Friday, 11 January 2008

Carmen Souza Biography

Carmen Souza was born (1981) in Lisbon within a Christian family of Cape Verdeans. Very young she experienced the "Sodade" feeling of missing someone with the long absence of her father due to his work at sea. She grew up in a mixed environment of Creole, the Cape Verde dialect her parents spoke at home, and Portuguese, always surrounded by the capeverdean way of life.

Carmen started singing professionally at the age of 17 in a Lusophone Gospel Choir and since then she participated in several projects from Funky to Soul, Jazz and World music, with whom she toured extensively. Her compositions were also included in albums released by projects where she participated has singer.

Being a strong spiritual person, Carmen always saw music has her mission and felt privilege to have the opportunity to express herself through it, working hard every day to deserve that opportunity. Musicians like Luis Morais, Theo Pas'cal, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarret, Diana Krall, etc, are definitely the ones that truly inspire her evolution and search for a personal style different from anything you ever heard.

Theo Pas'cal, her producer and mentor and one of the best bass players in Portugal, was the one to discover her talent and introduce Carmen to Jazz, Fusion and other contemporary sounds that really influenced her.

In 2003, together with Theo, Carmen started working in the compositions that would be included in her debut album "Ess ê nha Cabo Verde". Carmen wanted to create a new and unique sound in her ancestors dialect, Creole, that would mix traditional African and Cape Verde rhythms like Batuke, Morna, Cola djon, and others, with her jazz/soul contemporary influences, in a totally intimate and acoustic vibe, different from the traditional festive environment of Cape Verdean sounds.

"Ess ê nha Cabo Verde", released in 2005, and later in 2006 released in a Special roots edition, received great reviews from the International press and Cape Verde press not only in Cape Verde but also in USA and was considered by the critics as a reflection of Cape Verde music evolution. The album made it to playlist in several radio programs in countries like: Portugal, Spain, Uk, France, Germany, Holland, Poland, Russia, Cape Verde, Canada and USA and is also distributed in several countries.

Carmen international live debut happen in July 2005 during the Womad Festival in Reading, UK , by the hand of BBC3 on their "World on your street” stage. The public present responded enthusiastically, buying all the records at Womad Shop and characterizing the concert at BBC3 Website like: "A celebration! Inspiring! Uplifting! Calming! I first heard Carmen Souza at Womad and felt the warmth and strength in her voice. It was a wonderful and peaceful experience-one which I was determined to repeat...", "The concert was amazing really simple but really rich at the same gave me such a peace...", "Caught this at WOMAD and it was really immediate and beautiful music, poignant and uplifting at the same time...".

Since that concert She has also wowed the crowds on larger stages at Toronto Afro Fest-Canada, Bray Jazz Festival - Ireland or Ulsan World Music Fest in South Korea, among others , leaving a trace of deadly captivating performances everywhere she goes.

By the end of 2007 Carmen sign a licensing deal with German Label Connecting Cultures/Choice Music for the Worldwide distribution of her second new album "Verdade"(2008) earning the tools to continue her innovative and outstanding work.Once again received amazing reviews from the International Press worldwide. In “Verdade” Carmen Souza signs an exciting and melodically vibrant repertoire in Creole that, say Alex Robinson in SONGLINES(UK) : "gets progressively more interesting on each subsequent listen." She also co-produces the album and features on Wurlitzer and guitar. "Verdade", which means “truth”, is an excellent title that explains the incredible authenticity of her music" Says Matt Forss from the INSIDE WORLD MUSIC (USA).

Carmen absorbed all her influences from her ancestral Cape Verde and “the world of Jazz”, that so much inspires her, to create something truly unique that will appeal to a bigger and even more sophisticated audience beyond World Music. "Carmen Souza is carving her own little Afro-European jazz niche here — smooth but not too soft, mellow without being too laid-back, and with a neat approach to song-craft." Says Con Murphy on FlY(UK).

Her uniqueness was already spotted by music specialists in US and Carmen Souza name and music will be referenced in 2 different books to be released in 2010. At the world-renowned ethnomusicologist on Africa and Jazz Musician, Gerhard Kubik's next book “Jazz Transatlantic” and “Beyond Independence: Globalization, Postcolonialism, and the Cultures of Lusophone Africa”, the most extensive study in English on the globalization of Cape Verdean music by Fernando Arenas from the University of Minnesota.

“Thanks to the highly unique sound produced by Carmen Souza and her exceptional band members, they are expanding the boundaries of what constitutes Cape Verdean music, world music, and jazz.”
Fernando Arenas, University of Minnesota.

Carmen Souza speaks about her new cd "Verdade" to read about it please go to:


Thomas Bandulet from Connecting Cultures/Choice Music talks about Carmen Souza

"Carmen Souza is a young and high talented singer/songwriter Luso-capeverdian.
When I heard her voice for the first time, I immediately recognized she is something very special, like a crude diamond. With every spin of her record, you feel her growing and this gem shines brighter every day.
Carmen’s voice is unmistakeably female, but dark, deep and earthy at the same time. You feel the colour and special atmosphere around her in every note & every moment, so you simply must listen to her again and again.
Follow her smile and transfer it into music, and you will understand her outstanding feeling for lyrics and melodies."
Thomas Bandulet, Connecting Cultures/ChoiceMusic BV


1 Mar, Radio Bremen, Programa On The Tracks-DE
4 Mar, Live Radio Session, Radio Rymond, RTV – Rotterdam-NL
5 Mar, Live session, Radio 5 Dichtbij –NPS- NL
5 Mar, Live Session, Radio 6 Mijke’s Middag-NL
12 Mar, Showcase-SOUNDS, NL
9 Feb, 2011, UK
10 Feb, 2011, UK
11 Feb, 2011, UK
12 Feb, 2011, UK


30 January @ Green Note-London-UK
Tickets - £10
20 February @ St. Stethelburgas - London-Uk

21 February @ Casa da Cultura - S.João da Madeira-Portugal
26 February@ Teatro Municipal - Bragança -Portugal
27 February @ Teatro Académico de Coimbra- Coimbra - Portugal
22 April@ Lula Lounge - Toronto-USA
24 April @ Public Radio of Minnesota - Live Session/Interview - Minneapolis-USA
24 April @ Cedar Centre - USA
27 April @ Chicago Cultural Center - Chicago-USA
7 June@ IJazz Festival- Amsterdam - Netherlands
1 July @ Ottawa Jazz Festival - Ottawa-Canada
10-12 July@ Sunfest - London-Canada
21 July @ FMMSines -Sines-Portugal
24 July @ Onda Jazz - Special guest at Theo Pas'cal/Jay Corre concert-Lisbon-Portugal
25 July @ Onda Jazz - Special guest at Theo Pas'cal/Jay Corre concert - Lisbon - Portugal
29 August@ Suoni Di Terra- Airola-Italy
23 October@ Musicport World Music Festival-Whitby-UK
24 October @ Lift Global Music Club - Glossop/Derbyshire - UK
25 October @ Green Note - London - UK
29 November@ S.Luiz Theatre - Lisboa Mistura Festival - Portugal
4 Dec @ St.Ethelburgas, London, UK


