Sodade No More

Cesaria Evora sings songs of love and longing, but her memories are full of something else

Yet Evora insists she can be a "friendly, romantic person." The singer bursts out laughing when asked if that explains why she chose such handsome young musicians for her band. The oldest among them, musical director Fernando "Nando" Andrade, is a quarter-century her junior and has a pleasant round face to complement his hot jazz piano playing. Solo guitarist Joao "Kako" Pina Alves is in his midthirties and has dashing features every bit as expressive as his fingers on the strings. The rest of the band is just as easy on the eyes as the ears. "Well, first of all, they were all good musicians," she says, still giggling. "The fact that they can play is what counts the most. I have a mother-son relationship with all of them. We always have a lot of fun. We're always laughing."

While Cesaria waits for her husband to be born, new audiences have more reasons than ever to fall in love with the sadness in her voice this year. In addition to Voz D'Amor, BMG recently released the DVD Cesaria Evora Live in Paris, which features concert footage from a show at the Zenith Theater on April 2001, seven music videos incorporating stunning footage of Cape Verde, and six behind-the-scenes segments that show the singer in the studio with such acclaimed collaborators as Caetano Veloso and the late Compay Segundo. Live in Paris is full of charming moments, particularly when the Cabo singer steals a kiss from the rakish Compay on the studio couch, yet Evora may be most seductive to young listeners on this year's remix release Club Sodade. The twelve-track compilation features a haunting techno treatment of her hit "Angola" by Carl Craig, a zany cocktail shakeup of "Besame Mucho" by Señor Coconut, and an awesome deep dub mix of "Angola" by Pepe Bradock. Her voice is as timeless as ever, but the beats breaking out around her give it a fresh new sound.

Evora says she's heard the remixes during her occasional trips to Paris nightclubs. What does she think? "It's different," she says politely. "It's still my voice, but it's definitely for a younger crowd." But then, she says, you cannot wallow in sodade all the time. "You have to evolve with the sound."

Cesaria Evora feels no sodade when she sings her songs of love
Joe Wuerfel
Cesaria Evora feels no sodade when she sings her songs of love


Sunday, October 26, at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from $27 to $52. Call 305-672-5202.
The Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL

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