- Title: IVORY COAST: Cape Verdean music legend Cesaria Evora performs in Ivory Coast
- Date: 2nd April 2007
- Summary: (AD1) ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EVORA AND MATHEY PERFORMING
- Embargoed: 17th April 2007 13:00
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz
- Reuters ID: LVAEW8WSMNQ5ZEPDKC2978X6L0ZM
- Story Text: Cape Verdean folk singer Cesaria Evora, one of the best known performers of 'Morna' - a soulful genre sung in Creole-Portuguese performes with Ivorian singer Mathey at a concert in Abidjan. Music legend Cesaria Evora thrilled fans in Ivory Coast recently when she came in to jam with popular Ivorian artist - Mathey.
At their joint concert, Mathey and Evora heated things up early with a rendition of 'Sodade'; Evora's signature tune.
"Sodade means Nostalgia," Mathey said just before the duet.
It's the fourth time Evora is visiting the West Africa country.
"In my country we have a common saying; the good son always comes back home, and I am really happy to be here," said Evora.
Although Mathey and Evora are both produced by Lusafric, an international music company, it's their friendship and mutual respect that made the visit possible.
"She loves me and I also love her. She is very happy to be here, and she says that she loves Ivory Coast, so this is an opportunity for her to rediscover the country she loves," said Mathey.
Nicknamed 'The Barefoot Diva', Evora is known for appearing on stage with no shoes. But its her a soulful sentimental folk tunes that have made her so popular around the world.
"She has a great voice. She makes me shudder just by singing. She sings very well," said Zenab Bakayoko, a student in Ivory Coast.
66-year-old Evora was born in Cape Verde where she learnt Morna, the traditional style of music that made her famous.
"Morna is typical Cape Verdean music, in Cape Verde we are used to expressing our feelings, about love, sometimes about immigration, sometimes a little bit about politics. We speak about sodade which means nostalgia, we speak about the sea, about our climate. We can speak about everything in morna music," said Evora.
Evora started singing when she was just 16-years-old, but she only shot to international stardom in her forties, when she went to Paris. Mathey has been in the music business for 20 years and produced 5 albums but still draws a lot of inspiration from Evora.
"When I see where she comes from and what she has done, I would like to be like her, she's just like me. It also means - for artists - that age doesn't matter. In art you can be successful at any age. Success can happen quite early or later in life," said Mathey.
Evora was also welcomed by the Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo who commended Mathey for bringing the superstar to the country.
"I'm proud of young people, when they manage to attract such personalities, that's good for Ivory Coast, that's good for your career. But it's also good for Ivory Coast, it's good for Ivory Coast," said Gbagbo.
"It's a great pleasure to sing with other artists. But I also enjoy offering a hand to younger people to give them a chance," Evora added.
Despite winning a Grammy Award and being nominated for four others, Evora still seems unaffected by her fame. Her focus has remained on making good music and keeping her many fans and roots close to her heart.
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