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Teofilo Chantre “Cape Verde Metissage”

Fortezza Nuova
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Teofilo Chantre emerged in 1992 following in the footsteps of Cesaria Evora, of whom he became one of the favorite singer-songwriters, after composing three titles for “Miss Perfumado”: the most famous album of the Cape Verdean diva.

He then wrote the lyrics of the song “Ausencia”, which Cesaria interpreted for the soundtrack of Emir Kusturica’s film “Underground”, on a gypsy-inspired theme by Goran Bregovic, the official composer of the Bosnian director.

Mixing traditional Cape Verdean rhythms, jazz, and bossa nova, Teofilo Chantre enriches his repertoire and develops his vocal and musical style.

Whether as a committed poet or romantic, Chantre celebrates the “sodade” (incurable longing for the native homeland), collective memories of the struggle against the harshness of life, childhood, youth, happy or troubled loves, the main themes of “Rodatempo”.

As an inspired melodist, loyal to the instrumentation (guitar, cavaquinho, violin, piano) and traditional forms of morna and coladera, touching or danceable songs from the islands of Cape Verde, a lover of Cuban and Brazilian music, Teofilo reveals himself as a skillful arranger, blending chamber music and Creole jazz. Thanks to the countless concerts that followed the release of his previous albums, he has strengthened and softened his vocal timbre with a veiled-smoky charm.

Close to Brazilian bossa nova singers for his velvety voice and the “cool swing” of the guitar, borrowing from the strings of the soft Cuban charanga, Teofilo excels in the bittersweet, tender, and sophisticated style loved by Cesaria. Some songs (Cruz de Jom d’Ebra, Ponta Linda) seem to be written for him, in the style of the great composer B. Leza… Sweet mornas, slow coladeras, romantic boleros, there is also an atmosphere of elegant melancholy in the more danceable parts, dominated by the rustic accordion (Tchoro Quemode) and carnival drums (Rosario). Teofilo Chantre elevates his melodies to the status of standard compositions that have the qualities of Cape Verdean repertoire classics.

In Italy, Chantre boasts important collaborations, primarily linked to the UN discographic project “Capo Verde, land of love,” produced by journalist and record producer Alberto Zeppieri. In particular, duets and collaborations with: Ornella Vanoni, Eugenio Bennato, Grazia Di Michele, Antonella Ruggiero, Peppe Voltarelli, Mariella Nava, Ron, Gianni Morandi, Gigi D’Alessio, Lucilla Galeazzi, Bruno Lauzi, Massimo Ranieri, Fabio Concato, Gigliola Cinquetti, Goran Kuzminac, Cristiano Malgioglio, Paolo Fresu, and Giusy Ferreri.
Also of note is a text adapted by Teofilo in creole dialect for Adriano Celentano and a song by Chantre brought to success by Santana together with Gloria Estefan.

Essential Discography:

  • 1994: Terra & Cretcheu (Lusafrica/BMG)
  • 1997: Di Alma (Lusafrica/BMG)
  • 2000: Rodatempo (Lusafrica/BMG)
  • 2002: Live (Lusafrica/BMG)
  • 2004: Azulando (Lusafrica/BMG)
  • 2007: Viaj√° (Lusafrica/Sony/BMG)
  • 2011: meStissage (Lusafrica/Sony Music)
  • from 2009 to 2024: all 10 volumes of “Capo Verde, land of love” (Numar Un/Egea/Sony Music)