25 February@ Fnac Alfragide

27 February@ Fnac Almada

28 February@ Onda Jazz (Portugal Release concert)

29 February@ Fnac Cascais, Portugal

29 February@ Fnac Colombo, Portugal

01 March@ Fnac Chiado, Portugal

4 March@ Momo's (Uk Release concert)

8 March@ St.Mary's Church:7.30pm

10 March@ Norwich Arts Centre:7.30pm

11 March@ The Anvil:8.15pm

15 March@ The Waverley:8.00pm

18 March@ Amberley Folk Club:8.00pm

29 March@ Orange Street Music Club:8.00pm

28/30 April@ Algiers - Algeria

2 May@ Bray Jazz Festival-Dublin-Ireland

16 May@ Onda Jazz-Lisbon-Portugal

5 July@ GLOBAL PICNIC at Dane John Gardens-Canterbury-UK ---Free Festival

13 July@ Small Nations Festival-Wales-UK

27 July@ Trownbridge Festival - UK

2 August@ The Nottingham Riverside Festival -Nottingham - UK ---Free Festival

3 August@ The Farmleigh Affair Festival: Dublin - Ireland
Free Festival but need to book:

8 August@ Green Note-Camden-UK
7h00pm, Buy Tickets:

16 August@ London

19 September@ BAM Festival-Barcelona - Spain

27 September@ BBC London Interview/Live Session with DJ Ritu for "A World in London"

4 October@ The White Horse: Bognor Regis - UK

7.30pm, The White Horse, 39, Chichester Road, Bognor Regis,
Buy Tickets: £7, also to support Gambia Childrean

13 October@ BIMHUS-Amsterdam-Holland

14 October@ VPRO, Live performance at TV ShowAmsterdam, Holland

17 October@ The Rose Theatre- Sidcup-UK
Burnt Oak Lane, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 9DF, 7h30pm, £7,£5 Concessions, buy tickets: 02083082600

18 October@ Whitby Musicport Festival-Whitby-UK

06 November@ 'Musicas sem espinhas' - interview + live session - Radio RDP Africa-Portugal

09 November@ 'Portugal sem Fronteiras'-Interview+live session-TV show-RTP Africa/International

11 November@ Press concert only-Onda Jazz-Portugal

13 November@ Casa da Musica-Oporto-Portugal

14 November@ Maxime-Lisbon-Portugal

14 November@ 'Musicas d'Africa' - Interview-TV show-RTP Africa/International - Portugal

15 November@ London Jazz Festival--Showcase at Ray's Jazz-London-UK
Free concert

16 November@ Theatre Zuidplein - Rotterdam - Holland - Afternoon Concert

21 December@ Bee Flat - Bern - Switzerland


Carmen Souza PR in UK:

John Crosby
Music publicity/PR
PO Box 230
East Sussex
TN34 3XZ

Tel: 0845 108 7811


"Ein fantastisches Album der kapverdianischen Sängerin. Folk -World Musik aus Portugal. Wobei Jazzelemente und portugisische Musik aufeinander treffen. Sich vermischen und mit der Musik von Theo Pascal oder Horace Silver ein Genuß ist. Interessant auch das " notebook " um die Titel zu verfolgen. Afrikanische Klänge lösen sich mit verschiedenen anderen World - Musik Titeln ab. Die Musik ist zeitlos und für jede Gelegenheit ein auf den Player gelegt werden kann."

ENG:“Fantastic album... The music is timeless and for every occasion...”
BY Joachim Holzt-Edelhagen, Digitale Jazz Zeitung, 17 Feb 2010, Germany

VERDADE PRESS Quotes/Reviews:

Carmen Souza -“Verdade”
Sophisticated Cape Verdean soul sister
"This album from Carmen Souza adds yet another new voice and sound to the bewildering array of Talented Cape Verdean musicians that are legion on the world music scene... Her Cape Verde tradition is as soft and sensitive as a Laura Nyro ballad-it’s a smoky, dive bar Cape Verde of subtle progressions and syncopations, of Rickie Lee Jones harmonies and Diana Krall Crooning...The result is a mellow but musically complex record that sounds pleasant at first and gets progressively more interesting on each subsequent listen. This is unquestionably one for anyone’s burgeoning Cape Verde collection, taking its place alongside Mayra Andrade, Maria de Barros, Teofilo Chantre, Tcheka, Tiolino and all the others."
by ***Alex Robinson at SONGLINES, UK, 2008

"Cultured singer who puts her own jazz spin on the music of her ancestral home, Cape Verde."
Rated Second by Clive Davis at the TOP FIVE JAZZ concerts to see this week in THE TIMES, UK, 2008

"Cape Verdean musical riches abound on Carmen Souza's Forthcoming album, Verdade.The Singer, guitarist and Wurlitzer plaer brings her stripped-down band to tour the Uk with her distinctive fusion of classic, lilting Cape Verdean musical forms and Jazz."
Five Best gigs to see by Tim Cumming at THE INDEPENDENT, UK, 2008

"Smouldering Cape Verdean afrobeat-tinged folk-jazz" TIME OUT, UK, 2008

"For decades, the music of Cape Verde was identified with a single talent, the penetrating vocalist Cesaria Evora. But in recent years, this group of islands off the west coast of Senegal in Africa has begun exporting more high-quality artists...Now add 27-year-old Carmen Souza — born in Lisbon to Cape Verdean parents — to the list...Souza has a charismatic, playful streak, earthier and less arty but otherwise not unlike Marie Daulne of Zap Mama. She engages the impetuous, jazz-oriented piano and the Latin percussion with a panache that is by turns airy, melodramatic, and technically agile on “Levanta no bai” — it’s a real tour de force (and the second track on her MySpace page). Or check her scat-song against the brittle percussion and bumping bass line on “Ind’feso” (third track). Souza’s hybrids are easy to identify. Traditional Cape Verdean song forms such as the poetic, folk-bluesy morna and the rhythmically staccato batuco (originally wrought from washer-women slapping clothes on rocks, later evolved to thigh-slapping and hand-clapping) mix with jazz, a whiff of Latin jazz (mostly via the Portuguese roots Cape Verde shares with Brazil), and soulful rhythm & blues."
By Britt Robson/, Minneapolis, USA, 2009

"Carmen Souza’s rich voice soothes as much as it swings. It’s that same lilting quality that keeps the Cape Verdean singer’s breezy originals so easy on the ears—seamlessly blending African rhythms with soulful melodies sung in Creole."
Time Out, Chicago, 2009

"Last weekend Carmen Souza put on a spellbinding performance ... gliding between breathy ballads, sexy funana rhythms from her ancestral Cape Verde, and a beautiful cover of Horace Silver’s "Song From My Father."
MinnPost, Minneapolis, USA, 2009

“The concert was absolutely fantastic. The audience, mostly unfamiliar with Carmen's work yet eager and receptive, were left speechless and swept off their feet... Aside from her magnificent voice and multifaceted talent as a musician and songwriter, on the stage she exhibits a great deal of warmth and genuineness. Her impeccable English helps her communicate with her audiences at yet another level, as she shares some details about her personal experience and philosophy that inspire each song.” Fernando Arenas, Promoter, University of Minnesota, 2009

5 Choices to 5 nights at FMM Sines 2009
"Despite being less known than Mayra Andrade, Lura and Sara Tavares, a Cape Verdean born in Lisbon (and is so natural to say this) Carmen Souza deserves, in its own right, to integrate the leading group of the best new singers from Cape Verde." António Pires, TIME OUT LISBON, PT,2009

