Cesária Évora was born on August 27, 1941 in Mindelo, on the island of São Vicente, Cape Verde, to a musician father, who died very early, and a cook mother. The young woman perfected her singing in the boarding school where she was sent until she was thirteen. At sixteen, her meeting with a Portuguese guitarist, Eduardo, pushed her to perform in small bars in the Cape Verdean city.
At the age of twenty, his songs were played on a local radio station, allowing him to record his first albums. Until 1974, she sang wherever she could, but when in 1975 the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde instituted an economic regime that led to the closure of many bars and cafés, she put her career on hold for ten years.
Encouraged by her friend Isaura Gomes, Cesária Évora recorded a new album in Lisbon in 1985. Two years later, José da Silva took his career in hand and made him record three new albums. The third, Mar Azul, allows him to reach the top. Her career has taken her to New York, Amsterdam and Paris, but the singer returns to her country whenever she can to recharge her batteries and share moments with family and friends, such as at the São Vicente carnival. And it is on these same lands that in 2011, after cancelling his series of concerts, the ambassador of Cape Verde died at home at the age of 70 years. Until the end, she carried São Vicente and her “little country” in her heart.
It was not until the age of 47 that Cesária Évora began her international career.
Second most populated island of the Cape Verde archipelago, São Vicente lives mainly from fishing, its busy port and tourism.
Discovered by the Portuguese settlers on January 22, 1462, on Saint Vincent’s day, São Vicente was at first a simple grazing land for the other islands due to its lack of water. The archipelago began to be inhabited in 1838 when an important coal deposit was stored there to supply the European ships sailing to South America. Today, 76,107 inhabitants share the 227 km2 of the area. The white sand beaches of Baía das Gatas, Calhau and São Pedro are very popular. Mindelo, its main city, hosts every year the impressive carnival gathering the inhabitants of all the surrounding islands.
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