Thursday, 25 October 2012




4 / 5 "Elle est inclassable....C’est frais, épicé, profond, sympathique au possible. Ne la manquez pas quand elle passera par chez vous" 
Michel Bedin_FR

"imaginez une lointaine cousine d’e Eartha Kitt ou de Carmen McRae, chantant avec un swing et une maîtrise rythmique quasi insolents, dans sa langue maternelle, en portugais ou en anglais, des thèmes originaux inspirés du folklore de son île ou des standards (le Donna Lee de Miles Davis ou encore le My favorite things diffusé hier) et vous aurez une idée du programme." 
Stanley Pean, Radio Canada, CA

“Sur l'album Kachupada, le feeling de son Cap-Vert natal est bien là, notamment dans des reprises de vieux standards du cru. Mais ses aériennes trilles aiguës et ses scats jazzy ultratoniques, très sensuels, aussi, évoquent davantage Ella Fitgerald ou Diana Krall." 
Anne Berthod, Telerama, FR

"Carmen Souza enchante avec un album d'entrechats vocaux fantasques." Les Inrocks, FR

"Carmen Souza. "KACHUPADA", c'est le reflet de notre humanité, c'est-à-dire riche et belle de sa diversité. L'on ne peut qu'être emballé par cette précieuse pépite que nous avons entre les mains."

"Carmen est devenue en quelques années une référence de la musique capverdienne. « Kachupa » fleure bon les sonorités et les épices de cet archipel, et nous envoûte de son univers musical inimitable. Ce sont ses sonorités capverdiennes que Carmen mêle efficacement avec du jazz le tout saupoudré de sa voix cares- sante et légèrement espiègle, qui réinterprète des standards américains et capverdiens. Cet opus est plein de joie et de légèreté." 
Kadha Cissoko - Nouvelle Vague - FR

"Imprégnée de culture jazzy et des musiques de ses racines, Carmen Souza invente un rythme intime, où l’on retrouve les cadences de la morna, la délicatesse du fado, le latin jazz, les inspirations africaines comme le sodade portugais. Une voix d’alto au grain caressant, sans pathos, une énergie simplement élégante." V. Fara - La Terrasse - FR

"Sublime Jazz voice from Cape Verde" - FM Plus radio - FR

"Une pincée de Billie Holiday, un soupçon de Nina Simone, des phrasés à la Ella et un côté rebelle à la Mina Agossi...un style unique et original" JAZZ MAG - FR

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Carmen Souza@RFI-FR

Musiques du monde - 06/10/2012 - 1ère partie

Friday, 2 March 2012



National Daily Jornal - O PUBLICO 

National Daily Jornal - SOL






Thursday, 1 March 2012

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Friday, 17 February 2012

DE Feature

UK Feature

Words Eseosa Omorogbe

Having been compared to Eartha Kitt, Billie Holiday, and Cleo Laine, Cape Verdean/Portuguese singer Carmen Souza is slowly captivating the world of jazz.

Her soulful music has ensured her nomination for numerous international awards, such as the German Records Critics' Awards.

Despite being in the middle of her second tour in less than a year, the London-based songstress managed to find time to chat with ARISE about her Lusophone influences, international band and her love for Portuguese cakes.

You grew up in Portugal speaking Cape Verdean creole. How has this cultural variety influenced your work so far?
I draw a lot of influence from the Lusophone cultures, which are the countries that were colonised by the Portuguese; like Brazil, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Angola etc. As I grew up, a lot of these countries' music was regularly on TV or the radio, and because I was so curious about music I was also very connected to the music that was happening throughout the world.

Your first live album came out on January 20. In what way does the creative process when recording a live album differ from that of a studio album?
Performing to an audience is very different from when you only have a window and a technician in front of you. In studio you work by takes, during a live concert you only have one take. But a live recording is a very good experience, it puts the musician to the test on the spot. But I didn’t feel any pressure, because it is such a familiar environment and one I feel comfortable in.

You are donating 50 per cent of the CD sales towards SOS Children's Villages, Abraco and Unicef Brasil. How did that come about?
For me, to be helping these associations is very important because we are talking of human beings that are growing up and they need to feel supported and to have access to better conditions and environment so that they have the opportunity to discover their purpose in life, fly away and make the best of themselves. I believe that everyone has a purpose in life.

What can audiences expect from your ongoing tour?
They can expect a great variety of music from different backgrounds. The pianist is Jonathan Idiagbonya, who is from Nigeria/UK and a great musician that has been working with us for five years. His influences go from 1940s and 1970s jazz to Keith Jarrett etc. On drums we have Mauricio Zottarelli, who is from Brazil/New York. He is an amazing musician who has played with Eliane Elias and Hiromi. On bass and double bass – and also as composer, producer and musical director – we have Theo Pas’cal, who is an amazing musician as well as a person, and we have been working together as a team for 10 years. We all have great fun playing together – music is something that we love to do – and I think that we have found a great team. I also like to look at the audience as a participative part of the concert, so they sing and interact with the band throughout the concert. And of course I think that people can expect good music, good vibe, good messages…

2012 is turning out to be a very busy year for you. Apart from your two albums and tour, what else do you have planned?
Thankfully it is busy, and thankfully there are a lot of projects in our heads. We have the tours, which will be very interesting because we are going to be travelling to a lot of countries and will be inviting local musicians wherever we go to play with us, so that brings a new breath of inspiration to the music. But the main project in our lives is music, so there is a lot of cooking going on.

Your first concerts in Cape Verde received rave reviews from the press and audience. How did the widespread appreciation from Cape Verdeans make you feel?
It was a good reception because this is a different way of hearing Cape Verdean music, especially for Cape Verdeans, but they received it very well. There were a lot of people that saw the music like an evolution of Cape Verdean music.