Carmen Souza was until the great concert of the festival (22 July 2009)
Closing one more day of FMM, Carmen Souza (in photo), born in Portugal but the daughter of Cape Verdean parents, gave so far the most warm show of the Festival...Accompanied by a remarkable group of musicians, with emphasis on Pas'cal Theo, his' second father ', on bass and double bass, the singer was always very communicative and skilled in implementing its jazz, silky and velvety.The version of Cesaria Evora, had to be 'Sodade', as it was indeed, a passionate and heartfelt rendition. The chemistry on stage was almost palpable, with a gentle voice to soar, free but firm, in the hot blast of sax and the keys to Soave as slippers.
Certainly will be in the memory as one of the highlights of this festival"
Helder Gomes, Cotonete, PT, 2009

Cinco escolhas para cinco dias em Sines
Apesar de ser menos conhecida do que Mayra Andrade, Lura ou Sara Tavares, a cabo-verdiana nascida em Lisboa (e é tão natural dizer-se isto) Carmen Souza merece, por direito próprio, integrar esse pelotão da frente das melhores novas cantoras cabo-verdianas.
António Pires, Time Out Lisboa, PT, 2009

Carmen Souza deu até ao momento o grande concerto do festival (22 Julho)
A fechar mais uma jornada do FMM, Carmen Souza (na foto), nascida em Portugal mas filha de pais cabo-verdianos, deu até agora o espectáculo mais caloroso do certame. Sempre bem-disposta e quase obsessivamente preocupada com o bem-estar de quem a seguia do lado de fora, através das televisões montadas no exterior, a cantora abriu com o tema-título de "Verdade", o segundo disco, lançado no ano passado. As influências de Carmen, que vão desde a música de Cabo Verde à soul, e sobretudo ao jazz, fazem aquilo que ela chamou de «esta miscelânea, esta cachupa». Acompanhada por um notável conjunto de músicos, com destaque para Theo Pas'cal, o seu «segundo pai», no baixo e contrabaixo, a cantora esteve sempre muito comunicativa e competente na execução do seu jazz de ninar, sedoso e aveludado. A primeira de duas aparições do saxofonista Jay Corre (personagem afável e quase caricatural, sempre no bom sentido) deu-se na reinterpretação de 'Song For My Father' de Horace Silver. Na sua voz quente e cativante, Carmen pediu depois para o público a acompanhar em 'África' para o registo em DVD (viria a insistir na mesma música já no encore). A haver versão de Cesária Évora, teria que ser de 'Sodade', como foi efectivamente, numa apaixonante e sentida rendição. A química em palco era quase palpável, com a voz doce a planar, livre mas firme, no sopro quente do sax e nas teclas que soavam como pantufas.
Ficará certamente na memória como um dos pontos altos deste festival. Helder Gomes, Cotonete, PT, 2009

"Carmen Souza encantou naquele que foi um concerto demasiado grande para o tamanho reduzido do auditório, conseguindo contagiar com a sua energia e simpatia todo o público que se encontrava do lado de fora das paredes de vidro do auditório." Joana Ferreira, Rua de, PT, 2009

"She says her music is “somewhere between jazz, folk, and Africa”, and even if I hadn’t heard any of her unique fusion music or heard the first heartfelt notes of her earthy voice, I would have been sold anyway। Carmen Souza is yet another refreshing export of that paradise of music called Cape Verde - she was born and raised in Lisbon and identifies strongly with that country, but you can see through her music and her Creole lyrics that her soul belongs to Cape Verde।Carmen Souza’s music is not of the Lura or Sara Tavares variety really; rather, it’s an artful blend of traditional Cape Verdean rhythms with contemporary jazz and an intimate acoustic element। For me, Carmen’s music wasn’t immediately catchy but rather aged beautifully after repeated listening. Her tracks are sometimes bare but arrestingly complex, simple but with a surprising depth, mostly supplied by her deep, earthy voice. Her track Afrika (from her 2nd album, Verdade) is a case in point – at first it shows characteristics of traditional Cape Verdean music a la Mayra Andrade, but instead Carmen’s voice lightly flirts with the instruments and never takes over the song, almost teasing us. And midway through, the track devolves into a sound that is distinctly jazz influenced but not quite so, enough that you can still say, yes, Carmen is Cape Verdean. Ind’Feso, also from Verdade, is another favorite of mine, and in it you can hear Carmen hit low and high notes among the backdrop of the batuques we have come to expect from those islands, expertly provided by her Mozambican percussionist Pedro Segundo, and a jazzy bass line developed by her mentor and producer, the Portuguese Theo Pas’cal."
By Claudio Silva at, PT, 2009

"One of the most important figures of a generation of mixed-raced singers who despite not being born in Cape Verde are true ambassadors their ancestors’ culture।" Talent of the September Month, Radio Groovalizacion, Irland/Portugal, 2009

"A cantora, que continua a ser um “segredo” demasiado bem guardado em Portugal, é dona de uma abordagem musical única, misturando o crioulo com o funk, a soul music e o jazz. Além de temas do álbum «Verdade», de 2008, terei o prazer e o privilégio de difundir, em estreia, alguns inéditos ao vivo" Rádio Europa, Ricardo Belo de Morais "As Vozes do Jazz", 2009

"Quando convidei Carmen Souza para o Lisboa Mistura 2009 tinha obviamente escutado a sua música em CD e no myspace e o requinte da sua voz, dos arranjos conquistaram-me imediatamente. Mas não fazia ideia do pouco que sabia até Carmen Souza entrar em palco. Nessa altura fiquei deslumbrado com a força e doçura da sua voz, a sua presença em palco e com a qualidade musical e elegância da performance do grupo, quer nos seus temas originais quer nas versões de outras músicas. Foi um momento mágico que se prolongou fora do palco, como acontece com os grandes artistas."
Carlos Martins, músico e director artístico do Festival Lisboa Mistura, 2010

Three Countries, Four Jazz Festivals by Laura Byrne Paquet for DREAMSCAPES MAGAZINE
“...I had similar luck recently on the world Music front, when I settled under the tent one afternoon to hear Afro-beat Jazz singer Carmen Souza.
Now, Ottawa is not the sort of place where people spontaneously dance in public. (I live there, so I feel I Have the right to give my adopted hometown a gentle jibe.) So the fact that Souza managed to get many people On their feet in broad daylight is nothing short of a miraculous and she did it all with her voice, personality and Sheer force of will. It was one of the most memorable shows I’ve experienced at any Jazz Festival.”

"When I invited Carmen Souza to Lisbon Mistura Festival 2009 had obviously listened to her music in CD and on myspace and the refinement of her voice, the arrangements have earned me immediately. But I had no idea how little I knew until Carmen Souza went on stage. At that time I was amazed at the strength and sweetness of her voice, her stage presence, musical quality and elegance of the performance of the group, either in their original songs or versions of other songs. It was a magical moment that was extended off stage, like it happens with the big artists."
Carlos Martins, Musician & Artistic Director of Lisboa Mistura Festival

"Carmen Souza brought her captivating voice and tight band to the Jazz stage at Sunfest for 2 great sets on a sunny Sunday afternoon. A sweet and versatile voice that glides effortlessly through a huge range of registers and styles, starting with traditional Cape Verdean song forms such as the poetic, folk-bluesy morna and the rhythmically staccato batuco, and extending to jazz." SUNFEST REVIEW, Ron Skinner, CBC, Canada, 2009

"The gig was truly wonderful. The Lift Global Music Club is now in its 13th year as an entirely voluntary collective and what keeps us going are experiences like Carmen's performance on Saturday. This must surely rank as one of the best in our long history. Every aspect was superb- music that managed to challenge but always remain accessible, revitalising a jazz vocal tradition but with Cape Verde stylings that took it to a new level. Carmen's vocals were amazingly engaging throughout with beautiful songs enhanced by her on stage charisma which endeared her immediately to the audience. As well as stunning original compositions we were treated to an inspired version of Horace Silver's Song For My Father. I am running out of superlatives but equally brilliant were the musicians in the band who were so tight and in sync with Carmen that at times it took your breath away."
Rick Williams, Promoter, The Lift Global Music Club, UK, 2009

