Lady sings the blues, Cape Verde style


The singer the French call "the barefoot diva" brings the Afro-Portuguese blues known as morna to America.

Photo by Eric Mulet

Cesaria Evora had been singing the distinctive Afro-Portuguese blues known as morna for decades, but it wasn’t until a young Frenchman of Cape Verdean descent invited her to record an album in Paris in 1988 that the world discovered her talent.

Already a sensation in Europe, “the barefoot diva” is now gaining fans in the United States through her appearances on programs like “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Penn Presents brings her to Philadelphia for the first time for a concert Nov. 4 featuring songs from her latest album, “São Vicente,” a tribute to her home town.


CESARIA EVORA: 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, in Irvine Auditorium, 34th and Spruce streets. Tickets $33, $29 and $27; discounts for students, seniors and Penn affiliates available. Tickets/info: or 215-898-3900.

Originally published on October 25, 2001