Tag Archives: Ferro Gaita

The Golden Age of Funaná Accordion Masters

Various Artists – Pour Me A Grog: The Funaná Revolt in 1990s Cabo Verde

Various Artists – Pour Me A Grog: The Funaná Revolt in 1990s Cabo Verde (Ostinato Records, 2019)

Pour Me A Grog: The Funaná Revolt in 1990s Cabo Verde is a tribute to the great masters of Cape Verdean funaná music. Funaná is upbeat, irresistible dance music from Santiago Island fueled by accordion (the accordion is known as gaita in Cape Verde) and supported by percussion, bass and a scraped iron instrument known as ferrinho that is used in Cape Verde.

This compilation brings together recordings by some of the finest artists in the funaná scene in the late 1990s, including many pioneering elders. These are high quality recordings funded by members of the Cape Verdean diaspora compiled by Vik Sohonie & Olav Aalberg.

The artists featured in Pour Me A Grog: The Funaná Revolt in 1990s Cabo Ve include the groundbreaking Ferro Gaita, one of the most successful acts in Cape Verde in terms of album sales, along with several other masters:  Etalvinho Preta; Tchota Suari e Chando Graciosa; Avelino e Orlando Pantera; Peps Love; Bitori e Fefé di Calbicera; Orlando Pantera; and Fefé di Calbicera.

The physical CD version of the album is worth getting. It comes in a beautifully-designed hard cover book with fascinating artwork and extensive notes about the music and the artists featured. The design is by Pete ‘Piwi’ White and the illustration by Lauren O’Neill. The album is also available on vinyl and digital.

The album title refers to grog, an alcoholic beverage made in Cape Verde distilled from sugarcane.

Buy Pour Me A Grog: The Funaná Revolt in 1990s Cabo Verde

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Artist Profiles: Ferro Gaita

Ferro Gaita

Ferro Gaita was founded in 1996 in the city of Praia, the capital of Cape Verde. From the beginning, the band put their own spin on funana, mixing in snare and hand drums, electric bass, and even a conch shell to create a spirited instrumental backing for an upbeat and energetic live show. They also adopted a signature style of dress, performing in bright daishikis embroidered with print sarongs, all complemented by eccentric accessories and colorful scarves.

Ferro Gaita revolutionized funana for the contemporary audience. Their first album, Fundu Baxu presented funana in its original style and was the highest selling CD in Cape Verde in the year it was released (1997).

Two years later, the band released its second CD, Rei de Tabanka, recorded in the US. It includes unknown traditions like batuke, finaçon and tabanka along with funana, giving the project a completely original and unprecedented sound.

Their album Banda Liberdade (2004) launched them to new heights, solidifying Ferro Gaita as the face of modern Cape Verdean music. All the while, they have stayed true to their origins and, in 2006, they released a live CD/DVD, fittingly titled Finkadu na Raiz, or “Stuck in the Roots”.

Discography:

Fundu Baxu – Música de Cabo Verde (Cape Disco, 1997)
Rei Di Tabanka (1999)
Rei Di Funana (Lusafrica, 2001)
Bandera Liberdade (2004)
Live – Finkadu na Raiz (Ferro Gaita Produções, 2006)
Festa Fora (AV, 2015)

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