5 STARS REVIEW at de Volkskrant BY Ton Maas
Carmen Souza glijdt moeiteloos door alle registers heen
"Musiek de kaapverdische zangeres Carmen Souza heft het allemaal: ijzersterk repertoire, een soepele en wendbare stem die moeiteloos door alle registers glijdt en een volkomen ontspannen podiumpresentatie. Bovendiaen swingt ze als de hel. Met enkele ontwapenende en geestige ontboezemingen over haar privéleven weet zee en zaal binnen de kortste keren orn te toveren tot een intieme huiskamer.Gelukkig voor de gewone stervelingen in het publiek bleek halverwege haarEerste optreden in ons land- maandagavond in het amsterdamse bimhuis- date er toch minstens een ding is dat ze niet kan:haar eigen gitaar stemmen.Daarvoor moet steun en toeverlaat Theo Pas’cal aandraven, die niet alleen souza’s vaste begeleider en bassist is, maar tevens componist en arrangeur van haar muziek.
Of ze nu een klaaglijke morna(de kaapverdische variant van de blues) zingt of een uitgelaten batuco, telkens weer overtuigt Souza met haar jazzy timing en indrukwekkende vermongen om zelfs binnen de hoogste en laagste stemregisters nog verschillende kleurnuances aan de brengen. Het ene moment lijkt ze weggelopen uit de pan-afrikaanse begindagen van zap mama, het andere steekt ze wat bezwering en timbre betreft jazzdiva Cassandra Wilson naar de kroon.De besetting van haar ensemble, dat naast bassist pas’cal bestaat uit de mozambikaans-portugese percussionist Pedro Segundo en de Nigeriaans-engelse pianist jonathan Idiagbonya, helpt mee om de muziek met punting en transparent samenspel voorzichting los te zingen van de kaapverdische traditie. Zelfs als ze vlak voor de pauze haar schatplichtigheid betoont met een lied dat bekend werd door de grote Cesaria Evora, krijgt dat toch weer onverbiddelijk haar eigen signatuur."

English translation:
"Cape Verdean songstress Carmen Souza has it all: excellent repertoire, a nimble and versatile voice that glides effortlessly through a huge range of registers and a totally relaxed stage presence. Moreover, she swings like hell. A couple of disarmingly witty disclosures about her private life is all she needs to transform a concert hall into an intimate living room...Whether she is singing the plaintive morna (the Cape Verdean variation of the blues) or an exuberant batuco Souza is always convincing owing to her jazzy sense of timing and uncanny ability to bring several shades of nuance to even the highest and lowest notes she sings.”
Ton Maas
De Volkskrant, 15 October 2008, 5 Stars review concert in Bimhuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Carmen Souza, "Verdade", Cape Verde/Jazz
5 STARS review by Rik van Boeckel at Jazz Maganize, January 2009,Netherlands
De in Lissabon geboren Kaapverdische zangeres en gitariste Carmen Souza kan gerust de wereldmuziekontdekking van 2008 worden genoemd. In 2005 bracht ze met haar compagnon bassist Theo Pas?cal haar eerste cd uit: Ess ê Nha Cabo Verde. Dat album, met een sterke Kaapverdisch karakter, is min of meer aan Nederland voorbijgegaan. Met Verdade bewijst Carmen dat ze meer is dan de zoveelste Kaapverdische zangeres uit het rijtje Sara Tavares, Mayra Andrade en Lura. Ze heeft een geheel eigen en unieke stijl ontwikkeld, die weinig ontleent aan traditionele stijlen als morna en coladeira. Van trieste Sodade is bij haar helemaal geen sprake. Je zou haar muziek kunnen omschrijven als akoestische Cabo Verde jazz/fusion. In haar manier van zingen - in het Kaapverdisch Creools - doet ze aan de ene kant denken aan Sarah Vaughan en Ella Fitzgerald, aan de andere kant klinkt ze in Perguntá Sem Fim als een Braziliaanse jazzzangeres: intiem en zelfverzekerd! Ze zoekt zowel de hoge als de lage registers in haar stem op. Toppers zijn het krachtige Afri Ká en Vaidade ê Leviandade, funana soul van de bovenste plank, met een krachtig stuwend ritme van de Braziliaanse percussionist Paulo Rosa Martins. In Levantá No Bai geven de batadrums Carmens muziek bovendien een Afro-Cubaanse klankkleur die is ingebed in jazzy arrangementen. Carmen Souza is een ware belofte!

English Translations:
"...With ´Verdade' Carmen proves that she is more than yet another Cape Verdean singer from the roll of Sara Tavares, Mayra Andrade and has its own developed unique style, which borrows little from traditional styles as Morna and coladeira. From sad Sodade is absolutely no question is in her. You would be able to describe her music as acoustic Cabo Verde jazz / fusion. In her own way of singing - in the Cape verdisch Creole - she does on the one hand reminiscent of Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, on the other hand, it sounds Perguntá Sem Fim as a Brazilian jazz singer: intimate and self-assured! They are looking for both the high and low registers in her voice. Toppers are the powerful Afri KA and Vaidade ê Leviandade, funana soul of the upper shelf, with a powerful driving rhythm of the Brazilian percussionist Paulo Rosa Martins. In Levantá No. Bai batadrums carmens give the music an Afro-Cuban sound that is embedded in jazzy arrangements.
Carmen Souza is a promise!"

Jazz Magazine, NL, JAZZ TOP 2008
Cd blues/singer-songwriter- Carmen Souza – Verdade (Choice Music)
Wordt deze Kaapverdische, charmante, in Londen wonende singer-songwriter de ontdekking van het jaar? Of zweeft de muziek teveel tussen verschillende stijlen om aan te spreken bij een groot publiek? Haar optreden in het Bimhuis was zeer overtuigend en het publiek at binnen de kortste tijd uit haar hand. Haar vaste begeleiders zijn eveneens van grote klasse. Een dag later fotografeerde ik haar bij het muziekgebouw. Haar warme persoonlijkheid blijft me bij en klinkt door bij het beluisteren van haar cd. Jazz Magazine, Netherlands, 2009

"...her (Carmen Souza) strength lies mainly in her incredible possessed, swingende, colourful voice. What a talent!"
by Frits Lagerwerf, Vrije Geluiden, The Netherlands, 2008

"Op dit tweede album ontstijgt Carmen Souza de Kaapverdische tradities, doordat ze een fusie aangaat met jazz. Ze is geïnspireerd door zangeressen als Ella Fitzgerald en Joni Mitchell. Het is een zangeres met een boodschap, die de saudade verlaat en ook over de goede kanten van het leven wil zingen. Zelfs als ze het heeft over de kinderen van Afrika"
Inclusion in the Jazzadelic CD released free with Jazz Magazine february issue, 2009

