Candida Rose
Gig Seeker Pro

Candida Rose

Band World Jazz


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Candida Rose @ Candleworks

New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA

New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA

Candida Rose @ Black Nativity at Tremont

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Candida Rose @ Black Nativity at Tremont

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



In a candid interview with “Candida Rose” Hemsley she describes, in her own words her debut album entitled “KabuMerikana: The Sum of Me”. “It defines who I’m and what I feel. All the little pieces of who I’m and that is Cape Verdean as well as an American,” says Candida Rose. The 45-year-old mother, wife, and grandmother wanted the album to be a marriage of her two worlds which has helped to define the person that she is today. “I decided that it couldn’t be one or the other, it just wouldn’t be fair. I wanted the CD to be rooted in the Cape Verdean culture, although I was born here,” she continues.

The title of the album captures just what represents “Candida Rose”; Cape Verdean/American woman. When asked where the catch phrase originated from, with a delicate smile she gave much credit to her producer “Kalu” Monteiro who helped her to brainstorm a name that would encapsulate the essence of her worlds. “I want to bring those two worlds together through the music. I also wanted to make sure that whoever was listening to this CD would understand it,” explains the vocalist. Uniquely so, Rose provides her listeners with a translation within some of the songs in both English and Krioulo.

The album has been a long awaited phenomenon but certainly serves to prove that everything happens within its own timing. “I have always wanted to put together a CD since the mid 80’s but the time finally felt right,” she says. The 10 track CD was recorded from July of 2005 to December of 2005 at Notera Studios in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The album finally hit the market on May 30, 2006. Her debut CD is an eclectic mix of her Cape Verdean musical roots and her American influences of jazz/blues and gospel/spiritual. Beautifully combined, she introduces to the world a fresh perspective and compilation of both World and Jazz music in which she defines as “KabuJazz”.

Born, raised and currently residing in New Bedford, Massachusetts the female vocalist remained true to her roots. Her late father George Antonio Baptista had always been a significant part of her life and in helping to keep the Cape Verdean Culture alive. “My father was everything to me; he died thirteen years ago but it still feels like yesterday,” says Rose. Just an infant when her mother Gertrude Santos Baptista died and she was left to be raised by her grandmother and later by her father and stepmother Ecilda Lobo who arrived to the States speaking no English. In an attempt to communicate with her stepmother, Candida learned to speak Krioulo early on in her childhood.

When she moved to Boston, Massachusetts in her early adulthood, she lost the connection with her Cape Verdean Culture along with her speech. “I lost a lot of my connection being away from the Cape Verdean community,” she explains. There was a twenty year span in her adulthood with her being away from the Cape Verdean Community. But she would soon return to where it all began; New Bedford.

It would not be just to describe “Candida Rose” without first introducing the profound impact that the church has had both personally and musically. “I wanted to build a relationship with God and trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing with my music,” she says. She joined the Church in 1995 where she would then be introduced to gospel music. Without really knowing much about the fundamentals of gospel, she began to learn more through research and teaching of the youth choir.

Conflicted between her love of being a Jazz performer and a woman of God, she began her quest for answers. “I have always been able to touch people with my singing, I wanted to still be able to do that,” she says. She sought direction from her pastor at the time and he gave her his blessing to do what she felt was right in her heart; that was to continue to perform. “You don’t have to be in church to touch somebody, to minister to somebody,” she says. The very first thing said to “Candida Rose” after speaking with her pastor was ‘God bless you’ during one of her performances. This not only served as a sign for her to continue to perform but an inspiration for her to further her education.

In May 2005 “Candida Rose” Hemsley graduated magna cum lade with a bachelor’s degree in African-American/World Music Studies from UMass Dartmouth. “What brought my wanting to reconnect was really going back to school to study African-American World Music,” says Rose. During her studies however, she began to question why there weren’t any focus on Cape Verdean music. “I started doing that same kind of research about Cape Verdean music that I did about Jazz,” she reveals. The passion for her discovery would soon escalate with her researching deeper and discovering the great Cape Verdean/American Jazz musician, Horace Silver. Fascinated by the way he incorporated the Cape Verdean Culture into Jazz music; Rose too would combine these two worlds through her own diverse style.

The vision of this new released album is to share with the world what it truly means to be “KabuMerikana”. “I can honestly say that with this CD, each song means something,” she says. “I sing what I feel that is why every song on the CD has a meaning. I try to convey that feeling through my voice.”

