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Carmen Souza, Cape Verdean Jazz

Carmen Souza

Lisbon born Carmen Souza aims to create a new sound, in her ancestor’s Creole dialect, mixing traditional African and Cape Verde rhythms like Batuke, Morna, Cola djon, and others, with her jazz contemporary influences. Souza grew up in a mixed language environment of Creole, the Cape Verde dialect her parents spoke at home, and Portuguese, always surrounded by the Cape Verdean way of life. In her teens she sang professionally in a Lusophone Gospel Choir. Being a strongly spiritual person, Souza always saw music as her mission and felt privileged to have the opportunity to express herself through it, working hard every day to deserve that opportunity. Souza has been toured extensively around the world with recent career highlights including playing at the London African Music Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Leverkusener Jazztage Festival, and the Montreal and Monterey Jazz Festivals. Souza released Ess ê jnha Cabo Verde to critical acclaim which led to her international breakthrough performance at the WOMAD at Reading Festival. She then released Protegid (Protected) which blended perfectly with elegance and sophistication the African and Cape Verdean traditional rhythms with Contemporary Jazz and Afro-Latin. World Music Central notes Souza’s album Protegid as : “ a landmark that will prompt you to embrace and at the same time rethink everything you know and love about the sounds of Cape Verde,” with NPR naming it as opening “ a window to another world entirely,” and The Independent declaring “the poetic voice is as original as the musical one.” Her uniqueness has been recognized by Ethnomusicologists Gerhard Kubik and Fernando Arenas with her groundbreaking work published in a new book Beyond Independence: Globalization, Postcolonialism, and the Cultures of Lusophone Africa by Fernando Arenas. Recent accomplishments include a special performance on Italian national television, Concerto Dell Epifania, broadcasted to millions in Italy and across continents. Undoubtedly, a true world music force and one of Europe's most in-demand jazz singers, Souza released a special live duo performance with fellow composer Theo Pas'cal with half of the sales donated to SOS Children Villages in Cape Verde and Unicef Brazil. Souza also won the 2013 title of Best female singer and Best Morna with the album Kachupada at the Cape Verdean ‘Grammys’- Cabo Verde Music Awards.

When: Mar 31, 2014 at 8:00 PM
Gibson Theatre
Box Office
Phone: (607) 735-1853
email: boxoffice@elmira.edu