Friday, June 17, 2016

Oh What a Beautiful Morna: Bana and "Cabinda a Cunene"

Today's song is by the Cape Verdean "King of Morna" Adriano Gonçalves, who died recently in 2013. Known on stage as Bana, he was a balladeer and interpreter of the morna style which is considered the national music of Cape Verde. An imposing seven foot tall man, he began his musical career while serving as a handyman and bodyguard for the legendary Cape Verdean singer B. Leza. He recorded his first album in Senegal, and in the late 1960s moved around Europe where he joined a group of exiled Cape Verdeans called Voz de Cabo Verde. He settled in Portugal in 1969, opened a restaurant. He later established the first Cape Verdean-owned multinational record label in Paris. He had a 60 year career, the last part of which was devoted to traditional mornas and coladeiras. This song, Cabinda a Cunene, can be found on the 1997 album Gira Sol, and on the 1999 compilation Putumayo Presents: Cape Verde.