With each track you are bound to find a little of everything. She has dedicated her heart and soul to this project and now comes the time to share it with the world. In the songs entitled ‘Afro Blue’ and ‘That’s All (E So)’, sings an American Jazz standard. In ‘Sodade (Missing You)’ and ‘Amor di Mai (A Mother’s Love)’, sings Cape Verdean standard. “The song ‘Sodade’ for me has become a reverse, it’s a sodade for a country that I have never even seen, never even been to.” To sum it all up, “Candida Rose” demonstrates with this album her song writing, composing, and arranging skills in songs: ‘Kabu Verdi Un Dia (Cape Verde, One Day)’, ‘Karta pa Nha Pai (Letter to my Father)’, and ‘Too Late to turn Back Now’.

When Rose described “Karta pa Nha Pai” and its meaning, we both stood in silence, her soul opened up and I understood it all. “Now he will always be alive for eternity. His spirit will always know that and people will know what he is to me.” Little words were needed to explain a daughter’s undying love for her father. Although he is not here to hear her words to him, she hopes that through her music he may be able to.

“This last song really brings the CD together, it’s about me but in a greater scheme of things, it’s about who my people are and that is a mix of everything.” Delivered through spoken word the song, ‘Sum Of Me (Un Poku di Tude-A Little of All)’ was a poem given to Rose by her professor and renowned poet, Everett Hoagland. This poem is what inspired the project to take the direction in sharing the richness of her culture.

The making of the album has been a family affair and a unity of artistic talents. “Candida Rose” wholeheartedly gives many praises to her husband Leon Hemsley taking the photos for the cover page and doing the design. Her stepdaughter Gina designed the logo for her production company ‘Golden Rose Music’. While also blessed with artistic abilities, daughter Marissa Terryce sings background vocals.

This album will touch the young and the old as it speaks to the heart and the soul. “I truly try to sing from my heart and my soul,” she concludes. There is calmness about her person as well as her voice that sends you to a place deep within yourself; I was at that place while in her presence.
- Nôs Jornal newspaper (USA) - (

On Sunday, June 25, the second afternoon of yet another rainy weekend, the roses in the garden of the Rotch-Jones-Duff House were half-drowned and drooping, but New Bedford’s Candida Rose was in full bloom for a jazz/world music concert celebrating the release of her debut CD “KabuMerikana: The Sum of Me.”

To start off, Deacon James Salley, Jr., of the Union Baptist Church welcomed everyone and introduced KabuJazz, a virtuoso ensemble comprised of John Kordalewski, keyboard, Doug Rich, bass, Marcus Monteiro, saxophone, and Manny Santos, drums. They treated us to intricate musical conversations and performed exciting solo riffs.

Next, Chops Turner, a man with a hearty laugh and a velvet voice, crooned a few of the ballads I remember from my swooning-to-the-radio teenage years—songs like “Misty” and “My Foolish Heart.” Then singer-composer Armsted Christian joined KabuJazz for some exuberant scat singing, producing runs and rhythms with his mouth and playing the microphone like a fifth instrument added to the combo, and closing with a tender ballad.

After these warm-up tributes to the star of the show, MC Salley introduced Candida Rose, who strode regally onstage wearing sleek blue satin slacks topped by a contrasting gold blouse under a long filmy tunic that echoed the blue of her pants. Candida is a polished performer who puts her whole soul into her songs, sending them straight to the heart. Her album blends Cape Verdean and American jazz idioms, sometimes with lyrics in both English and Criolu.

The songs on this stunning debut CD express many different kinds of love. One of her most moving songs— Nha Terra, Kabu Verdi (My Country, Cape Verde)--voices love and longing for her mother’s country, a land Candy has never seen: Komo ki algein ta ten sodadi/Paunkabu el nunka bai? (How can someone miss/A place they’ve never been?) The title song “Sum of Me” has poignant lyrics by internationally known New Bedford poet Everett Hoagland, exploring the possible meanings of the phrase “My people.”

Candida performed to an enthusiastic audience who cheered her brilliant and beautiful debut; then she introduced her oldest daughter, Marissa Terryce, whose deep-voiced and soulful rendition of “Summertime” gave notice that she just may be New Bedford’s next singing star.

“KabuMerikana: The Sum of Me”shows off the vocal artistry of a talented performer of jazz, blues, Gospel and Cape Verdean music who graduated Magna cum Laude graduate from UMass Dartmouth’s excellent but perennially endangered world music department. There’s no doubt that Candida Rose’s long-awaited debut CD will thrill her old fans and win her new admirers.

