Gardenia Benros
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Gardenia Benros

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Digital Downloads on Calabash Music"

http://gardenia.calabashmusic.com/

Gardenia
Cape Verdean by birth, Gardenia Benros is a critically acclaimed artist descended from a family of celebrated Cape Verdean singers.

Her mother, known as "Meek," and her grandmother "Nené" were her role models. Nené had popularized the mornas [sad, romantic ballads] of Cape Verde's best known composer, Eugenio Tavares.

A celebrity in her native Cape Verde and in European countries like Portugal, Spain, Holland, France, and Italy, Gardenia recently graduated from Berkelee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, earning a degree in Professional Music. She has released a string of successful albums for PolyGram, the first Cape Verdean ever signed to the label, and had toured extensively with many appearances on television shows and on the covers of magazines throughout Europe and the former Portuguese colonies of Cape Verde Island, Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau in Africa.

In Cape Verde, there are many female singers, but not many female composers. Gardénia strives to conciliate the two, and to be a voice travelling through different places and times, bridging the islands, as well as bridging the islands to the world.

A PRAISE TO GARDENIA

Magically your voice enchants

While singing mornas

You cast a spell, with your beauty and elegance

Beloved, you are our messenger

From the Island of Santo Antao, to Brava

Unparalleled, you represent Cape Verde

The nest of troubadours and poets

Who thirst for the unimaginable goddess.

Singing thought the universe

And making familiar our legend,

Alive and deep within

You kindle this flame

In these meek quatrains of praise

Dedicated with all my heart

Gardenia, a flower in a garden,

A thank you from Joao Amaro - Calabash Music


"Berklee College Alumni News"

http://www.berklee.edu/bt/122/alumnotes.html

1997
Singer/songwriter Gardenia Benrós of Boston, MA, released her second independent CD titled Bo Kin Cre. The music (sung in Portuguese) was an immediate success in her native Cape Verde, where her song "Trabissero" reached number one. Working on the album with Benrós were keyboardists Ricardo Pachecco Chaves '97 and Joaquin Fernandez '98, bassist Guido Stewart '98, and engineers Nicholas Lee '95 and Jeff Gomez '98. Faculty member Bob Patton did the mastering. Visit her web site at www.gardenia.net. - Berklee College


"In Portuguese: Gardénia Benrós: novo disco no mercado"

http://www.caboverdeonline.com/contents/Port/2002/G/07/g061202.asp

“Morna Nos Herança” é o título do novo disco da cantora cabo-verdiana Gardénia Benrós, uma obra repleta de grandes clássicos, num total de doze trechos, sendo a metade da autoria de Eugénio Tavares. As gravações decorreram em Portugal e nos Estados Unidos da América com o envolvimento de figuras de proa da música cabo-verdiana nomeadamente, Paulino Vieira, Ramiro Mendes, Péricles Duarte, Chico Serra, Tito Paris, Toy Vieira, Danny Carvalho entre outros. Nota-se que a harmonização da obra ganha um forte ambiente com o concurso da Berklee College Orchestra que confere ao reportório o tom clássico que vem ganhando terreno nas grandes obras da música conteporânea de Cabo-Verde. A Abertura do CD, com soberba interpretação da morna “Raizinho de Sol”, do compositor Aguinaldo Fonseca “Tuca”, abrilhantada pela voz de Dona Meek, mãe da Gardénia, deixa claro a origem da veia musical da cantora. A simbiose das duas vozes resulta num produto de grande qualidade, como é o caso da faixa “Beijo di Sodade” do lendário trovador mindelense, BLeza. A mestria de Paulino Vieira está bem patente em “Morna nos Herança”, obra na qual o famoso poli-instrumentista cabo-verdiano assina o arranjo de seis temas, aos quais deixa uma vez mais a sua notável imagem sonora a piano, guitarras acústica e eléctrica, baixo, bateria e côros.

Duetos vocais de alto nível
José Domingos, bravense residente em Brockton, USA, constitui outra aposta de Gardénia Benrós para as interpretações vocais desta nova produção. Diga-se em abono da verdade que a aposta foi ganha porquanto o intérprete e dotado de um talento invulgar na música, uma espécie de cantor lírico cabo-verdiano, um autêntico tenor que em harmonioso contraste com as modulações de Gardénia fez de “Bidjiça” e "Força di Cretcheu" de Eugénio Tavares, momentos de deleite para os amantes da morna. A artista Gardénia Benrós que se encontra numa nova fase da sua carreira, após concluir formação superior na maior escola de música do mundo, o “Berklee College of Music”, diz sentir-se agora melhor apetrechada na área e com muito à-vontade no domínio da auto-gestão da vida artística. Gardénia Benrós nasceu na capital cabo-verdiana, Praia, mas apesar de ter deixado a sua terra natal aos 3 anos de idade passando a viver em Portugal e depois nos Estados Unidos da América, nunca perdeu a sua identidade cultural. Antes pelo contrário.
O facto de ser filha de uma intérprete de música tradicional de Cabo Verde permitiu-lhe “fazer escola da música cabo-verdiana” desde tenra idade e com isso ganhar grande alicerce artístico. Para além da mãe, Meek, a artista conta no seu seio familiar com outras figuras com bom percurso musical. A Avó, natural de Nova Sintra, ilha da Brava, destacou-se na sua época a cantar em saraus. Tinha a primazia de revelar ao público as novas criações de Eugénio Tavares.
Leia mais sobre a carreira de Gardénia Benrós numa reportagem alargada na CV MAGAZINE – Revista Diáspora Cabo -Verdiana, que estará nas bancas a partir do dia 4 de Julho de 2002.


