Maria Alice

Maria Alice


Maria-Alice's talent and magnificent voice capture the emotion of Mornas and Coladeiras like no one since Cesaria. However her recent collaborations with Fado singers take her musical fusion into new territory and confirm her as an important new voice in African music.


Maria Alice de Fátima Rocha Silva was born on
October 23rd, 1961 on Sal Island in Cape Verde.
At the age of 14, Maria Alice started to sing among
friends in her home country. Later she took part in
several contests for new-coming singers in which she achieved some success, drawing the attention of some musicians (who often visited the island)
through her sweet voice that reminds the intonation of Indian singers.

In 1981, she settled in Lisbon and since then has collaborated in performances of other Cape Verdean musicians. Due to her natural talent to sing mornas and coladeras, and the particularity of her voice - crystal clear, sensual and intense -
she was soon considered by many as the possible successor to Cesária Evora, who she admires, although keeping her own style and personality.
In that same year, the Portuguese press made reference to her outstanding performance during the "International Festival of African Music" in the Algarve. In 1994, she records her first CD "Ilha d´Sal" which was much acclaimed by the public and the specialized press.

The CD entitled "D'Zemcontre", released in April of 1996, immediately got a good response from the press. The album featured accompaniment by Cape
Verde's top musicians, including Armando Tito, Manuel Paris, Vaiss, Dalu, Nandinho and Toy Vieira who also produced the CD). It also featured contributions from many of Cape Verde's renowned song-writers including Ramiro Mendes, Jorge Humberto, Toy Vieira, and Luís Lima. In this album Maria Alice sets up aesthetic lines that guide her artistic future by choosing an acoustic setting that favours her voice and bets on Cape Verdean composers and young musicians. One song in particular, 'Falsa Testemunho', provided her
with an enormous success following in the Cape Verdean community across the globe. It also was probably the most sought after track for Africa music compilations in the past 5 years.

In the meantime, she performed in festivals in the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, USA, in Expo 94 (Seville) and Expo 98 (Lisbon), at the Montreal Jazz Festival, Santa Maria Festival and in "Cesária Évora and Friends" tour (England, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and France) that gave rise to a live record in Paris.

In 2002 saw the release of her eagerly awaited follow up disc, "Lágrima e Súplica". Featuring ten new songs and collaborations with Cuban singer Pedro Ybanez the album truly shows the variety of musical influences on the islands - from Cuban son to Portuguese fado. This production by Humberto Ramos led to a tour in several locations in Portugal - Oporto (Sá da Bandeira), Lisbon (Maria Matos), Crato, Évora, Guarda, Lagos and others...

In October of 2003, she participated in the project "Women of Cape Verde" touring through UK together with Lura and Nancy Vieira, two other singers from the young Cape Verdean generation.
Since then she has performed in Portugal and abroad (Cape Verde, France, Germany, Russia, San Marino, Switzerland and The Netherlands) with great success presenting "Lágrima e Súplica".

2008 was the year of “Tocatina”, Maria Alice’s third album. This record, dedicated to her father - Ti Custod - is entirely dedicated to Morna and was
produced by her friend and musician Humberto Ramos.

They tried to reproduce the feeling from the early 60’s/70’s, at Sal Island (where Maria Alice was born) when all people gathered around, in the
evening, to play traditional songs from Cape Verde. This album, recorded in one take, has 10 traditional Mornas from the cape-verdean noble composers like Francisco Xavier da Crus (B.Leza), Eugénio Tavares or Nha Bana.

Now, Maria Alice has been presenting “Tocatina” live through the country. Known for her rystal-clear vocal intensity, Maria Alice has risen to the upper
echelon of Cape Verdean music.

Press Quote

"Maria-Alice's talent and magnificent voice capture the emotion of Mornas and Coladeras like no one since Cesária. However her recent collaborations
with Fado singers take her musical fusion into new territory and confirm her as an important new voice in African music.

"The ease with which she delivers music of such aching passion is truly astonishing.”
In Liveroots - UK


1994 - Ilha de Sal
1996 - D'Zemcontre
2002 - Lágrima e Súplica
2008 - Tocatina

Set List

1 Lutchinha
2 Morna nha Sant’Ana
3 Sol na tchada
4 Parede bedje
5 Nha jokina
6 Resposta de segredo
7 Sonha na bo
8 Falso testemunho
9 Bia
10 Despedida
11 N’ne so sofre
12 Novo olhar
13 Velha bichica
14 Teresinha