeiras.

Fantcha and her band (acoustic guitar, cavaquinho, piano, drum, bass) conjure up the balmy, robust sounds of the 10-island archipelago, performing classics as well as original works from her new album, Amor, Mar e Musica – Love, Sea, and Music. After-party with DJ MD spinning zouk, coladeiras, funana and hits of Cape Verde follows the show.

The music of Cape Verde, a blend of West African and European traditions, has gained popularity in the past two decades due to the success of Cesaria Evora, “the barefoot diva.” Cape Verde, a group of 10 islands off the coast of Senegal, is an ex-Portuguese colony that gained independence in 1975.

The islands’ isolation, devastating droughts and lack of opportunities have led to a large number of the population emigrating; about two-thirds of Cape Verdeans live outside their island homeland.

The music often deals with separation and longing. Some of its most famous styles are the soulful morna –akin to Portuguese fado, its lyrics speak of sadness and lost love– and the more African-influenced and rhythmically complex coladeira.

Fantcha, born in Mindelo, Cape Verde, has developed her own distinctive musical style with African, Cuban and Portuguese inflections. At the age of 10, she joined the Flores do Mindelo carnival under the direction of Ti Goy (Gregorio Gonçalves), one of the most famous composers in the city.

He gave her music lessons and years later introduced her to Cesaria Evora; Ti Goy – who had previously trained Cesaria – taught Fantcha about rhythm while through Cesaria she mastered phrasing and emotional expression.

In 1988, after recording for the famed Bana, she accompanied Cesaria Evora to the US. Fantcha decided to stay in the US and is currently living in New York. Her albums include Lusafrica’s Criolinha and Viva Mindelo and the compilation album Putamayo Presents Cape Verde.

Fantcha’s latest album Amor Mar e Musica features many of Cape Verde’s great composers, including Betú, Constantino Cardoso, Teófilo Chantre, Jorge Humberto, Dionísio Maio, Manuel de Novas, Morgadinho, Eugénio Tavares and Vlú; the poignant title song, Amor Mar e Musica, was penned by Fantcha herself. She has toured throughout Cape Verde, Europe and the US and has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, the Chicago World Music Festival, New York’s SummerStage and Joe’s Pub, among others.

Saturday, December 3, 2011 8 PM

Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue (corner of 3rd Avenue), Downtown Brooklyn

+After-party with DJ MD, spinning zouk, coladeiras, funana & hits of Cape Verde following show!

Tickets: $25; students $20
Information: 212-545-7536

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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