"Carmen Souza is geboren en getogen in Portugal maar heeft Kaapverdische wortels. De christelijke Souza ontwikkelde haar zangkwaliteiten in het kerkkoor en startte in 1999 haar zangcarrière officieel in een beroemd Portugees gospelkoor. Op haar soloalbum Verdade zijn haar geloof en idealistische kijk op het leven goed merkbaar in de liedteksten die ze schrijft en die door ene Yeshwa op muziek zijn gezet. Van de Kaapverdische artiesten is Souza wel de minst traditionele: ze zingt weliswaar in de Portugees-Creoolse taal, maar muzikaal gezien vermengt ze naar believen Kaapverdische elementen met soul, bossa nova en vooral jazz. Haar akoestische band krijgt veel ruimte voor jazzy improvisaties. Maar bovenal maakt Souza indruk met haar muzikale voordracht en donkere en warme zangstem. In het mooie cd-boekje staan Engelse vertalingen van de liedteksten en persoonlijke reflecties van Souza over het thema van elk lied. De tijdens dit album 27-jarige zangeres is veelbelovend!"
9/10 Review by SvdP, Wuziekwereld, 2009

"Carmen Souza..een bijzondere dame met een niet minder opmerkelijke band achter haar. Een optreden in het Bimhuis en een onvergetelijke avond met de ontdekking van haar nieuwe album ‘Verdade’. De opkomst van Carmen is een verschijning op zich zelf, haar kleurrijke dracht die kompleet wordt gemaakt dankzij een super vriendelijke glimlach doet het lijken alsof de zon schijnt. Eigenlijk luister en kijk je met ongeloof naar haar stijl en spel, en vraag je je af of een artiest van dit formaat werkelijk voor je staat. Carmen trakteert ons op een repertoire die lekker jazzy & soulfull is. Haar Kaapverdische achtergrond is duidelijk aanwezig en vind je terug in de opvoering van een eigen interpretatie van de morna ( morna is een traditionele Kaapverdische muziekstijl die melancholisch klinkt en een gevoel van heimwee doet weerklinken). Deze speelt ze in een Jazzy vorm en zo trakteert ze ons op deze Kaapverdische klassieker in haar eigen stijl. Maar ook de andere nummers van haar cd zijn verassend.´Indefeso’ is een voorbeeld, haar openings nummer,van de avond en is ritmisch en prachtig ingevuld met de percussie van Pedro en piano spel van Jonathan Idiabonga. Haar nummers worden op een intieme wijze voorgesteld en gespeeld. Door het gebruik van jazz en bossa combinaties voorziet ze haar stijl en spel van een handtekening …onnavolgbaar en mooi. Er is deze avond ook ruimte voor; Paraíso, Cor Vermelho & Sabor sabi ( vertaald : paradijs, De rode kleur & Heerlijke smaak ). We mogen meeproeven deze drie woorden heerlijk mee te zingen op ‘Afríka’ en terwijl Theo Pascal zijn basgitaar vol overgave bespeelt . Het Publiek staat, zingt en klapt…..ze mag nog niet weg maar de avond nadert haar einde als ‘vaidade en leviandade’ wordt gespeeld. Carmen komt terug en laat ons zelf nog even tot een ieders uitzinnig vermaak de drie woorden van plezier herhalen…Een succesvolle avond waarbij die heerlijke smaak nog lang zal achterblijven…"
Bimhuis (Amsterdam) live review By Johnny Silva, MUSIEKPODIA.NL, The Netherlands, 2008

"Verdade (Truth) is a crisply produced acoustic album, full of the snap and sparkle we’ve come to expect from the female artists that seem to pour at an unnatural rate out of the small Atlantic island grouping off the coast of West Africa. Carmen Souza’s selling point is a smooth, sensual voice that fits well in these mellifluous, airy tunes which bear a just a hint of the sodade of Cape Verde — the longing that comes from exile (whether voluntary or otherwise) — and a light percussive touch and brightness that recalls the music of those other lusaphone countries, Brazil and Guinea-Bissau... Carmen Souza is carving her own little Afro-European jazz niche here — smooth but not too soft, mellow without being too laid-back, and with a neat approach to song-craft — and as such Verdade is an album that brings its own, slowly-evolving satisfaction. One for the cool summer evenings to come." by Con Murphy, FLY, UK, 2008

“...The instrumentation is always Pure, uncluttered and acoustic. Souza has a wonderfully expressive voice, at times light and then rich and earthy. Her songs are never frivolous. She sings sincerely about the important issues of life, and indeed the title track means truth... This jazz interpretation of Souza’s Cape Verde home is wonderfully listenable and it’s an album I know I will often return to when I just want to relax and chill.”
by Delyth Jenkins, Taplas, UK , 2008

"The Capeverdian singer Carmen Souza is not only another pretty face with a pleasant voice (the shady tonality of her singing extends the enchantment to it).Also a talented songwriter, Carmen has 26 year old and was born in Lisbon, but lives currently in London...Sung in Creole and entirely composed by original songs, Verdade (Truth) looks to deserve its name in each word and each note, mixing traditional rhythms of the archipelago with multiple influences, mainly from Jazz." FOUR STARS REVIEW by J.L.A., EXPRESSO, Portugal, 2008

“...Superb second album...Souza herself has moved on from the Cape Verdean stories of Ess ê nha Cabo Verde to a smooth, Jazz inflected style reminiscent of Diana Krall. Setting her apart from such comparisons is the lyrical maturity of her compositions. She is not unique in this as much of Cape Verde music has a poetic assurance that few western writers achieve. No jumble of disconnected phrases masquerading as coherent thought; instead, cogent observations on the monetary value some place on life, the hope given by children, intimate questions of faith, or inner desires. All sung with a sensuous richness and wrapped up in luscious sound steeped in the melodic jazz of Ella or Hancock, Jarret or Zawinul. Blissful stuff. “ FOUR STARS REVIEW by Simon Rowand at ROCK N REEL MAGAZINE, UK, 2008

“Per ricercare la mia vera e reale identità faccio un ripasso di tutto ciò che mi circonda e mi ha influenzato...... Sono tante le influenze che ricadono su di me, che mi considero un essere appartenente al mondo intero, che non corrisponde a nessun stereotipo, a nessuna cultura precisa, perché sono nata e cresciuta tra culture diverse”�. Queste parole introduttive di Carmen Souza rendono alla perfezione il sound universale che attraversa il suo terzo disco: Verdade. Prodotto dall’etichetta olandese Connecting Cultures (distr. Egea) questo album segna un passo deciso verso la maturità artistica della talentuosa cantante, nata ventisette anni fa a Lisbona da genitori di origine capoverdiana. La sua formazione avviene all’interno di un crocevia culturale molto variegato, dove predomina l’incontro tra la lingua, le tradizioni e i sapori di Capoverde e la vivacità eterogenea della capitale portoghese. La voce di Carmen è profonda, sensuale, femminile, versatile, espressiva e, al tempo stesso, ritmica e melodica. Una grande miscela di colori quella che sgorga liberamente dal canto della Souza, espressione di un background culturale e sonoro non catalogabile per l’ampiezza di riferimenti, un linguaggio, il suo, che va in direzioni diverse e ritorna sempre arricchito di nuove sfumature. E il risultato di questo girovagare tra suoni e culture si vede in questo cd, di grandissimo spessore: jazz unito a diverse influenze contemporanee, world music, funk, ritmi batà intrecciati a sonorità capoverdiane e brasiliane, afrolatine, ecc. I testi dei dodici brani sono interamente scritti dalla giovane Carmen mentre la musica è¨ firmata da Yeshwa. Difficile scegliere tra le dodici bellissime tracce, ma lasciandomi guidare dall’istinto vi consiglio in particolare la traccia n. 4, Levantà no bal, un intreccio stratosferico di ritmo batà e piano, un linguaggio jazzistico modernissimo, spirituale, alla Roberto Fonseca o alla Omar Sosa. E, non a caso, il pianista è un cubano, Victor Zamora, ottimo strumentista, tecnicamente dotato, come del resto gli altri sette ospiti intervenuti in questa bella produzione. Bravissimo anche il "trio" multietnico che accompagna la Souza: Theo Pas’cal, Orlanda Guilande e Paulo Rosa Martins.Canzoni e musiche affascinanti, dunque, quelle raccolte in Verdade, album corredato di un utilissimo e gradevole booklet in inglese, francese e spagnolo. Imperdibile.
by Gian Franco Grilli ,, Italy, 2008