Laurie Robertson-Lorant, Dartmouth

Dr. Lorant is a Full-Time Visiting Lecturer in the Education Department at UMD

- The Weekly Compass, New Bedford, MA

It was 1999, and Candida Rose was torn. Torn between her devotion to her church and her desire to entertain as a jazz singer.

After much reflection, the assistant director for the Youth Choir at the Union Baptist Church in New Bedford spoke about the situation with her pastor, Rev. Steven Taylor. She explained that she wasn't sure if her jazz performances would compromise her relationship with God. She was also afraid that she might be seen as a hypocrite by her fellow church members.

Mr. Taylor was direct with her.
"He told me that if my relationship with God is right, then I should do what I feel is right," Ms. Rose recalls. "He said I had his blessing." And it wasn't much later that Ms. Rose got the sign that confirmed her feelings and made her situation clear. Later in that year, Ms. Rose's niece, Lori Tolentino, invited her to the New Wave Cafe to perform at their Tuesday night open mic. She was a little reluctant, but eventually agreed to go. "I remember walking around and wondering if I should be there," she admits. "After a lot of encouragement, I finally decided to get up and sing. But before I went on stage, I found a quiet spot where I went into myself and prayed." Ms. Rose took to the stage and performed a solo version of "God Bless the Child," by Billie Holiday. And in her usual style, she performed with her eyes closed.
"When I opened my eyes and looked around, I saw that the entire room was watching," Ms. Rose says. She then launched into one of her favorite all-time songs, the Roberta Flack classic, "Killing Me Softly." When she returned to her seat, a young lady approached her and said "God bless you."

"That was very important for me," Ms. Rose says. "That was my first performance after speaking with my pastor, and the first thing anyone said to me was 'God bless you.' I felt like God was working through her. "It was an answer to my prayer," Ms. Rose recalls. "Those words were a defining point for me as to what I should be doing with my singing. I discovered that music is my ministry no matter what style I'm singing. That's how I touch people."

And Ms. Rose is likely to touch more people. With her debut CD, "KabuMerikana: The Sum of Me," Ms. Rose is employing jazz and gospel along with her Cape Verdean heritage to create a collection of songs that defy genre.
"Duke Ellington said that he wanted to be 'beyond category.' That's what I want with this CD. I want it to be who I am and that's a lot of things. I'm not just Cape Verdean, or a jazz singer, or a gospel vocalist."

"Sum of Me" is an impeccably produced record, recorded from July of 2005 to December 2005 at Notera Studios in Pawtucket, R.I. The 10 songs showcase Ms. Rose's smooth stylings and deftness in delivering songs. She is an attractive woman with an impressive voice. The album features a collection of elegant performances, including a poem from UMass Professor Everett Hoaglund that was given to Ms. Rose as a graduation gift. Ms. Rose recites the poem, "A Little of All," during the album's title track.
You can hear Ms. Rose's merger of styles this weekend. She will perform a largely Cape Verdean show tomorrow evening at the Bisca Tournament Club in New Bedford with the "Kabu" Jazz Ensemble, from 8 p.m. to midnight, including special guest performances by Calu Bana and Lutchinha. She will perform a more jazz-flavored show on Sunday at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. She will be joined again by "Kabu" Jazz Ensemble, and will feature guest appearances from Armsted Christian and "Chops" Turner. Tickets for each event are $12 in advance, and $15 at the door. Two tickets can be purchased together for $20. They can be bought at the Bisca Club, Celia's Boutique in downtown New Bedford, Symphony Shop in Dartmouth, as well as on the website CDs will be available for purchase at both events.
On Saturday, there will be a CD signing and listening event at Celia's Boutique from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by another signing and listening event at Baker Books in Dartmouth from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Ms. Rose credits many people for her success as a performer and as a person, but one major piece of her being is her magna cum laude degree in music from UMass Dartmouth. Last May, at the age of 45, this wife, mother and grandmother earned her Bachelor of Arts degree.
Before returning to school, "I felt like I didn't have the technical abilities to function with other musicians, specifically with my choir," she admits. "I needed to be able to translate my musical ideas to others."
And again, the timing was right.
"I always wanted to go back to school, but the situation wasn't right," Ms. Rose says.
And then when Fleet Bank bought out Bank of Boston in 2000, Ms. Rose's position as an international trade specialist was eliminated, providing her with a severance package that enabled her the opportunity to attend college.
"It was a much better idea to go back to school as a more mature person," Ms. Rose claims. "I hated homework when I was in school (before), but now it was a labor of love for me. I did well because I was doing it for myself. All the late nights and early mornings were worth it."
But UMass taught Ms. Rose something as valuable as notes and charts.
"Now I'm unafraid," she says. "I have confidence when I perform thanks to the people at UMass who helped me believe in myself."
"Going to school really helped her come into her own by virtue of her experiences. She has been able to form this beautiful mosaic," says UMass professor Marcelle Gauvin, who teaches jazz voice. "A true artist never arrives at their goal and she has that attribute. She's always yearning to learn and develop. Being an artist is about self-discovery and nobody sees the world from your perspectives. She has integrated a lot of pieces of her life into her music."
"I'm proud of my accomplishments," Ms. Rose says. "I'm 45 and I've just graduated college, I've raised two children and now I'm living my dream.
"It's way cool to think that people are buying my CD," she says with enthusiasm. "I'm a professional vocalist. How cool is that?!"

