Gabriela Mendes
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Gabriela Mendes


Band World Latin


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"It is at four years old by listening to my mom singing at the house that I discovered the pleasure of the music of my country. Good musicians as the violinist Malaquias came often to rehearsal at the house to play in religious cultural evenings." Gabriela Mendes sang in the nights of "tocatina" at all the bars of the Cape Verde Islands, took part in great festivals, in particular that of Santa Maria on the island of Sal, that of Praia Cruz, cradle of the morna, before meeting her producer. Didier Jeanne a French fisherman, adventurous, married the dreams of the girl with the pure heart. Gabriela made her appearance in France on December 15 in the China Club. For us it is a budding diva! The opportunities to perform abroad are rare, -"my islands are far from the world" -, but the young woman, is already serious and deep, lengthily meditated on loneliness, nostalgia, the "sodade", she dreams today to transmit to the public of the whole world the history and the traditions of Cape Verde ”.

Gabriela Mendes was born in 1973 at São Vicente islands within a simple family, her father is from the island of Boavista, he was obliged to emigrate abroad to work for his family and her mother is from the island of S.Nicolau, she raised her children at the house in São Vicente.

Since small Gabriela was in contact with the music so much by her father who played guitar than by her mother who sang in the religious festivities. Many musicians regularly came to rehearsal at the house and Gabriela observed them, she adored to see her mother singing and admired her much. During Gabriela’s childhood she felt hard the absence of her father, she often wrote letters to him and some times by listening to mornas in the radio with her mother, they cried of nostalgias while dreaming of his return.

Originating in a catholic family at 6 years old Gabriela enters the Salesiana School where she forms part of the choral group of the priest Cristiano. His great musical knowledge and by his engagement fascinates the small girl, Father Cristiano becomes an outstanding presence and he transmits to her a strong passion to sing.

At 15 years old, Gabriela is already the soloist of the choral group of the Nossa Senhora da Luz parish in São Vicente, she remembers her first frustration: "When the Saint Father Jean Paul II came to São Vicente, I had prepared the psalm during almost 2 months, the mass would be celebrated in the football stage in front of 50.000 people but the day before I caught cold and suddenly I remained without voice..."
At 17 years old Gabriela travel throughout the world (Sweden, the United States, Costa Rica, etc) and then she understands for the first time the word "Sodade = Nostalgia". She is far from her country and its people, but with the dream to know new horizons. She returns two years later while having learned how to love her country and traditions.

In 1997 Gabriela leaves for the Fogo Island, where the traditional practices and feast are still quite present. There, she finds loneliness; the village is very calm... She comes into contact with the nature of the island, at the same time mystical and captivating; she can better analyze her interior world, see and understand what happens around her by feeling the need for being expressed. The music is the only form which she found to release from her interrogations and anxieties.

Thus she starts to write poems and to attend the nights of "tocatina" in which she takes part. It is at once that Gabriela discovers the pleasure of singing mornas and coladeiras, to share emotions with the public "and when I arrived at home I felt richer".
Later it was the musicians who invited her to sing in the "tocatinas" which occurred from bar in bar during all the night.

In 1998 at the time of the concert of the singer Cesária Évora in the island of Fogo, Gabriela filled with wonder decides to follow her desire to be a singer and comes into contact with the Bau musician, with whom she asks to help her to work her voice and also so that he lets her take part in some concerts. The musician accepts and return to São Vicente, Gabriela sings in the bars and restaurants of the island and in the festivals of the country.

This dry, arid little country has force its people to emigrate, leaving behind its heart and soul.
Our repertoire is based on traditional rhythms that express the feelings and daily life of Cape Verdeans.
In the MORNA, one senses solitude, sadness, nostalgia, disappointment and love.
In the COLADEIRA, one finds a perfect blend of joy and dance, under the spell of a plucked guitar, the sound of a violin and a melodious, captivating voice.
In the FUNANA, one is swept along by the courage of these good souls, with drums whose beat provides the rhythm for the hot bodies of an obstinately happy people.
In the SAN JON, one appreciates the power of a cadence that speaks of these islands, battered by the wind and the force of the ocean, and this dreamy peopl