LURA (CAPE VERDE)
If at first you don't succeed, try and try again, as they say. Although thirty-year-old Maria de Lurdes Pina Assunçao has been singing for nearly half her life, recognition beyond the ex-pat Cape Verdean community of Lisbon she was born into has only recently become a reality.
Key to understanding her appeal is to see her onstage, where her warm, communicative manner, hip-swivelling dances and mellow voice make for a winning combination. Good looks and a very natural dress sense don't seem to have hindered her, either. Perhaps most crucially, as part of a new wave of younger performers currently emerging from Cape Verde and its diaspora cultures in the US and Europe, Lura brings a fresh outsider perspective to the traditional music of her ancestral isles, looking beyond familiar morna and coladeira popularised worldwide over the last two decades.
'In Cape Verde there are many more styles. There is the tabanka, the mazurca, the cola, São João, and these are the kind of things I would like to explore on my next album,' she says with a radiant smile. Her third and most recent CD Di Korpu ku Alma ('Of body and soul') explores the more African side of her heritage through rhythms like the funana and, in particular, the batuku. That's meant developing a sideline in indigenous percussion instruments like the ferrinho (metal scraper) and the tchabeta, a cushion by any other name, which have become part of a live act that borders on 'edutainment' at times. With her European upbringing and background in zouk and R&B, she adds a pop sensibility all her own, which comes through in her song writing.
The most surprising thing about Lura is that she had never even set foot on the islands her parents had emigrated from until she was 21. Once there, though, things she'd heard and heard about made a lot more sense, greatly shaping her future direction. And with old school Cape Verdean stalwart Toy Vieira directing her new touring band, she's in good hands, freer than ever now to take her music to the wider world.
Listen to Lura at WOMAD 2005
Daily Telegraph interview
Felizardo Ferreira, from Angola
"Ojama It's been long since i heard music that the beat moves me from within. The fusion of african and latin beats is just phenomenal." It's not a fusion of african and latin beats. Many of the latin styles of music originated from África, that's why it looks like latin music for you. But many latin styles are actually other evolutions of these original african styles.
Fatima - Atlanta, Georgia
I saw Lura perform in Atlanta for my birthday in February 2006 and she made me so very proud of my heritage. My family living in Boston have lots of opportunities to see her perform because of the large Cape Verdean community there and I am hoping that she will return to Atlanta very soon (or anywhere within a 300 mile radius) and I will be there, front row center!
Barbro Hallenberg, Sweden
Saw and heard Lura in Malmö, Sweden. WoW! And I`ve just visited Cabo Verde!
Antoinette, New Haven, CT
She appeared in New Haven at Toad's Place and the place was jammed. She's dyn-0-mite on stage. Great talent. Cape Verde is really coming along in the world with its young talent. Priase God and God continue to bless LURA!!
Maria Resendes Wedding and Chris Wedding
We saw Lura perform in Carrboro, NC and she was amazing! Her Batuku performance was raw and powerful. It made me miss my Cape Verdean community in Pawtucket.
Amanda Fortes Holland
I love her music and the way she performe at stage. she have a wonderfull voice. i'm proud to say that i'm a cape verdian just like her.
It's been long since i heard music that the beat moves me from within. The fusion of african and latin beats is just phenomenal.
Andrea Aracy Santos.......Massachusetts, USA
There is not much to say because everyone who wrote a comment said it all. I also have seen her in concert in Boston, MA and I was very impressed with the power in her voice. It was too bad that she was in a set back since her first single "Oji un ojau" that I remember when I was younger. I believe that now she is where she should be, in the TOP. I hope that many other beatiful capeverdean voices in Cape Verde or in the diaspora is discovered as Lura was. Good luck on your career and in your life in general.
Lura is a great singer and her music goes in each ear directly!
Lura ,Cabo Verde
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR WORDS!!! YOUR KINDNESS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR ME BECAUSE I SING FOR YOU. GOD BLESS YOU ALL !!! LURA :)
Lura i love you but BBC win Armenian Navy Band
Aki Baihaki, Singapore
Strong and powerful vocal. No, she's not Cesaria, they are so much different. I have di korpu alma album (one with the concert in Grand Rex), all songs are just magnificent. And she's pretty!