Date of Publication: June 21, 2006 on Page B02

- By SEAN McCARTHY, Standard-Times correspondent


Conceituada cantora jazz, a cabo-verdiana americana Cândida Rose realizou recentemente o seu maior sonho. Aos 42 anos de idade, veio pela primeira vez a Cabo Verde como corista no grupo de Tiny Tavares para o Festival de Santa Maria do Sal.

Recentemente gravou o seu primeiro álbum “Kabumerikana”. Com dez temas inéditos, o álbum é quase por inteiro uma dedicatória a Cabo Verde, sua “terra mãe”. Diz a letra: “Nha Terra, kabu Verdi”, Komo ki algein ta tem sodadi pa um kabu ki nunka el bai?”, uma brilhante adaptação do famoso “Capeverdean Blues” de outro filho pródigo destas ilhas, Horace Silver.

Filha de cabo-verdianos, esta linda crioula nascida em New Bedford é uma das figuras de proa na promoção e defesa da cultura cabo-verdiana nos E.U.A, com o seu Jazz crioulo. Neste momento, Cândida é uma estudante de Jazz e Estudos internacionais, e dedica-se a uma tese sobre a influência da cultura e música cabo-verdiana no Jazz. Agora falta realizar o sonho de voltar a Cabo Verde com a sua banda para deliciar o povo “kabuverdianu” com o esplendor da sua voz genuinamente “kabumerikana”. Nesta entrevista, Cândida fala sobre a carreira, a ligação com Cabo Verde, a família e a emoção de pisar pela primeira vez Cabo Verde.

Entrevista por: Kaunda Simas

É a sua primeira vez em Cabo Verde e pelo que já li sobre a sua pessoa, apesar de ter nascido nos Estados Unidos, você tem uma forte consciência da sua “cabo-verdianidade”. Como é estar na sua terra-mãe pela primeira vez?

As palavras não chegam para descrever o que senti em toda essa semana que estive cá. Toda a vez que paro para pensar os olhos enchem-se de lágrimas, é uma grande felicidade estar aqui, tenho 45 anos e é a primeira vez que venho cá. Não consigo descrever, já chorei, já ri, estou tão feliz por estar aqui e queria que o meu pai e minha mãe estivessem ainda vivos para saberem que eu estive cá.

Falando dos seus pais, eles são de que parte de Cabo Verde?
A minha mãe é de Santo Antão e o meu pai é da Brava.

Nasceram por aqui mesmo?
O meu pai nasceu nos Estados Unidos, a minha mãe não sei. As informações que tenho, já que ela morreu quando eu tinha 14 meses de idade, são um pouco confusas, pois a minha avó morreu também quando tinha seis anos. Algumas pessoas dizem que ela nasceu em Santo Antão e foi criada em Portugal, outras dizem que ela nasceu em Portugal e foi criada em Santo Antão, por isso não tenho a certeza exactamente.

Vocês estão aqui há uma semana e sei que tem sido uma correria louca e provavelmente não têm tido tempo de conhecer melhor a ilha do Sal, mas qual é a impressão com que ficou das pessoas e do país. O que dirá aos amigos de volta aos States?
Eu lhes direi que é um lindo, lindo país. O clima nestes dias foi maravilhoso, mesmo uma ou duas vezes quando choveu por alguns minutinhos ficou ainda mais lindo. Eu estava a andar à chuva no meu país...As pessoas são maravilhosas, muito, muito amorosas, tudo aquilo que se ouve da morabeza é tudo verdade! (sorrisos).

