Sara Tavares Biography

1978, Lisbon, Portugal. While she was still a small child, Tavares’ parents, who had emmigrated from Cape Verde, separated and moved away. Her mother took along her younger children and Tavares was raised by another family. Later, Tavares sought solace in her musical heritage, and learned English through listening to songs on radio and records by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Donny Hathaway, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder. Eventually, Tavares won a television talent contest, out of which came a contract with BMG Records. In 1994, she represented Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest. On her recordings, Tavares has found an agreeable musical mix by blending the music of Cape Verde, such as coladeira, with strains of other African cultures that were influenced by Portuguese colonisation. All of this is overlaid with an awareness of her European background as well as the all-embracing music that has emerged from the USA. Musicians in Tavares’ group include Boy Ge Mendes (guitar), Fernando Embalo (bass) and n’Du (percussion). In her stage shows, Tavares accompanies herself on guitar and sometimes on thumb piano. Her singing embraces gospel, soul and contemporary pop, and she has also worked with a Portuguese gospel choir she helped found.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.