Carmen Souza, ou le Jazz Folk cap-verdien
Carmen Souza est une jeune artiste née au Portugal et ayant grandi au Portugal tout en préservant ses racines cap-verdiennes.
Carmen est une artiste complete, interprete s’exprimant en portugais, pianiste et guitariste à la fois. Elle était accompagnée sur scène par son bassiste acoustique, batteur jazzy et pianiste. L’artiste a envouté l’assistance de rythmes oscillant entre jazz, folk et sons africains, tantôt teintés de rythmes joyeux funana et tantôt de rythmes mélancoliques morna. Une fusion exquise de musique cap-verdienne et d’influences contemporaines.
Drapée dans une chatoyante robe en soie, c’est tout en sensualité que Carmen Souza a accompagné le public dans son univers très jazzy, bercé par une voix chaude et maitrisée à la perfection, parfois rauque et puissante et parfois fluette et susurrée. L’aisance du passage des tessitures aigues à graves était le moins déconcertante.
Le public présent a vite integer sa place dans cette ambiance intimiste où Carmen Souza, à portée de main, n’a pas hésité et convié l’assistance à chanter en choeur. Le public n’a d’ailleurs pas été insensible au charme certain de Carmen Souza, dont la présense et la sensualité ont occupé tout l’espace sur scène.
II est surprenant que cette artiste au talent et à la maturité si palpable ne soit pas déjà propulsée au rang dês stars de ce monde, à l’image de Cesaria Evora, dont Carmen a fait une reprise jazzy époustouflante Sodade, encore plus abouti et plus poignante que la version originale.
Si vous avez raté ce concert mémorable, rende-vous sur le site de l'artiste, afin de découvrir son univers musical et d'écouter quelques morceaux choisis.
Concert review (Alger, 29 April, 2008) by B.B at, Alger, Algeria, 2008

Kaapverdische warmte
"De 27-jarige Carmen Souza is geboren, opgegroeid en ontdekt in Portugal, maar zal levenslang haar Kaapverdische roots verdedigen en koesteren. Muziek is daartoe een goed middel en met haar tweede album ‘Verdade' toont ze zich nog altijd sterk verbonden met het land waar haar ziel ligt. Afkomstig uit een christelijke familie, is het niet onlogisch dat Souza haar eerste muzikale stapjes zette in het kerkkoor. Het duurde tot 1999voor ze met haar muziek de professionele weg insloeg en haar carrière startte in het meest gerenommeerde Portugese gospelkoor.
‘Verdade' is een ingetogen maar zomers album geworden. Haar vrouwelijke maar lage, aardse en vastberaden stem geeft een warm gevoel aan de plaat, die naar eigen zeggen onstaan is 'in de zoektocht naar haar ware identiteit'. En dat heeft ze meteen omgezet in ‘Confiança': een Engels-Creools nummer over de invloed van jeugdige aanmoedigingen op je latere leven. Best handig, de korte introductie bij elk nummer in het drietalige tekstboekje.
Carmen Souza heeft ‘Verdade' gekneed vanuit verschillende invloeden, gaande van jazz en afrobeat tot blues en bossa, maar gitaar en percussie spelen toch de hoogste noot. ‘S.Anton m'crê conchê bô estória' wijkt daar met de speelse en spaarzame pianoklanken en tweesporige zang ook wat van af. ‘Sem valor' is een ingetogen ballade die toch wat energieker wordt na het parlando-gedeelte. De percussie zorgt het hele album door voor leven en energie, want Souza's stem klinkt nogal dramatisch. In ‘D'xam ess moment' wordt die stem frêle, wat wel te pruimen is. ‘Perguntá sem fim' opent met een verademende saxofoon. Het nieuwe geluid is meer dan welkom, na negen nummers waar het vooral draait om piano, gitaar en percussie. Maar we moeten het toegeven: dit album biedt gaandeweg meer variatie dan de eerste oppervlakkige luisterbeurt doet vermoeden. Wat ons betreft was Carmen Souza's zoektocht succesvol."
4 STARS REVIEW, Cutting Edge, Julie Van Oost, Belgium, 2008

"Singing in Creole, puts her Cape-Verdean culture in evidence, but what makes Carmen Souza sound unique is her compositions and her «Soul» Diva voice, that creates a kind of Contemporary Jazz based on the warmth and energy of the African melody."
by Nádia Morais on África Today Magazine, Portugal, 2008

"Truth" unveils us Carmen Souza with a voice of diva of jazz - Full, deep, adaptable to any note, Low or high...Carmen Souza, 26 years old, born in Portugal, daughter of Cape Verdean Parents, joined up once again with Theo Pas'cal, which efficiently created arrangements that mix very well the traditional Cape Verdean rhythms with more contemporary influences of jazz."
by A Semana, Cape Verde, 2008

"The soft vocals of Cape Verde’s Carmen Souza, brings us a refreshing tropical musical adventure. The airy, yet slightly raspy, vocals match the accompanied instrumentation....Some of the songs are perfect when lounging on the beach, or relaxing at your nearest jazz club. Carmen’s lyrical maturity reflects a more intimate look at her life than her previous projects. In fact, Verdade, which means “truth”, is an excellent title that explains the incredible authenticity of her music...I highly recommend this release for your Cape Verde collection."
by Matthew Forss, USA, 2008

“Auf der Suche nach meiner wahren und wirklichen identitat vereinnahmte ich alles, was mich umgibt und beeinflusst...”. Womit die kapverdianische Sangerin Carmen Souza mit ihrem neuen album ihren eigenen Wurzein gegenuber recht aufgeschlossen sinnsuche betreibt. Und diese sind nun einmal in sudamerika und Afrika zu suchen. Die Bank der Sangerin ist dabei einmal mehr ihre eindrucksvoll-ausdrucksstrke stimme, die, gleichzeitig temperamentvoll wie sinnlichnachdenklich, zur folke hat, dass ”Verdade” zum Fest der Sinne wird. Zwischen Astrud Gilberto und Nina Miranda flanierend ergeht sich Carmen Souza recht Freizugig und miltreibend bis lasziven songs, die beruhren und ergreifen. Ob nun eln uberaus fragile “Sem Valor”, ein rhythmisch pulsierendes “Levantá no Bai”, dessen gewisse Jazzige affinitat nicht zu leugnen ist, oder ein beschwingtes, “AfriKá”, die sangerin weib in jeder instanz und eigenen Inkarnation zu uberzeugen. Was ganz speziell und vor allem auch fur ein schmachtendes, “ind’feso” gilt."
4 stars review by Couza, SCHELLACKGEFLUSTER, 2009

