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Cesaria Evora, Queen of Cabo Verde Morna

The barefoot African diva.

When it comes to haunting, sorrowful vocals laid on a lively morna percussion, there’s no one quite like Cesaria Evora. Growing up in poverty in Cape Verde, the former Portuguese colony off the west coast of Africa, she sang in bars and hotels, usually barefoot.

Evora was well into her 40’s before her singing found an international audience and since then she’s become the figurehead of Capo Verde’s music scene, known as the ‘Queen of Momas’ to her fans.

Here she is singing ‘Sodade’ (otherwise known as saudade, the Portuguese word for ‘longing’, ‘homesickness’ or ‘yearning’)

Cesaria Evora’s studio albums:

La Diva Aux Pieds Nus (1988)

Distino di Belita (1990)

Mar Azul (1991)

Miss Perfumado (1992)

Cesária (1995)

Cabo Verde (1997)

Café Atlantico (1999)

São Vicente di Longe (2001)

Voz d’Amor (2003)

Rogamar (2006)