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22 ratings
4.2 average rating
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Quotes & Highlights

“Her voice is at once noble and heartbreaking, her music a sensual slow dance toward an inevitable abyss.” —New York Times
“Cesaria Evora is world music’s Earth Mother and the goddess of morna. Her voice evokes a mood that is soothing, sad, and luxuriously nostalgic.” —Vanity Fair
“Cesaria Evora is that rare performer whose casual execution belies the complexity of her art…Her warm, honey-colored tones and voice-of-experience delivery imbue her recordings with an emotional immediacy that transcends any language barrier.” -Time Out New York
“A beguiling voice of longing, cured by cognac, cigarettes, and melancholy.” -Boston Globe


Called the Barefoot Diva because of her tendency to appear onstage in bare feet, Evora began her ascent to the international music scene at age 50, when her album Mar Azul began to receive recognition in France and elsewhere. Her repertoire includes mornas, soulful blues-like songs in Creole-Portugese with fatalistic lyrics, and coladeiras, spirited up-tempo tunes similar to the Brazilian samba.

Morna is like the blues because it is a way to express life’s suffering in music,” Evora says.

Evora is from the Cape Verde islands, off the coast of Senegal, and her music reflects her background. She has recorded both contemporary composers and songs from her youth. In her teens and twenties, she sang in Cape Verdean night clubs and on radio programs. Evora left the stage to start a family and didn’t return until 1985. In 1988, she was invited by a record producer to record La Diva Aux Pieds Nus (The Barefoot Diva). While the record was popular among the Cape Verdean expatriate community in France, it wasn’t until her third album – 1991’s Mar Azul – that Evora started to get buzz in the international community.  In 1992, her CD Miss Perfumado sold more than 200,000 copies in France.

In 1995 her fifth album, the self-titled Cesaria, was released in the United States and earned a Grammy Award nomination. Evora also received Grammy nominations for her 1997 album Cabo Verde and  her 10th album, Voz D’Amour. The latter won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.

Now in her sixties, Evora tours for eight months out of every year, doing about 16 to 17 shows a month. She has performed in concerts around the world, including France, Spain, Portugal and throughout the United States.