"Carmen Souza kam in Lissabon zur Welt, hat aber Kapverdische Wurzeln. Erinnerte sie mit dem ersten Album „Ess ê nha Cabo Verde“ noch an die Musik und Botschaft ihrer Vorfahren, geht sie mit dem Nachfolger „Verdade“, einen Schritt weiter zur persönlichen Erfahrungsverarbeitung. Wer immer inzwischen (auch) skeptisch geworden ist gegenüber der sintflutartigen Überschwemmung des Musikmarktes mit World Music, Weltmusik, Ethno-Musik, der sollte bei Carmen Souza trotzdem kurz verweilen und zwei offene Ohren bereithalten. Er mag seine Meinung revidieren über das Massenereignis Weltmusik – bei Carmen Souza lauern Überraschungen. Nicht nur was die Gesangsqualitäten der jungen Dame angeht ist die Verwirrung beachtlich. Abgeklärt wirkende Balladen in Begleitung schwärzester Jazzsaxophonpassagen, beschwingt-fröhliche Sommerfestmusik, positiv erzählte Geschichten – alles drin im Kosmos der aus Fusion, Folk und Fantasien gemischten Musik. "
by Klaus Hübner at Das Kulturmagazin, Germany , 2008

"Die junge kapverdische Sängerin Carmen Souza hat ein wunderbar ausdrucksstarkes, zugleich zurückgenommenes, fast erotisches Stimmorgan...Die Musik ist durchdacht, intelligent, auf handgespielte Gitarren, Bässe und Drums konzentriert. Aber immer wieder auch auf die unverzichtbare Perkussionsinstrumente, die den kulturellen Hintergrund und die große musikalische und kulturelle Bedeutung des winzigen Inselstaates, den Kapverdischen Inseln, untermauern... Wer auf kapverdische Musik steht, wird sich bei “Verdade“ zu Hause fühlen." 7/10 by Michael Arens at SOULTRAIN, Germany, 2008

"Die nicht minder begabte kapverdische Musikerin Carmen Souza belässt es ebenfalls nicht beim Repetieren traditioneller Musik von der kleinen Inselgruppe im Atlantik. Auf die Kompositionen eines oder einer gewissen Yeshwa singt sie versiert und selbstbewusst, oft im Stile einer Laura Nyro oder Rickie Lee Jones, ihre portugiesischen Texte (die dreisprachig im Booklet wiedergegeben werden). Begleitet von einer über die halbe Welt verteilten Musikerschar reiht sie sich mit dieser Produktion ein in die grosse Musiktradition eines kleinen Landes und an die Seite von Mayra Andrade, Maria de Barros, Teofilo Chantre, Tcheka, Tiolino und anderen."
at cinesoundz, Germany, 2008

"Schlicht produziert, Wirkt "Verdade", das neue album der jungen kapverdeianischen Sängerin Carmen Souza, Sehr erfrischend.Doch auch ohne hightech-produktion steckt die musik an. Zarte und sehr beschwingte lieder sing souza, in denen sie viel raum Für ihre Mitmusiker lässt und sie der Musik Zeit lässt, sich zu entwickeln.Ihre musik ist eine schöne Mischung aus der leichten kapverdischen musik, portugisischem fado und etwas jazz. Ihre stimme passt perfekt...."Verdade" ist ein gelungenes und überaus reifes album einer noch jungen künstlerin."
by Norbert Jäger at Weltmusik-Magazin, Germany, 2008

"Der hohe Wiedererkennungseffekt kapverdischer Musik funktioniert bei der 1981 in Lissabon geborenen Tochter von Kapverdianern nur bedingt. Der Sängerin und Multiinstrumentalistin gelingt eine extrem wohlklingende Synthese aus Einflüssen der Elternkultur und modern weit- und weltläufigem Songwriting. Da hallt ihre ganze Sozialisation nach: der Gospelchor der Kindheit wie die diversen Funk-, Soul-, Jazzprojekte. Ihre wunderbar wohlig und verführerisch in Kreol und Englisch intonierten Lebenserfahrungen kleidet sie mit ihrem Mentor und Produzenten Theo Pas’cal, einem der besten Bassisten Portugals, einem kleinen feinen Musikerkreis sowie Gästen aus Kuba, Argentinien und Angola in raffinierte Arrangements. Es gibt kapverdische Rhythmen wie Coladeira oder Batuque, aber auch Afro-Worldjazz à la Joe Zawinul, Souzas großem Idol. War das Debütalbum Ess Ê Nha Cabo Verde gemäß dem Titel auch textlich noch deutlich den Kapverden verpflichtet, so inspirierten den Nachfolger laut Souza viel stärker persönliche Eindrücke und stilistische Einflüsse aus anderen Ecken der Welt. Toll, dass man als Zuhörer an diesem spannenden Prozess einer menschlichen und musikalischen Emanzipation teilhaben darf! "
by Katrin Wilke at FOLKER.DE, Germany, 2008

"Cap Verd és, per a molts, la terra de Cesaria Evora, un petit arxipèlag de pescadors pobres que el que millor han sabut exportar ha estat la morna, la seva música tradicional...Aquestes illes situades enfront de les costes del Senegal tenen una riquesa artística sense límits i una de les seves últimes troballes es diu Carmen Souza..."
By Albert Puig, Icat.FM, Spain , 2008

"De Cabo Verde o su diáspora han llegado distinguidas vocalistas...A esa larga lista hay que añadir a esta cantante nacida en Lisboa que fusiona con seductora dulzura tradicionales, soul acústico y baladas jazzies."
El Correio Digital, Spain, 2008

"...She (Carmen Souza) has taken the traditional morna rhythms of the islands and infused them with an African twist to produce music that is both insular and truly International..."
International Community Voice, Dublin, Irland, 2008

"I was lucky enough to catch her at the Amberley Folk Club last March.Right from the start the audience was captivated by her soulful voice and drawn by her likeable presence, the hypnotic melodies and subtle arrangements.An easy rapport developed with the crowd, who, by the end of the set, would have welcomed many encores."
By Kathryn Burrington in LoudNews Magazine, UK, 2008

"The many admirers squeezed into the small, intimate venue off Regent Street to hear the velvet voice of the woman who's concert featured in the Independent Newspaper as Tim Cumming’s ‘Top 5 Jazz Concerts to See.’ And they were not disappointed. From the moment Carmen started singing her first song of the night, ‘Sem Valor’ the audience were captivated...Carmen’s fusion style will attract a wider audience than the more traditional Cape Verdean music. Particularly from followers of Jazz. I would say for this reason, Carmen is unique in this aspect.
Those parts of the UK who have yet to experience Carmen Souza have a treat ahead. If the queue of people waiting to buy her album after the concert at MoMo’s is anything to go by, they definitely won’t be disappointed."
MOMO'S concert review by Michael Mills at, UK, 2008

"Keeping with some of her Cape Verdian roots without giving totally to pre-arranged thinking of what her music should sounds like. Verdade is a pleasure to listen to; a Jazzy, Afro-beat approach mixed with some Bluesy and Bossa accents. A great mix!
...Long live Carmen Souza, the new Star."
by Gabriel H. Osson-Québec, Canada, 2008

“I look forward to the long summer months, chilling out in the sun, with “Verdade” playing in the background.” CD review by Michael, 2008

"She's one of the new Cape Verdian artists who take chances musically, and by doing so bring new Cape Verdian music lovers...I really liked it was soft, jazzy , full of real emotions..."
by Eyee Wayee @ blog Cosweafricanwomanaredoing&doinitwell -Dakar, 2008

"Ess ê nha Cabo Verde" Reviews:

“A very adventurous premier for an eclectic singer that takes the listener from point A to point B and beyond.”****Calabashmusic-USA, 2006

“An album of fusions, where the small Cape Verde sovereignty emerges in the voice, the Creole and the poetry of Carmen Souza…”A Semana-Cape Verde, 2005