In our 10 Minutes With… Mayra Andrade, she recommended you as one of the Cape Verdean singers to look out for. Do you feel part of a Cape Verdean music scene?
Yes, I can say that I am part of the new generation of Cape Verdean music, but I go so far beyond the frontiers because I have so many diverse influences, like jazz, which by itself brings a whole different sound to the music because of the improvisational side of it. Every day music can sound different from yesterday’s concert.

How did you feel when you heard about the death of [legendary Cape Verdean singer] Cesária Évora? What do you think her legacy will be?
It was sad to hear about it, it was an empty kind of feeling but also a very thankful feeling for all that she did. She brought Cape Verde to the world, that’s why we sit here and talk about so many artists arising from Cape Verde. We can already see her legacy; it’s her music, it’s her influence on the new generations to come.

Favourite food Cachupa and Portuguese food, and Portuguese cakes

Favourite saying Love your brother, as you love yourself.

Favourite designer I don’t follow fashion trends; I like 1940s/1950s fashion.

Five things you can’t live without God, My family, my instruments, my music, Love

Name one thing people would be surprised to know about you I don’t think I have any strange things, maybe I like chocolate a bit too much!

CA Press

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Interview for North Shore New (Canada) by John Goodman

Cape Verdean musician Carmen Souza opens Capilano University's fall arts season tomorrow night with a show at the Centre for the Performing Arts.

Born in Lisbon to first generation Cape Verdean immigrants Souza bridges two worlds with a modernist perspective on folkloric roots. Her latest album, Protegid, features lyrics sung entirely in Cape Verdean Creole. Her sound has a little bit of everything influenced by genres that have gone back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean several times. Horace Silver's hard bop funk meets Cape Verde's African roots in a Lisbon café.

Currently touring North America with a trio Souza spoke to the North Shore News from California where her band had performances before heading north.

North Shore News: What's the Cape Verdean community like in Lisbon?

Carmen Souza: It's a community that's been there for years and years. My parents generation is now 60-plus and there's been a big development over generations. There are really strong relations between Portugal and Cape Verde and it's just like home with the same language. I grew up in a community like that. In my time, in the '80s, there weren't that many Cape Verdeans in the area where we lived but within the family we had that environment and culture. I grew up with both sides -- the Cape Verdean side and the European side.

North Shore News: Where were your parents from?

Carmen Souza: They are from Santo Antão, the greenest island in Cape Verde. It has a lot of big mountains and is very beautiful actually. They moved to Portugal in their early 20's -- like many Cape Verdeans they went in search of better conditions for their lives. They got married there. They spoke Creole with me and I would respond back to them in Portuguese. It was a whole big mixture. I always understood Creole because it was the language that I grew up listening to. I could understand and I could speak it. Now all of my lyrics are in Creole as well.

North Shore News: How did you get involved in music?

Carmen Souza: My parents are Christian and I went to church every Sunday listening to gospel music and Cape Verdean music. Also my father played the guitar. It was in 2001 that I met Theo Pas'cal, the musical director, who has been working with me for 10 years. He really got me into doing music and going deeper on the music side. I started to work on his projects. He was already an established musician in Portugal and he taught me a lot of things and opened my mind to a lot of things such as jazz. That's how I grew up musically.

North Shore News: Where did Theo see you perform?

Carmen Souza: I was auditioning for a gospel choir and he was the musical director at that time. I was chosen in the audition and that's where everything started. He invited me to work on several other projects that he had.

North Shore News: How do you write songs with Theo?

Carmen Souza: We compose together and it's been like this for 10 years. It's basically creating conversations between the two of us. The songs and lyrics come from what you live daily and the music is just transpiring from that. It's been a very natural process and a very comfortable environment to work with.

North Shore News: Where did you record Protegid?

Carmen Souza: Protegid was recorded in several places because we were touring at the time. We wouldn't have much time to get into a studio so we took a mobile studio with us and recorded in Canada, in France, in New York. It was so much better to record the album like that because it became really special. It had a lot of different elements from different places. That was the way. We'll record that way again. It gives the album a whole different sound with different energies and different inspirations.

North Shore News: A lot of different flavours on the record -- how was it working with all the musicians?

Carmen Souza: They had no boundaries in terms of music and we like that. And we also made sure that they all had their own personal thing on the album. We wanted them to come and show their own personal experience and their own musicality about where they were coming from. We had the pleasure to work with Omar Sosa, a great pianist from Cuba, Marc Berthoumieux, an accordion player from France, and so many others. It was a blessing.

North Shore News: Who's coming with you on tour?

Carmen Souza: We have Theo Pas'cal on bass and double bass, of course, and then we have Jonathan Idiagbonya, who is a Nigerian U.K.-based piano player -- they call him the Oscar Peterson from Africa -- and we have a Brazilian drummer, Mauricio Zottarelli, who has been in New York for quite awhile.

North Shore News: Most of the material on Protegid is original but you chose to do two covers -- "Sodade" and "Song for My Father." How did you choose those two?

Carmen Souza: "Sodade" is like the Cape Verdean hymn you know and so I decided to include the best of my roots and the best of my influences.

"Sodade" is a song that has spread around the world and everybody knows it to be Cape Verdean. You can't speak about Cape Verde and not speak about "Sodade." Horace Silver was a great pianist who inspires me a lot and he had Cape Verdean origins as well. I do "Song for My Father" and I transcribed the piano solo on his album and made lyrics in Creole dedicating the song to my father as Horace Silver dedicated to his.

North Shore News: Have you been to Vancouver before?

Carmen Souza: I played on Vancouver Island in 2006. It was a great adventure but we didn't have much time to see things so I'm looking forward to this trip.

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