Music of Cape Verde

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Cape Verde is known internationally for morna , a form of folk music usually sung in the Cape Verdean Creole, accompanied by clarinet, violin, guitar and cavaquinho. Funaná , Coladeira , Batuque and Cabo love are other musical forms.

Cape Verde Country comprising ten islands off the Northwest coast of Africa

Cape Verde or Cabo Verde, officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the Macaronesia ecoregion, along with the Azores, Canary Islands, Madeira, and the Savage Isles. In ancient times these islands were referred to as "the Islands of the Blessed" or the "Fortunate Isles". Located 570 kilometres (350 mi) west of the Cape Verde Peninsula off the coast of Northwest Africa, the islands cover a combined area of slightly over 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi).

The morna is a music and dance genre from Cape Verde.

Folk music Music of the people

Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.



Cape Verde is an island archipelago that was uninhabited until the Portuguese arrived in 1462. The sailors brought with them African slaves, and the islands' population became mixed with elements of both races. Climate conditions made the islands inhospitable, and the Portuguese governments mostly ignored the inhabitants and the frequent droughts and famines that wracked the islands periodically. As a result, there are now more Cape Verdeans abroad than at home, and sizable communities exist in New England, Portugal, Wales, Senegal, Italy, France and the Netherlands.

Island Any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water

An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.

Archipelago A group of islands

An archipelago, sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands.

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

In 2011, it would be one of the most recent countries to have its own music award, the Cabo Verde Music Awards was established and awards the greatest songs of the year by Cape Vedean artists (and those of abroad). At the continental level, singers or artists from Cape Verde and Capeverdeans abroad are included on another award, the MTV Africa Music Awards at the continental level awarded each year by the music network MTV. From 2001-2011, Cape Verdeans and Capeverdeans abroad were awarded the KORA Awards, two singers were ever awarded including Cesária Évora and Suzanna Lubrano.

The Cabo Verde Music Awards is an annual music award ceremony that takes place every year. The award ceremony takes place in the capital city of Praia, Cape Verde. It is also broadcast on TCV.

The MTV Africa Music Awards were established in 2008 by MTV Networks Africa to celebrate the most popular contemporary music in Africa. The 2008 and 2010 events took place in Nigeria, first in Abuja and then in Lagos. The 2009 event happened in Nairobi, capital of Kenya.

The KORA All Africa Music Awards are music awards given annually for musical achievement in sub-Saharan Africa. The awards were founded in 1994 by Benin born businessman, Ernest Adjovi, after a discussion in Namibia with the country's President Hage Geingob. The award is named after the kora, a West African plucked chordophone.

Folk music


Morna is by far the most popular genre of Cape Verdean music, and it has produced an international superstar in Cesária Évora. Morna is a national song-style, like Argentinian tango, beloved by Cape Verdeans across the many islands of the country. Lyrics are usually in Creole, and reflect highly-variable themes, including love and lust, patriotism and mourning.

Cesária Évora Cape Verdean musician

Cesária ÉvoraGCIH, more commonly Cize, was a Cape Verde singer-songwriter. She had received a Grammy Award in 2004 for her album Voz d'Amor. Nicknamed the "Barefoot Diva" for performing without shoes, she was known as the "Queen of Morna".

Argentina Federal republic in South America

Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Tango music music genre

Tango is a style of music in 2
or 4
time that originated among European immigrant populations of Argentina and Uruguay. It is traditionally played on a solo guitar, guitar duo, or an ensemble, known as the orquesta típica, which includes at least two violins, flute, piano, double bass, and at least two bandoneóns. Sometimes guitars and a clarinet join the ensemble. Tango may be purely instrumental or may include a vocalist. Tango music and dance have become popular throughout the world.

Morna is believed to have originated on Boa Vista as a cheerful song-type. Eugénio Tavares was an influential songwriter of the period, and his songs are still extensively performed. Morna also spread to São Vicente, and composers like B. Leza and Manuel de Novas became popular. Solo vocalists are accompanied by a guitar, violin, bass guitar) and a piano. The cavaquinho (similar to a [[ukulele].

Boa Vista, Cape Verde Cape Verde island

Boa Vista, also written as Boavista, is a desert-like island that belongs to the Cape Verde Islands. At 631.1 km2 (243.7 sq mi), it is the third largest island of the Cape Verde archipelago.

