Cape Verdean music

Cape Verde is a small group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, 480 kilometers (300 miles) west of Senegal.

Brief History

The islands were uninhabited until the 1400s when the Portuguese navigators started to use Cape Verde as a trade base for ships moving goods and as their slaving stations on their way to Brazil and Europe.

Repeated droughts during the second half of the 20th century caused significant hardship and prompted heavy emigration to Portugal and the United States of America. As a result, Cape Verde’s expatriate population is greater than its domestic one. Most Cape Verdeans have both African and Portuguese ancestry.

Cape Verdean music

The first European colonial town in Africa was founded in Cape Verde in 1462. Thus, the music of Cape Verde reflects both Portuguese and West African roots.

The best known artist from Cape Verde was Cesaria Evora. One of her principal styles was the bluesy morna. Morna is a melancholic and soulful genre that originated in Cape Verde. It is often sung in Creole-Portuguese. The instruments used are usually the acoustic sounds of guitar, cavaquinho, violin, accordion, and clarinet.

Another popular style is coladeira, an upbeat rhythm, more suitable for partying. A good example of a coladeira artist is Fantcha, a protege of Cesaria Evora.

Cape Verdean Musicians

Boy Ge Mendes
Cesaria Evora
CV Boys band
Dr. Ra
Eduino Araujo, “Dudu”
Ferro Gaita
Grace Evora
Ildo Lobo
Kim Alves
Teofilo Chantre
Tito Paris


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