Tendo em conta que sua mãe e avó morreram cedo e tudo o mais, como é que você despertou para as suas raízes e a sua cabo-verdianidade?
Acho que isso vem desde muito pequena. De garotinha eu comecei a falar português por causa da minha avó materna. Após a morte da minha avó, o meu pai teve que assumir a minha criação e desde essa altura eu comecei então a falar crioulo porque as pessoas que tomavam conta de mim eram crioulas. Aos 9 anos, a minha madrasta chegou da Brava e não falava uma ponta de inglês e na família dela toda, ninguém falava inglês, e eu tive que falar crioulo porque estava cercada por toda essa gente que falava crioulo. Dos nove aos 18 anos eu falava muito bem o crioulo, e eles me adoravam por isso. Comia a comida, dançava, enfim... aprendi a cantar “Tchapéu di pádja” aos seis anos, é a minha cultura, sempre esteve dentro de mim. O que acontece é que durante algum tempo eu me afastei de New Bedford e dos meus familiares e fui perdendo um pouco da afluência, mas agora que vivo de novo na minha cidade natal, estou voltando a pegar o jeito.

Entretanto, você iniciou a sua carreira musical como uma cantora Jazz e pelo que, eu já ouvi e li, uma senhora cantora Jazz. Como é que começou essa sua aventura?
Isto do Jazz vem da escola. Eu voltei à escola para estudar Jazz e foi assim que ingressei nesse mundo, há toda uma longa história associada a isso e o tempo é curto. Mas, foi durante este período, porque estudei também “World Studies”, que comecei a procurar e a aprender mais sobre o meu lado cabo-verdiano, sobre o Horace Silver e a influencia cabo-verdiana no seu jazz. Daí por diante comecei a incorporar isso também nas minhas performances Jazz. Um dia estava a cantar uma interpretação minha do “Capeverdean Blues” que é uma das mais famosas composições de Silver, eu tinha escrito uma letra para ela em crioulo, e alguém chegou para mim e disse: “Adoro o teu Jazz, foi lindo, tens uma linda voz, mas quando cantas em tua língua ficas uma pessoa completamente diferente. Tu tens que cantar mais em crioulo, porque ficas mais linda”. Faz todo o sentido para mim. Isso aconteceu há cerca de três anos e eu peguei dessa experiência e mudei a minha música e é isso que me trouxe para onde estou agora.

Eu adoraria ouvir essa letra com o "Cape-Verdean Blues", como é?

Esta letra usei no meu CD que saiu recentemente, numa canção chamada “Nha Terra Cabo Verde” e que diz basicamente assim: “N’ta comê nha comida, n’ta papea nha língua má nunca n’ka odja nha terra Cabo Verde”.

Uma característica sua que salta imediatamente à vista é que parece ser tão humilde apesar de ter tanto talento. Como consegue?
Porque tudo o que conseguimos ou temos na vida é uma dádiva de Deus e há que ser grato. A minha dádiva de cantar é preciosa, não posso deixar que isso me suba à cabeça a ponto de pensar que sou melhor do que o dom que Deus me concebeu. Ele me deu algo muito especial e quero que as pessoas percebam que eu tenho essa consciência e quero partilhar isto que me foi dado. Eu sou assim, sou como todo mundo, apenas gosto de cantar... (chora) Quem quiser que eu cante para ele. Eu canto, é só isso.

Como vai a sua carreira neste momento? Até onde quer ir?
Eu quero ir até onde Deus me deixar alcançar, eu não tenho limites, não sei o que Deus tem planeado para mim, até onde e quando não sei, mas acredito que o céu é o limite. Por isso, para onde ele me levar eu vou.

E a sua carreira?...
Está se ajeitando, o CD está a vender bem, mas eu preciso de ajuda porque eu é que cuido da minha distribuição. Preciso que me ajudem a chegar às pessoas para que saibam quem eu sou. Por isso, essa oportunidade que vocês me concedem é maravilhosa, muito obrigada.

É a sua primeira vez em Cabo Verde e veio como coro numa banda, quando é que teremos oportunidade de ver e ouvi-la? Sei que há muita gente ansiosa por assistir um show seu.
Espero receber um convite em breve para voltar, eu adoraria voltar aqui ao Sal no ano que vem, ou Baía das Gatas, Gambôa, onde e quando vocês quiserem (muitos risos)...

