Mitchell Long

Tud Dret

Tud dret means all is good. And its going great here in Cabo Verde. We have played some memorable big festival shows including the famous Baia das Gatas. Maria got down and gave one of the best shows I ever saw. And it was an incredible feeling to finally be in front of the great crowd of Cape Verdeans. There so many great acts I saw there as well, like Cesaria Evora, Sara Tavares, and so many more. We played an incredible concert in Praia, isle of Santiago. It was a pleasure to play in the capital of Cabo Verde for an audience that included the president, and many of the great musicians from the Cape Verdean community. It was an emotionally charged evening and the band played great. Maria was barefoot and brilliant. There have been so many experiences here that are beyond words. I feel so lucky to have learned about the music here in Cabo Verde. To finally be here has many times brought tears of joy and imense appreciation of a very interesting culture thriving in the middle of the sea. It is Africa, It is Brasil, It is Europe, but mostly its CAPE VERDE and constantly becoming Cape Verde. A new world with a painfull past and difficult future, but you cannot find a smile more beautiful than on the faces of the people here, and the music, the music, the music. I feel the Funana entering into my veins like a delicious and firey veneno that doesnt stop untill everyone is dancing. The mourna with so many great singers crooning with big full emotional voices. The sensual Zouk dancing into the early morning with the Kriolas. The sambas, coladeiras, chorinhos, mazurkas, batuque, etc... Its alot to take in! And there are some wizards of the guitar like some old men I saw in a cafe in Sao Vicente, Biuj with his velvet voice and fierce rythmic style or Quim Alves, the brother of Kako who playes with Cesaria. I got to rehearse his original music for possible concerts coming up in America and it was like a master class in Cape Verdean folkloric styles. He was explaining the roots and talked about the many rhythms that are rare but fantastic styles in the history of music here. I think he said Santiago has 18 different rhythmic styles. I had a treat to go see a rehearsal of a dance company here and the drumming was done by 12 to 15 years boys, but they played fast and hard like adults. The dance was traditional mixed with modern interpretations. At one point they did an exaggerated version of the Funana that was spectacular. I look forward to seeing their performance soon. The tenacity of art here is inspiring. They rehearsed in a tiny open air room that was so hot, but they didnt stop or pause, they worked relentlessly! The term starving artist here takes on another meaning. There are no grants to pay for producing shows or air conditioned studios to work in... This is a recurring theme here I see, Like a flower blossoming from a crack in the concrete. When I return home I look forward to sharing a big show of pictures from the trip. Abraco Me Chill

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