Carla Mendes, Guine Bissau
She´s great! She has one of the greatest contemporary African voices I've heard to this day! I think she deserves to this award!
Marc - Toronto Canada
She is just awesome and Will be at the top. God bless her!
Dunaiss, Boston, MA, USA
She has a great voice. I think she may be the next Cesaria to CV and to the whole World... God bless you.
Perhaps raw or immature to be fully exploited as an artist.
simple the best the island of cv keep given the world the best they have... there people
Julia Evora Boston, Mass
Love her music, she's a great artist. I have all her records. I hope that she will be the winner of the BBC award for africa. Good luck Lura.....
Lura, simples you are the Best...
Shannon Eckler, Chicago IL
LURA is truly a joy and inspiration. Her beautiful voice taps into a rhythm that echos rejoice and freedom. I saw her at The HOTHOUSE in Chicago 1/27/06 for the first time. She has such a warm and positive spirit. Lura's music is a gift to the world!
J R Milanes, Bryan Texas USA
Lura is just fabulous.
Volker Pade, Muenster
Thank You Lura and Your Band for Your emotionated songs and Your performance. Good Luck. Muito sorte e saudade
lura will be "the voice" in 21th century.she has a ligth in her voice like elis regina
very nice mix of african and brasilian music
Piduca Brockton, Ma. USA
Lura is amazing. She has it all. I have been on stage with her, and ,therefore, I can tell you that she is outstanding. Her dueto with my beloved brother Ildo Lobo is a work of art. Thank you Lura... I hope to see you soon.
Bevy & Ali England
We saw Lura in concert in Gloucester. She is terrifically talented, warm and funny. Great band and good on CD/DVD too. We hope she becomes a BIG start without losing her real self!
Omar "Caboswing.com" Oliveira
It is such a joy to listen and watch her perform... Capeverdean music is in good hands.
Olav Aalberg, Norway
Lura´s powerful voice and her choice of modernized traditional music from Cape Verde, and the great, but sadly, late, composer of new "batuku" style music, Orlando Pantera, deserves to reach out to a greater audience!!
My wife and I saw Lura in concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, in the Chicago World Music Festival 2005. My wife and I were part of in Chicago World Music Festival 2003. In the lack of better words to describe her performance, LURA WAS EXCELLENT!
the first of a kind – superb.
Music that is at once somehow playful and precise, and also highlighting an aspect of Cape Verde- i.e. its more Africa-descendant elements- that seems to have been almost consciously ignored so far by the West. I would, however, query why- nomination space limiting- the excellent, markedly more sedate 'Voz' by Tete Alhinho, was not nominated if only to expose the dichotomy of Cape Verdean culture...maybe next year..
Ada Sousa - Macau
Simply the best!!!I hope to see her on stage in Asia(Macau)...All the best!!!
Julie Croom - Long Beach, California
I was blessed with the opportunity to see Lura perform at both the FORCV 2005 Indepenence Conference in Washington, DC and at the African Marketplace in Los Angeles, CA; Both venues provided Lura the opportunity to showcase her talent and ability to "connect" with the people. She is defintely an inspiration and I wish her continued success. Muti Obrigada
Simply the best around!!!!! Her music is inspirational, and inviting...cultures from all over the world will fall in love! A great entertainer who gets the entire audience out of their seats and onto the dance floor. A pleasure to see on stage as well as in person. A true blessing to the cape verdean community and worldwide.
maria harris, Boston, MA, USA
I saw Lura in concert in Boston Massachusets. She was awesome, a fesh sound to the so called music of today. i was proud to take my young nieces to see her.
just the best - I hope God bless you.
Steve Cole, Bristol
I first saw Lura on the Women of Cape Verde Tour and knew that we'd be hearing more from her. Saw her again at WOMAD Reading, and looking forward to her tour later this month. She puts on a great show, as entertaining and varied as you like. Many established world music stars could do worse than take a leaf out of Lura's proverbial book - live she really does the job!