Torço para que>

- A Semana Online

Shame on you if you did not attend the Maria deBarros concert at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House earlier this month. It was a great time and a wonderful performance. Not only did you miss Maria, but you also missed the participation of local vocal artist "Candida Rose" Hemsley. If you are from this area, you might have heard Candida Rose perform, but if not, you might want to check out some of her upcoming appearances in the area.
Born in New Bedford, Candida Rose has been performing more than 20 years. Her style is a combination of jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel. Her voice has been described as a blend of "the styling of great past and present vocalists with the sweetness of contemporary pop voicings and the spirited vocal vigor of the gospel tradition."She credits her range and vast repertoire with experiences derived from her focused work as a music/choir director, arranger and composer.
The versatility of her voice enables Candida Rose to perform in a variety of different settings with great ease. She is equally comfortable singing at a jazz club or at a gospel brunch; at an intimate downtown restaurant or at the B.B. King nightclub at Foxwoods; at the New Bedford Cape Verdean Recognition Parade or at an international conference in Washington, D.C. Whatever the venue, Candida Rose is sure to put her heart into her performance.
Last April, Candida Rose performed in a recital, "Sum of Me" at Senior Jazz Night at UMass Dartmouth. Her segment of the program included a combination of jazz, gospel and Cape Verdean music by some of the best musicians in the area, including Santi Debriano, royal hartigan, Andy McWain, David Ndiaye and Dana Nicole Scott. The recital was the final project for students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. In May, Candida received a music degree from the university. She has studied with John Harrison III, royal hartigan, Semenya Cord, Andy McWain and Marcelle Gauvin.
Candida Rose's talent is well known within the Cape Verdean community. Not long ago, she represented New Bedford's Cape Verdean-American community by performing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the opening ceremonies of the Connecting the Global Caboverdiano Nation conference. Participants from around the world attended. She also performed at the Common Threads conference on April 16 in Rhode Island.
During Cape Verdean Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves' recent visit to New Bedford, Candida Rose not only sang our national anthem, she also performed a song about Cape Verde that she co-wrote. She also sang for dignitaries and others at the viewing stand of the Cape Verdean Recognition Day Parade.
Her performances at these events earned Candida Rose the Artistic Service Excellence Award, presented by the New Bedford chapter of the NAACP.
She has collaborated with the Manny Santos Quartet to perform at such major events as the Democratic National Convention and at the John F. Kennedy Library. This past weekend, she performed with the Candida Rose Quintet, which includes Herb King on drums, Rick Britto on saxophone, Steve Neil on bass and John Kordalewski on piano.
Among her credits are performances with Santi Debriano, six-time Grammy Award nominee Kurt Elling, Andre Hayward, Fred Ho, Tim Ingles, Herb King, John Kordalewski, Bill Lowe, Semenya McCord, Lello Molinari, Shawnn Monteiro, Bill Pierce, Curtis Rivers, Manny Santos, Valerie Stephens, Stan Strickland, Bobby Ward and Frank Wilkins. She has opened for well-known Cape Verdean musician and vocalist Agusto Ceg and performed a guest solo performance during Maria deBarros' CD release party.
Candida Rose is working on a CD. In an e-mail, she describes the work as "a mixture of who I am."
It was at the Maria deBarros' concert at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House earlier this month that I had the opportunity to see Candida Rose again. During one of her songs, Maria invited Candida Rose to join her on stage and the pair sang together briefly. After the song, Maria introduced Candida Rose and called her a talented singer from whom we can expect great things.
I don't doubt it.To learn more about Candida Rose, visit her Web site at

Ann Marie Lopes can be reached at

This story appeared on Page A8 of The Standard-Times on July 31, 2005. - New Bedford Standard Times - Ann Marie Lopes

A música de Cabo Verde acaba de ganhar mais um reforço de peso nos Estados Unidos com o concurso da cantora de Jazz, Gospel e Blues, Candida Rose. Esta grande artista descendente de imigrantes cabo-verdianos nasceu nos EUA mas cresceu num ambiente culturalmente cabo-verdiano. “Eu sempre ouvi a música de Cabo Verde e ainda com tenra idade eu já cantava “Txapeu di padja já cabá e Só Sabi” saboreava “mantchupa” e falava um pouco a língua cabo-verdiana.

Os pais de Candida, Gestrudes Santos Baptista e George António Baptista, infelizente todos ja falecidos, nasceram nos EUA e ambos eram filhos de imigrantes cabo-verdianos, sendo o lado materno originário de Santo Antão enquanto que o progenitor era um filho de bravenses.

