Sunday, October 5, 2008

Missed African Music Shows: The Soweto Gospel Choir and Cesaria Evora

While I'm so happy to be in Australia this week visiting family and friends, I am sorry to report that I am missing two beautiful shows.

Singer Cesaria Evora from Cape Verde will be performing at the Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley, California on October 9th and 10th as part of the Cal Performances Season. Go HERE for details. I've never seen her before, but I've heard that she's amazing live.

Evora sings mouna which can be described as a soulful genre unique to the archipelago (off the West Coast of Africa) that fuses Latin jazz and Afro beats with traces of Portuguese fado and Brazilian modinha (ballads).

Here's her myspace page, and a youtube video of my favorite song, "Sodade." Love the cigarette!

I will also be missing the Soweto Gospel Choir performing in Palo Alto, California on October 7th at the Memorial Church as part of the Stanford Lively Arts series. This group fuses two of my favorite "genres" of music, gospel and african music and understandably, each time I've seen this group ( once at the Edinburgh Fringe Fest in 2003 and once in San Antonio in 2007), I've ended up a soggy, weepy mess on the floor with goosebumps: This nice jewish girl loves her gospel music!

They get a little cheesey for my taste sometimes when they sing in English and include synth keyboards, but they also break out into dance on some numbers. I prefer the a capella numbers.

Here's the Soweto Gospel Choir's website. Notice that they will be continuing their 2008 tour into the Midwest, East Coast, Canada, back to Southern California and then it looks like Europe too (maybe there are two choirs touring at the same time?). Check out their touring schedule if you're interested.

Here's a youtube video that gives you a pretty good idea of what they sound and look like.

I've added a couple songs on my playlist over to the right, take a listen!


A.P. Ferrara said...

date correction: fyi - madame evora performs on thursday the 9th and friday the 10th at zellerbach

Jamie: said...

Oops! Thanks AP, I'll fix it straight away.