Music from Cape Verde – Luis Morais

The song “Boas Festas” – an end-of-year soundtrack heard everywhere on the radio and in the bars and taverns of Cape Verde – was written by the famous clarinettist Luis Morais, master of an entire generation of Cape Verdean musicians.  Wherever you go, whatever you do, either the original or one of the more modern versions of “Boas Festas” will be playing, its joyful yet nostalgic beat plunging listeners into contagious, euphoric sadness. The imminence of the New Year celebrations when all cares are forgotten irresistibly conjures up the image of a friend, brother or loved one, lost forever or gone to seek a better life elsewhere… In Cape Verde, there is always time for tears and memories before laughter and song…

Luis Morais died suddenly at the age of 67 on Wednesday the 25th September 2002 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Luis Morais is a legend in the land of Cesaria Evora. Born on the 10th February 1935 in Mindelo (São Vicente Island, Cape Verde), he spent his youth in Dakar, where he first studied and learnt the rudiments and theory of music, then composition. He began to play his favourite instruments, the clarinet and saxophone (alto and tenor), at Cape Verdean dances, very fashionable in Dakar at the time. Here is the song “Boas Festas”

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