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2009 : week 46, from 14 Nov - Sara Tavares in session

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:00 pm
by Charlie
- artist - song title - album title - Country - label cat no

1 - Sara Tavares - Voice of the Winds - in session - Cape Verde

2 - Sara Tavares - Barquinho Da esperanza - in session - Cape Verde

3 - Sara Tavares (Ft. Boyge) - De Alma - Xinti - Cape Verde - World Connection - WCD34

4 - Sara Tavares - Penestrada - in session - Cape Verde

5 - Sara Tavares - Ponto de Luz - in session - Cape Verde

This programme featuring the Lisbon-based, Cape Verde-styled singer Sara Tavares is the first of a series of occasional programmes revisiting sessions recorded for and first broadcast on World on 3. Apologies to those who listen to both programmes and have heard it already, but this is for the benefit of the millions of World Service listeners unaware of the Radio 3 show. In any case, I believe it holds up to repeated listens.

Having written a bulletin for the original show in May, there’s nothing to add so here it is again.

When Cesaria Evora burst into international recognition back in 1988, many of us were unaware that there was a distinctive sound of the Cape Verde islands. Since then, we have learned to distinguish the difference between singers form Cape Verde and those from Portugal or Brazil, although I admit that when I first heard ‘Balancé’ by Sara Tavares, I did assume she was Brazilian. Her voice is so light and her melodies so free, she never for a moment suggests the sombre moods of fado or even the darker tones of Cesaria herself.

Sara Tavares

Sara Tavares is one of three outstanding young female Cape Verde singers to follow in the footsteps of Cesaria. I wondered if Sara knew the other two, Mayra Andrade and Lura, and what kind of relationship they have. She said they do run across each other at festivals where they compare notes about their difficulties and progress. There was no sense that they feel in competition with each other; they are musical sisters following parallel paths.

Sara was actually born in Lisbon, and for several years followed the typical career path of a local pop singer, winning a TV competition as an impersonator of Whitney Houston and going on to represent Portugal in Eurovision. Signed to BMG, she made an album with the French-based Congolese producer Lokua Kanza which I set aside at the time as yet another uninteresting album that showed little sign of any African qualities.

Sara Tavares

When I first met Sara, at the time of the release of Balancé, I was so bowled over by her effervescent charm, I did not take in what an outstanding guitarist she is. This time, I concentrated on her playing and was fascinated by her unorthodox chord shapes. Musicians are often described as ‘self-taught’, but I have not previously appreciated that this can imply that they each work out their own unique ways to place their fingers on the strings, as Sara does.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:02 pm
by Alan


PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:57 am
by Charlie
email from:

1. JOHN SABWA, Birmingham Uk


Great music and GREAT show - I was starting to get concerned lately!!



2. jane fleming, Whittlesey Cambs

Sara Tavares in obviously enchanting. I prefer the old programme type where six or seven singers or bands were played. The best one, which should be a template, was the one for Obama's election as Presidential candidate. Recent there was a "year" 1928? feature.

She did sound rather like a Portuguese lounge singer. Please thank her for her performance and let us have one of her record in a year's time.



3. Graham Kendrick, Christchurch England

Hi Charlie

I enjoyed the Sara Tavares session, even though I heard it on World On Three earlier in the year.

It worked very well in a stand alone context, as a sort of mini guide to her excellent music.

I also liked the 1928 show, and as a fan of annuals wondered if there are any more similar year-based shows coming up.

Keep up the good work!



4. Lesley Phillips, Exeter UK

Hi Charlie, normally I switch off your programme; don't care for much of the stuff you play. Last night Sunday 15 November 03.30 hours (I'm an insomniac) your programme was fantastic. Loved every minute and what a musician is Sarah Tavares. More like this please.


5. Dr Michael F M Bamford, Bentley, Ipswich IP9 2LW

Woke to hear your superb session with Sara Tavares. What an exquisite voice and talent, Thank you for bringing the session to your programme.
I just look forward to the day when it can appear in the mainstream.

Best wishes



6. Darcy Turner

I can't tell you how much I love your shows, thank you.



7. steve hammond, Hill Head Hampshire UK

Hi Charlie,

I often go to sleep with the radio on.. especially on stormy winter nights (my house is on the beach and often shakes and rattles).

Well to be woken up by Sara Tavares the other morning, a rare and magic moment.

What a wonderful talent she is.

Keep up the good broadcasting with the World of Music. The Beeb still holds its own despite its faults


PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:02 pm
by liz molony
You're so right -'heartmelting' is the word to describe Sarah Tavares' voice.
And isn’t she beautiful too. I specially enjoyed this being mostly live session – allowing her gentle voice to weave such charm and intimacy.

Re: emails

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:26 pm
by Dominic
Charlie wrote:4. Lesley Phillips, Exeter UK

Ding dong!

(Oh, sorry, that was Leslie Phillips.)