Fantcha | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
comment

FANTCHA

Thanks to the "barefoot diva" Cesaria Evora, music fans almost universally equate the island nation of Cape Verde with morna, the melancholy balladic style sometimes characterized as an East African version of the blues. But Cape Verde's music has other moods as well, including the lighter, usually faster, and always more upbeat style called coladeira, which sashays through the work of Fantcha. That alone would set Fantcha apart from Evora, who took up the younger singer's cause--and took her on tour in the U.S. and Europe--in the late 80s. But even when she sings morna, Fantcha sounds nothing like her mentor. She's neither developed nor cultivated the older woman's husky, dusky shadings; her yearnings find voice in a throaty clarity more readily associated with Portuguese fado (an antecedent of morna) or Spanish flamenco. Her timbre also recalls the easy brightness of the great Cuban singers, to whom she's listened extensively, and on her 1998 solo album, Criolinha (Tinder), she sings tunes that could fit comfortably into the repertoires of either salsa queen Celia Cruz or Brazilian pop star Marisa Monte. She performs here as part of the MCA's fifth annual Summer Solstice Celebration. Friday, 7:30 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago; 312-280-2660. NEIL TESSER

Add a comment