Cape Verdean Blues
Kavita Shah has a smooth and seductive voice. Her voice caresses and soothes with her mellow, jazz-infused takes on the songs of Cape Verdean singer Cesária Évora. The music gives a relaxed, beachy vibe similar to Carlos Antonio Jobim. Gently plucked acoustic guitar and hand percussion support her voice. The affinity between the Brazilian composer and the African singer makes sense when you consider that both countries share similar histories of Portuguese colonial rule.
Kavita Shah is a composer and singer born and raised in New York City. As a student, she regularly performed at venues like Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall as a member of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. After college, she worked for The Nation magazine and Human Rights Watch before going back to school to study vocal jazz at the Manhattan School of music.
Cape Verdean Blues is the product of many years of immersion in the traditional mornas and coladeiras of the archipelago. Shah approaches her work with the mind of an ethnographer and the heart of a poet. For this record, she enlisted the guitar master, Rufino Almeida (aka Bau), who had been Cesária Évora’s musical director. Together, they crafted this evocative tribute to Evora and a musical love letter to Cape Verde itself.