Zé Luis is nearly sixty. For years, he has been singing informally for Cape Verdean audiences. Now, for the first time, the rest of the world has a chance to hear his warm, enchanting voice on record.
Cape Verdian singer Zé Luís has a new album titled Serenata on the Lusafrica label. On the album, Zé Luis’s vivid and relaxed tenor voice tones provide a skillful counterpoint to the rolling guitar rhythms and cascading cavaquinhos of his string trio.
Born in Praia, the Cape-Verdean capital city in the island of Santiago, Zé Luis moved at the age of 4 to the islands of Principe and Tome, where he grew up among the plantation workers, assimilating the musical traditions and learning the songs of the workers who, like his parents, had come from different parts of Cape Verde to earn their living there.
Today, back in the city of his birth he enjoys a reputation both as a master carpenter and as the velvet-voiced performer of an extensive selection of mornas, coladeras and mazurkas which he has performed throughout Cape Verde since the 1980s.