A cantora ficou órfã de mãe aos catorze meses de idade tendo crescido com os avós santantonenses até os 4 anos de idade. Dos 4 aos 8 a cantora viveu com uma tia de nome Sebastiana, também natural de Santo Antão para depois passar a viver com o pai e uma madrasta, esta também proveniente de Cabo Verde. Curiosamente na infância os avós falavam com Candida em língua portuguesa, uma vez que a família, pelo lado materno, incluindo a própria mãe da artista, vivia em Portugal. Assim em termos de língua, a artista que até aos 4 anos de idade se exprimia em português passou a lidar com a variante do crioulo de Santo Antão e a partir dos 9 anos com a variante da Brava visto que os familiares do lado paterno, incluindo a madrasta, eram da bravenses. “A minha madrasta, Isilda Lobo, tinha chegada naquele tempo de Cabo Verde e como ela não falava inglês eu tinha que comunicar com ela apenas em crioulo. Para mim aquilo foi um grande linguisticamente falando.

Esta estrela da música lembra que foi a sua Tia Sebastiana quem a ensinou as primeiras canções cabo-verdianas entre as quais, “Tchapeu di Padja” e que foi ela quem a levou às primeiras festas cabo-verdianas, tendo, portanto, essa tia desempenhado um papel fulcral na sua moldagem cultural.

Mas surge a vida estudantil e a cultura americana exerce a sua influência natural sobre a adolescente Candida que assumiu, também por inteiro a sua identidade americana. Jazz, Rithm & Blues e Gospel passam a dominar a veia artística desta jovem que assume como sendo uma cabo-verdiana-americana uma vez que culturalmente diz que se situa entre esses dois mundos.

Por influência da música do famoso pianista jazz de origem cabo-verdiana Horace Silver, Candida começou a incluir temas cabo-verdianos no seu reportório até que decidiu passar a frequentar restaurantes cabo-verdianos onde viria a apaixonar de vez pela música de Cabo Verde criando um grande ciclo de amizades nos meios musicais.

Um CD cantado crioulo na forja
Após cantar em palcos prestigantes com um reportório tipicamente americano, Candida de Rose Baptista Hemsly decidiu entrar para a Conservatória de Música da Umass of Dartmouth onde recentemente obteve licenciatura em African American and World Music, que incluiu cadeiras de Jazz, Gospel, R&B e estudos sobre diversas fórmulas musicais do continente africano. O género musical cabo-verdiano, Batuque, foi um dos temas de disertação na tese de fim deste curso.

Nos últimos tempos, Candida Rose tem tido uma presença quase constante na maioria dos grandes eventos musicais da comunidade cabo-verdiana nos EUA e o grande sonho desta cantora é um dia poder actuar em Cabo Verde. Esta grande cantora, por exemplo, abrilhantou o Concerto de Música de Cabo Verde em comemoração ao voo inaugural da TACV na linha Sal/Boston/Sal com aviões da aerotransportadora nacional, a 4 de Julho; cantou e encantou no 2005 Onset Festival e fez dueto com Toi Pinto recentemente num concerto de CV Jazz em Rhode Island.

Ao que tudo indica a carreira artística de Candida Rose poderá estar em vias de tomar outro rumo uma vez que ao assumir a música cabo-verdiana, com seu “tempero jazzy,” esta cantora decidiu entrar em estúdio para gravar o seu primeiro disco no qual ela canta a esmagadora maioria das suas músicas na língua cabo-verdiana.

Na gravação deste seu álbum estreia, que já conta com quatro músicas quase prontas, a cantora está a trabalhar com os músicos cabo-verdianos Jim Job (baixo), Kalu Monteiro (bateria e percussão), David Ndaye e Claudio Ramos (piano), JL Santos Spencer (guitarra), Zé Rui de Pina (cavaquinho).

- Nos Jornal - J.L. Santos Spencer

(Note: Paragraph 1 of 2-page article)
"From Paul Gonsalves to Horace Silver, Vicki Vieira to Voginha and OliNos, Capeverdeans have long been drawn to jazz with startling results. The emergence of stellar vocalist "Candida Rose" Hemsley reinforces this proud lineage. But as her forthcoming release "KabuMerikana: The Sum of Me" will reveal, the 45-year old's musical knack ranges far beyond jazz, incorporating soul, gospel, and rhythm and blues. Not to be outshined is Rose's move into morna and coladera and her intrepid venture of composing in Creole...."
--Please go to for information on Sodade Magazine and how to get a copy of this article.-- - Sodade Music Magazine - Gus Martins - Spring 2006


KabuMerikana: The Sum of Me



Born, raised, and currently residing in New Bedford, Massachusetts, vocal artist “Candida Rose” captivates her audiences with the golden aura of her radiant presence and stirs them with a uniquely compelling voice that combines the overtones and undertones of jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel with just the right touch of international spice.

