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Capverde music, singer


| Portugal

Herança (Heritage) perfectly follows the natural progression of Lura’s discography after Di Korpu ku Alma (2004), M’Bem di Fora (2006) and Eclipse (2009), as well as her Best of (2010) parenthesis, where she notably duetted with Cesaria Evora on “Moda Bô”. Reflecting Lura’s constant return to her roots, the latest opus plunges us us into the vital essence of the singer’s identity. The album explores the most sublime, sacred facets of batuque and funaná as Lura brings her own special universality to those traditional Cape-Verdean beats.

Nothing has been left to chance on the record. Its chosen subjects and words are a perfect reflection of the history of popular music in the archipelago. The singer examines three classic themes of Cape-Verdean tradition. Embracing and expressing the heritage of an entire nation, she continues to develop and hone her art. For instance on “Somada” (written by Kaka Barbosa), an old favorite of Ildo Lobo and his group Os Tubaroes. Then Lura’s mellow timbre adds a whole new depth to “Sema Lopi”, whose heartbreakingly sweet melody tells the story of the people of Cape Verde. Next, written by Zezé di Nha Reinalda (from the band Finaçon), “Ambienti Más Seletu” retraces the history of funaná, originally the music of the colonial era’s poor, blacks and backyards, but which then became the genre symbolizing the culture of the island of Santiago. Lura unerringly chooses beats that perfectly showcase her vocal genius. On “Ness Tempo di Nha Bidjissa” (written by Tcheka) and the volcanic “Sabi di Más”, she embarks on a whirl of funaná, and then lifts the batuque of “Maria di Lida” – a tribute to Creole women laboring from dawn to dusk to protect the dignity of their family and children – to anthemic heights. Over these spirited, powerful tempos, Lura continues to express the silent tears of ancient songs, the secrets of batuque and the rebel prayer she carries in her heart.

The album Herança’s historical dimensions and rich, quasi-biographical Cape-Verdean cultural vein are intrinsically linked to the tracks “Gorée”, “Herança” (superbly produced by Naná Vasconcelos) and “Cidade Velha”, written by Mario Lúcio. These three subtly poetic songs describe the miraculous journey of the Cape-Verdean people, shaped in mid-Atlantic by a chemistry of different populations, cultures and traditions, and diverse dreams, variances, sufferings and hopes. Mario Lúcio – musician, composer, poet, musicologist and currently the Republic of Cape Verde’s Minister of Culture – also wrote “Mantenha Cudado” and “X da Questão”, which reflect the impulsive, mischievous, sensual nature of Cape Verdeans.

Herança is a gift to those who are familiar with Cape Verde and its universal soul, but also a celebration of Lura’s songwriting talents. On “Sabi di Más”, she celebrates the islands’ festive saudade, exploring the old Cape-Verdean dilemma of “wanting to stay but having to go” and “wanting to go but having to stay, while paying tribute to Achada Falcão, her father’s native land. The deliciously melancholic “Di Undi Kin Bem” is the lament of an exile still deeply attached to their roots. And one of the album’s most engaging songs is “Barco de Papel”, written by Lura and sublimed by Richard Bona. Like a bridge spanning cultures, “Barco” explores the link with mainland Africa that has always inspired Cape Verde’s rhythm and energy, the insightfulness of its music and the universality of its population. The symbiosis of voices and the symphony of emotions that rise from the melody make it the finest possible tribute that Lura could have paid to Africa and a world constantly striving for peace and harmony. Another type of heritage is Lura’s nod to a new generation: her cover of “Nhu Santiagu”, a magnificent song by 2015’s rising musical star in Cape Verde, Elida Almeida.

Herança’s power and universality are enhanced by the participation of four great names in world music today: Toy Vieira, Hernani Almeida, Naná Vasconcelos and Richard Bona handled the artistic production of its different themes. Toy Vieira provided a continuity with Lura’s previous work, while Hernani Almeida introduced the sound and vision that a new generation of Cape-Verdean musicians and producers has brought to the archipelago’s traditional music. On the “Herança” theme, Naná Vasconcelos successfully created a truly harmonious marriage between the mysticism of his creative world, Mario Lúcio’s writing and Lura’s powerful voice. Finally, Richard Bona produced “Barco de Papel”, a soulful duet whose essence could only have been distilled through the synergy of two great artists.

Herança gives us a chance to reconnect with the intensity of Cape Verde and its people, traditions and music, all reflected in the art of the most melodious, charismatic singer of an entire generation of Cape-Verdean performers.

current album: Herança (Lusafrica 2015)

On tour

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Maarja Nuut

28.09. DE-Düsseldorf
30.09. RU-St.Petersburg
12.10. GR-Thessaloniki
14.10. FR-Cholet
19.10. BE-Brussels
21.10. GB-Whitby
26.10. NL-Tilburg
27.10. NL-Rotterdam
05.11. NO-Oslo
16.01. LU-Luxembourg
17.01. LU-Luxembourg
26.01. BE-Turnhout
27.01. BE-Turnhout
16.02. DE-Berlin
21.03. IR-Dublin
01.09. DE-Wesel

The award-winning artist has been absorbing the rich tradition of Estonian folk and translates it into contemporary music.