Cesária Évora

Cesária Évora

This is the biography Cesária Évora Born on August 27, 1941, in Mindelo, on the island of San Vicente, Cape Verde, Cesaria Evora it was the best-known interpreter of the “morna”, a style that combines percussion of West Africa with Portuguese fado, Brazilian music and sea songs British. Cesaria Evora, “Size” for her friends, thanks to her great voice and her looks astounding soon came to light, but her hopes of becoming a singer professional were not fully realized. 

Singer Bana and the association some women from Cape Verde invited her to Lisbon to record some songs, but no record producer was interested. In 1988 Josê Da Silva, young french originally from Cape Verde, he proposed to go to Paris to record an album. Cesaria accepted: she was already 47 years old, had never been to Paris and had nothing from losing.

In 1988 Lusafrica produced his first album, “La Diva aux pieds nus”, whose song”Bia Lulucha”, collateral with the taste of zouk (all typical dances of the islands), becomes very popular with the Cape Verde community. “Distino di Belata”, his second album, released two years later, contains acoustic mornas and electric collaterals. The work does not get great success and his record label decides to make an acoustic album, later released in France, home to some of his exciting concerts.”Mar Azul” comes out at the end of October 1991 and the consensus begins to widen. 

The album is broadcast by FIP Radio from France Inter and many other French radios, as well as his own concert at the New Morning Club, was sold out. This time the audience is made up mostly of enthusiastic Europeans, a sign that Cesaria Evora has made it through really, managing to overcome the caste and gender barriers.

The following year is the turn of “Miss Perfumado” which the French press warmly welcome proportionate to the objective beauty of the album. Critics compete to try to define this artist as singular: comparisons with Billie Holiday are wasted. They begin even to circulate those anecdotes, those little details about her that they will become part of his legend: his immoderate love for cognac and tobacco, his life lasts in those forgotten islands, the sweet nights of Mindelo and so on.

After two years of success comes the consecration of a sacred monster of Brazilian music: Caetano Veloso takes the stage with her to accompany her during an exhibition in San Paolo, a gesture that is equivalent to an official baptism. Veloso declares that Cesaria figures among the singers who inspire him. Cesaria Evora also triumphs in Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Africa and the Caribbean.

 Through Lusafrica he signs a contract with BMX and the anthology “Sodade, Les plus belles Mornas de Cesaria Evora” is published in autumn. This is accompanied by the album “Cesaria”, gold record in France and success international, especially in the USA, where it gets a “nomination” for the Grammy-award. Meanwhile, his great love for direct contact with the public does not end.

After a series of concerts in Paris, he leaves for his first tour in the United States where draws crowds of all kinds. Madonna, David Byrne, Brandford Marsalis and all the more great New York artists run to attend his concert at the Bottom Line. Goran Bregovic, on the other hand, a brilliant composer of soundtracks and “Balkan” music, invites you to record “Ausencia” for the soundtrack of “Underground”, directed by EmirKusturica.

 Then after a gruelling tour in which he touches half the world (France, Switzerland, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Sweden, USA, Canada, Senegal, Costa of Ivory and England), record a duet with the now trusted Caetano Veloso for the Red Hot & Rio project. Internationally recognized star, Cesaria Evora also had the privilege of having a special report dedicated by the Franco-German cultural channel”Art”.

In 2004 she sang with Adriano Celentano the song Quel casinha, a remake of The boy of the street Gluck.2006 Cesaria met Alberto Zeppieri (songwriter, journalist and record producer) in Italy, who after that meeting dedicated to her an entire record series, entitled “Capo Verde, terra d’amore”. Zeppieri (with the placet of Lusafrica, Evora’s record company) will personally take care of all the creative adaptations in the Italian language, entrusting them to big names of national music (Massimo Ranieri, Giusy Ferreri, Stefano Bollani, Antonella Ruggiero, Gino Paoli, Ornella Vanoni, Paolo Fresu, Fabio Concato, Iva Zanicchi and many others), international (Kayah, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Omar Sosa etc.).

And obviously the best Cape Verdean artists. Cesaria will agree to duet with Gianni Morandi, Gigi D’Alessio and Ron. The project (now in its fifth volume on 2 May 2014) is aimed at giving visibility and raising funds for the initiatives of the UN World Food Programme, a humanitarian organisation of the United Nations of which Cesaria has been Ambassador since 2003.

On 17 December 2011, at the age of 70, the singer died of acute cardio-respiratory insufficiency at the Baptista de Sousa hospital on the island of São Vicente (Cape Verde) on 17 December 2011. 2012 saw the release of Senhora Evora, a tribute album to Cesária Évora, produced by Cristiano Malgioglio. In 2013, Stromae also dedicated a song entitled Ave Cesária to her in his album Racine carrée.


1988 – La Diva Aux Pieds Nus
1990 – Distino de Belita
1991 – Mar Azul
1992 – Miss Perfumado
1995 – Cesária
1997 – Cabo Verde
1999 – Café Atlantico
2001 – São Vicente di Longe
2003 – Voz d’Amor
2006 – Rogamar
2009 – Nha Sentimento
2013 – Mãe carinhosa

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