Candida Rose’s 10-song debut CD entitled “KabuMerikana: The Sum of Me”, combines her Cape Verdean musical roots with her American influences to bring a fresh new take on world/jazz music which she calls “KabuJazz”. This CD brings together world (Cape Verdean) and jazz musicians on jazz standards such as “Afro Blue” and “That’s All” and Cape Verdean standards such as “Sodade” and “Amor di Mai”. This CD also shows off some of her songwriting, composing, arranging and production talents and skills on songs such as “Kabu Verdi, Un Dia”, “Karta Pa Nha Pai” and “Too Late to Turn Back Now”. These performances combine the musicianship of noted Cape Verdean talents, Carlos “Kalu” Monteiro and Djim Job, with jazz notables, saxophonist Javon Jackson and bassist/guitarist Santi Debriano, among others. Nationally known poet Everett Hoagland contributes with the spoken word/song, title track “Sum of Me (Un Poku di Tude/A Little of All)”.

Candida Rose is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth where she graduated “Magna Cum Laude” with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in Music (African-American/World music) and a minor in African and African/American Studies. Under the guidance of artist/educators such as: Santi Debriano, Marcelle Gauvin, John Harrison III, Tim Harbold, royal hartigan, Semenya McCord and Andy McWain, she was active in several ensembles, including the UMASS Dartmouth Gospel Choir, the UMASS Dartmouth Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Creative Arts Jazz Ensemble, and the Kekeli African Drum and Dance Ensemble. Her final senior recital entitled “Sum of Me” represented all of her musical influences from gospel, jazz/blues, and Cape Verdean cultural roots, and included several original compositions. Candida had the honor of singing the U.S. National Anthem during UMASS Dartmouth’s 2005 graduation ceremony from which she graduated. In addition, as a representative of UMASS Dartmouth, Candida was chosen to sing with the world renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra during “UMASS Night at the Pops” 2007. She has added to her jazz vocal education endeavors by participating in workshops such as “JAZZ IN JULY” at UMASS Amherst under the instruction of world-renowned jazz vocal artist Sheila Jordan.

In addition to being a committed vocal artist, Candida is also a mother, grandmother and dedicated teacher and mentor to many of New Bedford’s aspiring young vocalists. Prior to formal education and training, Candida Rose developed her impressive vocal interpretations and her broad repertoire over 20 years of experience singing with local and nationally known jazz, R & B, and funk bands and individual artists. More recently, her experiences are derived from her focused work as a music/choir director, arranger, and composer with her church choir, the Union Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir, and other local groups. Her work as a vocalist for various civic events and with local youth-oriented programs has earned her the New Bedford Branch, “NAACP, Artistic Service Excellence Award” and several honors from the New Bedford City Council. She has performed on several occasions for the Mayor of New Bedford (including the Mayoral Inauguration), and has performed for several events during the election campaign and after the election of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. She recently represented New Bedford’s ECHO Project (a federally funded program through the Dept. of Education) during an 8-week Festival of Performing Arts tour traveling to Hawaii, Washington (DC)/NYC (National Museum of the American Indian), various parts of Massachusetts, and Alaska.

Candida Rose has performed with many masterful local, national, and internationally known musicians from both the jazz and world music arenas including: Rick Britto, Agusto Cego, Armsted Christian, Santi Debriano, Andre Hayward, John Harrison III, royal hartigan, Fred Ho, Tim Ingles, Javon Jackson, Herb King, John Kordalewski, Bill Lowe, Semenya McCord, Hafez Modirzadeh, Lello Molinari, Shawnn Monteiro, Bill Pierce, Curtis Rivers, Manny Santos, Jackie Santos, Stan Strickland, Frank Wilkins, to name a few. Not to mention a very special performance with 6-time “Grammy Award” Nominee, Kurt Elling. She has opened and performed for renowned world music vocalist Maria DeBarros. In addition, her gospel credits include solo performances with the National Center of Afro-American Artists' production of Langston Hughes' “Black Nativity”. She has also been a member of New England conservatory's “Millennium Choir”. Her international credits include recent performances at two major festivals in Cape Verde; one as back