Eugénio Tavares Cape Verdean writer

Eugénio de Paula Tavares was a Cape Verdean poet. He is known through his famous poems (mornas), written in the Crioulo of Brava.

São Vicente, Cape Verde island in Cape Verde

São Vicente is one of the Barlavento Islands, the northern group within the Cape Verde archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, off the west African coast. It is located between the islands of Santo Antão and Santa Luzia, with the Canal de São Vicente separating it from Santo Antão.

In the 1930s, Morna evolved in a swifter form of music called coladeira . It is a more light-hearted and humorous genre, with sensual rhythms. Performers include Codé di Dona, Manuel de Novas, Frank Cavaquim, Djosa Marques and Os Tubarões.

The coladeira is a music genre from Cape Verde.

Codé di Dona

Codé di Dona, nickname of Gregório Vaz, was a Cape Verdean musician and composer.

Manuel d' Novas was a Cape Verdean poet and composer.

Aside from Évora, popular morna musicians include Ildo Lobo, Titina, Celina Pereira, Bana, Djosinha, B. Leza, Travadinha, Sãozinha, Maria Alice, Carmen Souza and Gardénia Benros.


Funaná is an accordion-based genre from Santiago. Prior to independence, funaná was denigrated by colonial authorities, who considered it African. Since independence, however, bands like Bulimundo adapted the music for pop audiences and Finaçon, who combined funaná and coladeira into a fusion called funacola . Other group includes Paris-based La MC Malcriado


Batuque is also popular in Cape Verde. Originally a woman's folk music, batuque is an improvised music with strong satirical or critical lyrics. In the 80's, Orlando Pantera has created the "new batuco" (neo-batuku), but he died in 2001 before to achieve his creative work. Performers and songwriters are Orlando Pantera, Vadú, Tcheka, Mayra Andrade, Lura, Zeca di nha Reinalda.


Tabanka or Tabanca is a form of music in Cape Verde, also popular, it characterizes by having an allegro, a binary compass,[1] and traditionally being melodic only. Singers or artists and band include Os Tubarões, Zezé di Nha Reinalda, Finaçon, Orlando Pantera and Simentera.


Coladeira is a form of dance and music from Cape Verde. Singers and musicians includes Nancy Vieira, the band Simentera, Mité Costa, Bana, Manecas Matos, Cabral & Cabo Verde Show, Ildo Lobo, Djalunga, Paulino Vieira, Dudú Araújo, Beto Dias and Suzanna Lubrano


Colá is a form of music from Cape Verde. It is mainly sung during religious festivals in the islands of Santo Antão, São Vicente, São Nicolau, Boa Vista and Brava.


In the 1980s, the cape verdean diaspora living in Europe and North America have influenced the traditional "Coladeira" with Compas / Kompa to create a version of Zouk called Cola-zouk, a similar Compas (Kompa) fusion to the French Antillean's Zouk" or "Zouk Love". Later, the new generation who grew up in Cape Verde featured a slow mixed version of electric pop music with Cape Verdean music styles, a light Compas called "Cabo Love" or "Cabo Zouk". The Cape Verdean Zouks are typically sung in Cape Verdean creole, it is often mistaken for the Angolan Zouk "Kizomba". This light Compas has become popular in Portuguese speaking countries of Africa, Brazil, and the rest of the world. Most of the songs are written in Portuguese/creole.

Cape Verdean Zouk singers and producers include Suzanna Lubrano, Nilton Ramalho, Johnny Ramos, Nelson Freitas, Mika Mendes, Manu Lima, Cedric Cavaco, Elji, Loony Johnson, Klasszik, Mark G, Tó Semedo, Beto Dias, Heavy H, Marcia, Gilyto, Kido Semedo, Ricky Boy, Klaudio Ramos, M&N Pro, Gilson, Gil, G-Amado, Philip Monteiro, Z-BeatZ Pro, Gama, Juceila Cardoso and Denis Graça.

