Friday, March 11, 2011

Sara Tavares back on tour after recovering from surgery

Photo by Joke Schot
Portuguese singer Sara Tavares was suddenly out of the spotlight. According to, in February 2010 Tavares underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour. She cancelled all her professional engagements for an undefined period of time.

But Tavares has recovered and is back on the road. She has announced she will give a concert in Sofia Bulgaria on May 14. The concert will be part of her tour "Xinti", which presents her last album.

"Ponto de Luz" from the album Xinti ('Feel it')

"Balance" Alive in Lisboa dvd

The 33-year-old singer, guitarist and percussionist was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. She is a second-generation Portuguese of Cape Verdean descent and she composes African, Portuguese and North American influenced world music.

Album Balancê

In 2006 World Connection interviewed Sara Tavares about her album Balancê, you can read a part of the very interesting interview below.

“There is a big, big generation of Cape Verdeans and other Africans here in Lisbon, in Paris, in Boston, all over… with a kind of messed-up identity,” says Lisbon’s twenty-seven year old Sara Tavares, “Our generation feels very lost because there is no culture specifically for us; that talks about our reality.”

“When I walk around with my friends, it’s a very, very interesting community,” Tavares explains. “We speak Portuguese slang, Angolan slang, some words in Cape Verdean Crioulo, and of course some English. In Crioulo there are already English and French words. This is because slaves from all over the world had to communicate and didn’t speak the same languages. We are a metisse culture.”

Multilingual wordplay shows up throughout Tavares’ album, and she hops across cultural references as much as she embraces any. The album title Balancê—pronounced bal-on-SAY—has many different meanings. The noun balanço is used in Portuguese when music “swings.” Lusophone Africans use the verb form balancê in a more general way. “When you are eating something really good you say ‘this food is balancê!’” explains Tavares.

“For me song ‘Balancê’ is also about balancing yourself,” Tavares continues, “between sadness and joy; day and night; salt and sugar. It’s about balancing emotions. You are always walking a thin line and you have to keep your balance. You have to dance with that line in order to keep standing. If you stay too rigid, you will fall.” “I was in Zimbabwe a few years ago and I saw some really drunk people dancing,” Tavares chuckles. “We were watching them, and they were always almost falling and then they would catch themselves. Just like those people dancing, I also want to dance with that kind of freedom and balance.”

Tavares’ sweet voice and gentle arrangements communicate this meaning even if you cannot understand all of the lyrics. Her voice has a healing power which comes from someone who has struggled with her place in the world and then accepted herself fully. This is the voice of a woman whose parents left her. In the ever so Cape Verdean search for a better life, her father left for America; her mother moved south. Tavares was raised by an older Portuguese woman.
Through music she sought out her family and cultural roots, along with the help of veteran African musicians in Lisbon and back in Cape Verde where she travels every year. (Source World Connection)


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