Copyright 2002, CaboVerdeOnline.com, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
- CaboVerdeonline.com, by Santos Spener


Discography

Gardenia's discography

# Gardenia Benrós, Polygram Records, EUA, 1986.
# When Love is Gone/I Need You, Polygram Records, EUA, 1987
# Raizinho di Sol, Ed. Autor, EUA, 1988
# O Melhor de Cabo Verde Mix, MB Records, EUA, 1989
# É Sim, MB Records, EUA, 1990.
# O Melhor de Cabo Verde Mix II, MB Records, EUA, 1994
# Kryola D' Encantar, PolyGram Records, EUA,1995
# Simplesmente Caboverdiana, Indep.Talent Productions, EUA, 1997
# Bo Kim Cre, Independent Talent Productions, EUA, 1999.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Gardenia has an impressive background with many pioneering elements in her musical journey including the irst female Cape Verdean to graduate from Berklee College of Music and has performed at Major casinos in Portugal; along with performances in Europe, Canda, the Caribbean Islands, Hawaii and the United States.

Gardenia’s singing DNA is two generations deep, as both her grandmother, Carmen Fermnio Pinto and mother, Maria Filomena were both reputed singers in the Islands.

There are many female singers. Composers however, not as many as Gardénia, the golden voice of Cape-verdean music, thrives to conciliate the two, along with editing her own work, and invests in herself to determine the direction of her career.
A voice travelling through different places and times, bridging the islands, as well as bridging the islands to the world.

Fourteen years after her first album, having released nine until now, Gardénia is not ready to rest. On the contrary, the artist is investing more each day in her career, and less than two years ago she created her own company. It is worth going back in time to remember how it all started.
Although she was born in the city of Praia, on the island of Santiago, in Cape Verde, it is on the traditions of the morna of the island of Brava where she got the inspiration and the themes for her first album in 1986, where she interprets the compositions of the famous poet and rhymer, Eugénio Tavares.

This was no accident, considering that she was born with, this tradition: her grandmother, born in the Village of Nova Sintra, was known in her time for her performances at parties and cultural events on the island as an interpreter of mornas, and for her public presentations of new creations of the composer, taught to her by the composer himself. Her mother revealed early on to have a good voice and talent, which called the attention of one of the Capuchin monks on the island, who gave her voice lessons. Later, she even sang on radio programs. Naturally, the mornas of Maestro Eugénio were part of her repertoire.

Nothing more natural for the young singer, with an antecedent like this, to lean towards the tradition of Brava's mornas on her debut album, recorded in Lisbon with musician like Paulino Vieira, Toi Vieira, Péricles Duarte and Tito Paris, among others.
Edited by PolyGram, this work turned Gardénia into a pioneer in Cape Verdean music - still today, but more during the 70s and 80s - are edited by the authors themselves or by record labels that are not known internationally.

Having been discovered, Gardenia's music brings on new perspectives. In the albums that she has recorded up to date, Cape Verdean tradition appears as a determining heritage in her growth as an artist. However, her music will blend with her personal and musical experience - her childhood in Lisbon, her adolescence in Boston, where she debuted as a vocalist of the band Tropical Power, made up Cape Verdeans residents in the U.S - which naturally left their marks.

Studying to be an all-rounded artist

First she sang. Then, she composed.
In her most recent work, Bo Kin Cre, from 1999, Gardénia joined the club of composers and this happened after having attended Berkley College of Music of Boston. "Music school turned me into a complete artist" she affirms.

"Now I can continue to develop my own style, using the musical influences of the countries where I've lived and live, but always respecting the base of Cape Verdean musical tradition."

"Completing a degree in music continues to be a rarity among women. This helped me to deal with any musician in the world. I didn't mind interrupting my career to get an education", says the artist. Concentrating in the areas of voice and performance, Gardénia didn't put aside the aspects connected to business.
Determined to put into practice the acquired knowledge, she created in 1998 her own label, Independent Talent Productions. "Today I am able to produce and distribute my own work."
Gardénia has inspired poets and composers like Manuel de Novas, João Amaro, Teófilo Chantre, among others. The poet Jomar in the poem Louvor a Gardénia, writes: "When singing mornas you are a genie, a messenger for us all, you are beautiful with all courtesy and you bewitch all with your voice." Throughout her career, besides the frequent invitations within the United States, where she lives, she has enchanted audiences with her performances in many countries. Canada, Barbados, Hawaii, France, Holland, Spain - besides, naturally, Portugal and Cape Verde - are some of the countries where she has been through.

In 1999 she conducted a series of performances in Portugal to promote her most recent album. Each performance was a unique moment of meeting with the sound of Cape Verde in the unique voice of Gardénia, accompanied by excellent musician, such as Toy Vieira, John Mota, Moisés, Euclídes Barbosa and Zé Mário. Tito Paris, was a constant and alert presence.
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