A tribute concert to Cesaria Evora

A tribute concert to Cesaria Evora

A tribute concert to Cesaria Evora

When Grammy Award winner Cesaria Evora suddenly passed away on Dec. 17, 2011, there was a huge outpouring of emotion from her fans. In 2012, thousands flocked to pay their respects to the great artist at a series of memorable concerts, especially in Toulouse, Lisbon and Paris. 

Some of the greatest singers in world music joined musicians who had regularly accompanied Evora, lending their voices to this ultimate tribute to the woman known as the Barefoot Diva. 

The most famous names of Cabo Verde Music including Lura, Teofilo Chantre, Nancy Vieira, Lucibela, and Elida Almeida will sing for Evora on May 5 at the Antalya Akra Jazz Festival in the southern province of Antalya and on May 7 at the Zorlu PSM 2nd Jazz Festival in Istanbul.

What is the most important heritage that she left for the young generations? 

LURA: I think the most important message that Cize left to the new generation was the pride of preserving your culture and tradition. 

You worked with Evora for many years. How do you define her music? 

CHANTRE: It is a sincere music, the voice expresses deep feelings; it is the experience of a whole people which is reflected through its rhythms and melodies. And the success of Evora has made it possible to share it with the whole world. 

Evora is one of the most important representatives of Cabo Verde music in the world. What kind of a feeling is needed to make music with Evora Orchestra? 

ALMEIDA: It is the second time that I am part of the CEO, and the feeling is still the same, a huge responsibility on getting on stage to sing the songs that were divinely interpreted by her and getting off the stage with the sensation of the job being done. The funniest parts are to listen to the stories lived by the musicians and everybody around her, and I realized how a singular woman she was. 

What inspires you in the music of Evora as a musician? Is there any memory that you share with Evora that you cannot forget? 

VIERA: Everything inspires me in Evora’s music. First off all, her voice, her interpretation, her repertoire, the songs she chose to sing and her musicians. 

When did you first meet Evora? How did you start to collaborate with her? 

CHANTRE: I met Evora for the first time in Paris in 1990 during a concert where we had sung together. Then José Da Silva, her producer, asked me to write songs for the album she was going to record. 

What did you learn from her as an artist? 

LURA: One of the things I’ve learned from Cize is that you do not have to lose your humility to be a world-renowned diva. 

Could you please tell us about the story between you and her? 

LUCIBELA: Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to really know her. I met her personally only once in my life. It was in the summer of 2011, a few months before she died, she was spending some time on the island of Santiago and she went to the “Kintal da Musica,” a house of music very well known in the city of Praia. I was waiting for my musicians in the afternoon to do a rehearsal with them for a later show at night. They came in with her and she sat down, she looked a little tired. I remember asking her “Are you ok Cesaria?” and without realizing she took my hand and then I gave her a kiss. It was the first and only time I saw her so close. I have always continued to listen to her music, to watch her concert videos… And I love to listen to her friends, her musicians or relatives telling stories and anecdotes about her. 

What does Evora mean to you? What do you feel when you listen to Evora? 

ALMEIDA: The fact of being lucky to work with the same label as her has given me the chance to discover, even after she passed away, how amazing and a genuine woman she was, she would say anything she thinks to whoever’s face. She was simply Evora every time, and that must be a reason that made her who she was. When I listen to her songs I feel at such peace, but mainly I feel the strength and power that makes every woman want to leave its marks in this world. 

You made a lot of songs for Evora. What did you feel while you were listening to your songs from her voice? 

CHANTRE: Of course I enjoyed it as a gift. I also had a lot of emotions mixed with pride. 

Could you please tell us about the story between you and her? 

VIERA: The first time I met Evora was in Lisbon for the occasion of a tribute to Ildo Lobo, another important Cape Verdean singer that left us in October 2004. I did the opening of her concert, with other artists, at Coliseu de Lisboa. I can’t forget our last meeting, in 2011, months before her death. I went to see her in her house, in Mindelo, CapeVerde. She was kind and maternal like always. She was thrilled, asking me about my father. She said she remembered him as a good man, that she missed him. It was a beautiful surprise for me. I knew my father met her, but I didn’t know they were such good and close friends in their youth. 

What are the surprises that the audience will face and what will the repertoire be in this concert? 

CHANTRE: The surprise will of course come from different interpretations of Evora’s repertoire. Every artist has their own personality and their own feeling. The repertoire will consist almost exclusively of the songs she has performed, but there will also be some that she has never sung in a show like “Mãe Carinhosa” for example.