Teofilo Chantre

Cape Verde

Cape Verdean saudade with a layer of bossa nova, bolero and jazz

Cape Verde has produced much musical talent, including Teofilo Chantre. He became known for his songs on Cesaria Evora’s famous album ‘Miss Perfumado’, after which he released a whole series of critically acclaimed albums.

When Teofilo was thirteen, the Chantre family emigrated from the island of São Nicolau to France. Thus, the typical Cape Verde island melancholy of ‘saudade’ – a longing for the past or home, took on a new dimension. As a 17-year-old, the young musician immersed himself in his Portuguese-African roots and from there a unique Teofilo style grew. Influences all around were forged into a fertile combination of traditional Cape Verdean rhythms, Brazilian bossa nova, Cuban charanga, a touch of French chamber music and Creole jazz.

Chantre’s warm voice sings in Creole, Portuguese and French. Bittersweet mornas and lively and satirical coladeiras sound alongside nostalgic waltzes and mazurkas. Chantre also wrote the lyrics for the song ‘Ausencia’, with music by Goran Bregovic and sung by Evora for the movie ‘Underground’. This won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

Let yourself drift from the Cape Verdean island to the Caribbeans and beyond. Enjoying the new horizon, faintly longing for home with saudade.

Sfinks collaborates closely with numerous international partners. We have a large and strong network of festivals and music organizations all over the world. These local specialists keep us constantly informed and inspire us with impressive and unexpected artists. This is how a unique, hand-picked line-up full of original gems and international emerging talent grows every year!

Sfinks was inspired by this artist at Atlantic Music Expo in Praia / Cape Verde. Atlantic Music Expo is a regular stop in our prospecting schedule. That is how we discovered Teofilo who was not only a composer for Cesaria Evora, but also plays special concerts himself.