Lura’s latest album, titled ‘Herança’ is a golden opportunity for new listeners of Cape Verde’s rich folk-ballads to explore the rich culture of the island and its people and traditions in the company of the most melodious, charismatic singer of an entire generation of Cape-Verdean artists. Vibrant, tremendously danceable and so very Cape-Verdean, her new album focuses on the archipelago’s energizing up-tempo funana beat with songs that include Maria di Lida, Sabi di Más and Ness Tempo di Nha Bidjissa.
Maria de Lurdes Assunção Pina aka Lura (born July 31, 1975 in Portugal) is a singer, dancer, performer and musician. Her compositions are based on traditional Cape-Verdean music like the Morna, Funaná and Batuque, and influenced by African and contemporary Western music. She grew up in Portugal and has had a successful musical career there. Two years ago she chose to return to the island of Santiago, the most African of Cape Verde’s ten volcanic islands.
Her past albums are Nha Vida (1996), In Love (2002), Di Korpu Ku Alma (2005), M’bem di fora (2006) and Eclipse (2009). Eclipse will fit neatly into anyone’s ‘Cape Verde nova’ collection as it is every bit as rich, varied and satisfying. Also it’s the first record to capture the vivacity and variety of Lura’s sparkling stage show.
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Over the years, her music had been garnering a steady following as she had performed all over Europe and currently on tour, getting rave reviews from international music critics and renowned music producers like Clive Davis.
In the erotic funana rhythms, which once were outlawed in Cape Verde for their explicitly sexual message, Lura emphasized the point with the vigor of her dance and the sensuousness of her vocals.~ Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Lura has all the makings of a new international celebrity… She also has an impressive line in raunchy dancing, with such upbeat African-influenced rhythms as funana and batuque. This album shows off her cool, clear vocals… ~ THE GUARDIAN, U.K
The Cape Verde islands couldn’t ask for a much better ambassador than Lura…powerful, textured voices often delivered with gracious restraint… The uptempo tracks are particularly persuasive… Closing cut “Fitico di Funana” would make even Shakira envious. ~ SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
Either way, Lura’s style is decidedly not provincial. As filtered through her Iberian influences, the songs on Lura’s second U.S. release are elegant and urbane… ~ WASHINGTON POST
Her voice, a clear mezzo-soprano-to-alto, ranges from girlish to smoky but as her material tends toward upbeat rhythms, it is her sun-drenched, precisely calibrated melodic sense and crackerjack phrasing that anchors each tune. The title track, a frenetic hip-swinger sung as a duet with Zeco di Nha Reinalda, could make a stone dance. ~ AMAZON.COM
Who is the most dynamic performer in world music right now? I can think of no one who can rival the Cape Verdean diva Lura in terms of passion and vivacity. This was a quite spellbinding display by a singer at the height of her powers. Much as I enjoyed her stylish albums, her live act attained another level altogether. ~ Clive Davis
Growing up, Lura wanted to become a dancer or a swimming instructor but became a singer at the age of 17 when Juka, (an artist from São Tomé and Príncipe) asked her to sing a duet with him for a music album. She hasn’t looked back.