Hip hop

Hip hop is also a growing trend in Cape Verdean music both inside Cape Verde and those abroad. The music genre started outside Cape Verde and has gained popularity inside Cape Verde, several of the artists are based outside Cape Verde and the Capeverdean communities abroad including Portugal, France, Angola and the Netherlands. Rappers include Boss AC, others including Jacky Brown and Stomy Bugsy from France, Angolan born Elizio Brandon Paulino as F.l .E.E. THE MAESTRO from Brooklyn and of the Netherlands Nelson Freitas.

Other music

Cape Verde has also symphonic music along with instrumental music, the most famous being Vasco Martins, he made Cape Verde's first symphonies, also it was one of westernmost Africa's first symphonists. He made eight symphonies including the fourth symphony titled Buddha Dharma, the sixth relating to Monte Verde, São Vicente's tallest point.

Most of the symphonies have African elements.

Other artists include Johnny Rodrigues, an immigrant to the Netherlands, he was the first Cape Verdean artist to have his single reaching number one in another country, it was a hit in both the Netherlands and Belgium's Flanders.

Other artists of Cape Verdean descent include those in São Tomé and Príncipe such as Camilo Domingos from the island of Príncipe which mainly has elements with other African music and those in the United States such as Horace Silver whose father was born in Cape Verde, some of his songs have Cape Verdean music genre, featured in some albums including The Cape Verdean Blues and Song for My Father , some have elements with other foreign music mainly of the Americas.

Other musical instruments

Several of its musical instruments are of African origin including bombolom, cimboa, correpi and dondom.


Cape Verdean music are also have been influenced with foreign artist, one of them was the Brazilian quintet Quinteto Violado who made an album Ilhas de Cabo Verde (1988) which has songs that relate to Cape Verde and its music.

See also

Related Research Articles

Kizomba is a genre of dance and a Portuguese language musical genre originating in Angola in 1984.

The Culture of Cape Verde is rich, with a range of customs and practices common in the islands,

Suzanna Lubrano is a Cape Verdean Zouk singer based in Rotterdam. Several albums have gone Gold and Platinum, while she has won major international music awards.

Maria de Barros is a singer most associated with Cape Verde, the land of her parents. Growing up in Nouakchott, Mauritania, she moved to the United States at the age of 11, living in Providence, Rhode Island in her youth with her four siblings, and connecting more closely with her heritage in the local Cape Verdean community. She is married to, Mel Wilson Jr., a bassist with Toots and the Maytals.

Adriano Gonçalves, known by his stage name Bana and called the "King of Morna", was a Cape Verdean singer and performer of the morna style, the plaintive, melodic lament which is a staple musical style of the country.

Teófilo Chantre is a Cape Verdean musician, first noted for his decades long collaboration with singer Cesaría Évora, and later for his own recordings.

Hernani Almeida is a Cape Verdean musician, having started at age 7 his musical career via a small keyboard switching at the age of 14 to the electric guitar, an instrument that became his brand image. After 1989 he joined the group's musical Mick Lima appears in 1994 with his rock band named What, which drew the attention as a guitarist of the music greats of Cape Verde.

Sodade is a Cape Verdean slow coladeira song written in the 1950s by Armando Zeferino Soares, and best popularized by Cesária Évora on her 1992 album Miss Perfumado. The name is the Cape Verdean Creole variant of the Portuguese term saudade.

Francisco Xavier da Cruz, also known as B. Leza or Beleza was a Cape Verdean writer, composer and a singer.

Epifânia de Freitas Silva Ramos Évora, better known as Dona Tututa or Tututa Évora was a Cape Verdean composer and a pianist.

Quintal da Música

Quintal da Música, abbreviation: 5tal da Música is a music pub located in the downtown area of Praia, the Plateau and is located at 70A Avenida Amílcar Cabral in the northern part of the center, across Rua António Pusich and south of Rua António Macedo. It is one of the most famous and most used pubs and music pubs in Cape Verde.

Val Xalino Cape Verdean singer and music producer

Val Xalino is a Capeverdean singer and producer who currently resides in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is the father of the Cape Verdean singer and producer Robert Xalino.

The Culture of the Island of Santiago, Cape Verde is the richest in the nation, with a range of customs and practices common in the islands,

Kap Verd Band or Kab Verd Band is a music history book published in 2006 by Cape Verdean journalist and investigator Carlos Filipe Gonçalves. It was published by the Institute of the National Historic Archives and has been distributed and marketed by the National Library Institute.


Further reading