"...Carmen fuses Cape Verdean influences with American jazz and soulmusic...While Carmen's vocal inflections at times lean towards soul music, shecould certainly up the ante of soul music in the American music industry withher pioneering spirit, vocal prowess and tight, uncluttered arrangements..."by Patty - Lynne Herlevi,, USA, 2006

"...Truly peerless, Souza should be on the tip of everyone's tongue when theydiscuss this years best world music albums..." by J-Sin- Smother Magazine, USA, 2006

"...This album creates a unique mix of Cape Verde/roots/jazz and needs make noapology to any purist that need to identify recognizable traditions. The resultof this collaboration of irrefutable musical expertise and smooth wholesomeharmonies has produced a perfect pearl..."
by Marilyn Pannett- Littlehampton Gazette, UK, 2006

"Ess ê Nha Cabo Verde," an album, which reflects the evolution of Capeverdean music and blends perfectly into the contemporary/soul backdrop…”
by Osvaldo dos Reis –, USA, 2005

“Her persistence, combined with a continuous willingness to learn and grow artistically, mixed in with her whispery vocals over soulful uplifting music all led to a brilliantly mastered album.”
by Núria Chantre - Sodade Magazine, USA, 2006

“It’s a voice that whispers in the ear songs that we miss, without ever have listened to them. The identification is immediate, as it is cape Verdean music, but with a different approach, sort of soul/afro jazz.”
by Matilde Dias-lantuna–Cape Verde, 2005

"Carmen’s sexy soft voice sung Portuguese all night but that didn’t seem to matter as she cast a spell on the audience. A suberb night by any standard and left the audience wanting to hear more from her..."Amberley Folk CLUB, UK, 2007

"The scope of African music is growing because of artists like CarmenSouza...Carmen Souza's music, really, is about hope and optimism. This makes ita true gift."
by David Fujino-thelivemusicreport, CANADA, 2006

"First and entrancing album of the cape verdean singer/songwriter Carmen Souza...this is a record that innovate and conquest to first listening."
A Semana Online- Cape Verde, 2008

“Quand Carmen Souza commence à chanter, les anges l'accompagnent...Elle apportedans ses bagages l'héritage du Cap Vert qu'elle mélange et manipule à sa façonpour nous transmettre une nouvelle musique aux accents Soul, Jazzé par bout ettoujours unique..."
by Gabriel H. Osson-choq fm, CANADA, 2006

"...Her velvety voice filled the intimate venue and hypnotized the audience.The multi-talented Carmen, changing from keyboard to guitar and back again,performed songs from her excellent recently released album, 'Ess ê nha Cabo Verde..."By Michael Mills, UK , 2006

Audience Comments:

“I was absolutely blown away by Carmen and her band...” -UK , 2008

“...I found myself adrift in a sea of beautiful rhythms, fantastic melodies and your powerful range...” -UK , 2008

“...was fabulous last night...So cool, organic and deadly captivating” -UK , 2008

“Medicine for the soul!” -UK, 2008

“Great gig at the Waverley last night, you and your band were excellent! Entertaining, thoughtful and evocative..." -UK, 2006

“A celebration! Inspiring! Uplifting! Calming!.. It was a wonderful and peaceful experience...” -Uk, 2005

“She was absolutely amazing...” -UK 2008

“Beautiful music, poignant and uplifting at the same time...” -UK, 2008

"Her voice called to me from across Queens Park. I had to see what created such beautiful melodies..." -Toronto-Canada, 2006

"Raw Femine Emotion over the sound waves. Pure pleasant - It delights my soul and makes my spirit dance." - Canada, 2006

"merci bcps pour le concert que vous avez donner à Alger;o) bonne ambiance,belle musique,belle voix,respect!"-Algiers-Algeria , 2008

"magnificent voice and verry beautiful orchestration."Algiers-Algeria , 2008

"what a concert!!There was magic on stage..."Algiers-Algeria, 2008

"saw the show in Bray on Friday and loved every absolutely brilliant gig and really hope she comes ack to dublin and ireland soon again" - Dublin-Ireland, 2008

"...another highlight(of Small Nations Festival) was a lovely singer from Cabo Verde called Carmen Souza who was new to me. She finished with the most gorgeous rendition I've heard of the Verdean standard 'Sodade' (I have versions by Cesaria Evora and the Angolan singer, Bonga, but Carmen Souza's is the new benchmark)..."Badford, UK, 2008

"It was awesome!" Priscilla Rampazzo, St.Ethekburgas concert, UK, 2009

"Very charismatic and talented singer, with lots of energy and enthusiasm. The music was beautiful too!"Victoria, St.Ethelburgas concert, UK, 2009

"This one was a really outstanding show"Ted, 2009

" I decided to go along to see Carmen Souza based on nothing more than a half-remembered hearing of a song or two several years ago, and I'm so glad I did. Carmen takes the Cape Verdean music that we feel so familiar with & gives it a jazzy twist, singing & playing guitar beautifully and accompanied by a bassist (6-string- & double-) & a percussionist with a sense of proportion. All the aspects of the venue already cited - warmth, intimacy, friendliness - suited Carmen perfectly. Her rapport with the audience was natural and easy. Another success at St Ethelburga's!" Dominic, 2009

"I had not seen Carmen live before but was very impressed with her live performance at St Ethelburga's. She is a wonderful talent and as Dominic commented, so at ease with her audience and her sound suited the surroundings. Outshone what I'd heard on her cd. Basically, a stripped sound sound and stunning. Well worth catching live. !"wallee Mc Donnell, 2009
See this comments at Charlie Gillet Forum website:

"muziek pur sangeen voorbeeld van de mooie dingen in het leven. een prachtige vrouw met veel diepgang en een warme stem, begeleid door te gekke muziek. Ik hoor veel zuidelijke en jazzy klanken waar ik heel blij van wordt. Lekker tijdens lange donkere dagen..!" The Netherlands, 5 stars

"What a great AfroJazzy Nite @ the CCC in the MinneApple last evening.Carmen, you and the guys were "world class" Wanaku, Minneapolis, USA, 2009

"The concert was absolutely fantastic. The audience, mostly unfamiliar with Carmen's work yet eager and receptive, were left speechless and swept off their feet..."Fernando Arenas, Minneapolis, USA

"What a wonderful performance here in Chicago last night, thank you! The sunshine, light and inspiration in your words and voice were the perfect remedy for the stormy weather.Beautiful sight, beautiful song and beautiful spirit! Do come visit us again soon!" Free Whill, Chicago, USA, 2009

"Oh my God, it was wonderful, beautiful, even bordering as breath taking experience. Your voice, sultry, rythmic, culturally boundless, sweet, charming, innocent, and even funny" Roger John, Chicago, USA, 2009

" I really enjoyed your concert yesterday in Chicago. Come back soon! Thanks for sharing Cape Verde and your world view in such a wonderful way." Chicago, 2009

"I saw you in Chicago. It was an amazing performance! Thank you! I can't wait for your return."Greg MCcain, Chicago, 2009

"Carmen Souza was brilliant (her bass player is a legend! As is the guy on the piano. In fact all of them were awesome!) " about Musicport 09, Jasmic at

"it was an amazing performance. i enjoyed every second of it. thank you carmen souza. you have such lovely voice and unique talent.
and Theo Pas'cal, Dado Pasqualini, Jonathan Idiagbonya, thank you all.
please come istanbul again." Vildan Ay via facebook, Istanbul, 2010

"your performance was perfect yesterday in İstanbul. thank you so much. i hope we can see you in İs:" Istanbul ,Yusuf Çokyiğit, 2010