Posted by paulrivas on:
Yes, there are some accent marks in her name. And yes, the Santa
Barbara Man About Goleta is back from 10 days exiled in Lompoc
for not keeping it real enough locally.
Rivas Cultural Services had 30th birthday gift tickets from Clare to hear the old barefooted woman from Cape Verde sing. With Clare taking used-to-be Carp High track star and later co-worker of mine Mike Medel's public speaking class at SBCC, Rivas Cultural Services invited the president of Dyrenforth Acquisitions, a lover of languages and musics.
I hadn't been expecting a band, but was energized to see the guitar, piano, cavaquinho, bass, two drummers and clarinet. Herr Dyrenforth was excited about the cavaquinho, a four-string ukulele-like guitar. Of the clarinetist inspecting the stage before the show, and before we knew he was the clarinetist, the acquisitionist commented that, "That guy looks like the real thing."
Herr Dyrenforth is one of two music snobs that Rivas Cultural Services likes to associate with. The other is in San Francisco. And Herr Dyrenforth said that Cesaria Evora was the best show he'd seen in Santa Barbara in years. As for Rivas Cultural Services, we're willing to swear that this is the best show we've ever seen in Campbell Hall. For the record, SB Independent photographer Paul Wellman was seeing Evora for the third time, though Tuesday was his first with camera.
The fascinating part of hearing Evora perform is that she sings in the creole-sprinkled Portuguese of Cabo Verde, an island 500 miles off Senegal. I've seen with my own eyes that Lisbon is full of Senegalese, and my Portuguese Portuguese teacher Sara Rocha told me they speak Portuguese in Cabo Verde, and I know there were once quite a few in Buenos Aires, where I lived two years, but I'd never heard someone from Capo Verde sing before! They sound so cool! Not only do they not put the Brazilian "e" sound at the end of final consonants, but they do make the "sh" sound for s, but a softer one than in Portugal. So Lisboa sounds like "Leeshboa", and will even lop off the whole last syllable. "Santa Barbara" was "Santa Barbar" in one chorus, and "saudade" was "sodad".
Herr Dyrenforth loved that when a Brazilian woman stood up and shouted a request during the encore, Evora appeared to pay the Brazilian absolutely no attention.
In attendance was Dr. Dick Flacks - of whom my parents and I are former students - host of "Culture of Protest", which airs every Thursday from 6 to 7pm on 91.9 KCSB.