Carmen Souza

Carmen de Lucas Vallejo.

Carmen SouzaHay que agradecer a la Sala Clamores que nos haya traído esta joya aquí, a Madrid, Carmen Souza. Para mí, ha sido todo un hallazgo descubrir el impresionante talento de una de las más grandes artistas del panorama musical actual.

Lo primero que impresiona es su carisma y una bella presencia escénica, pero no solo se queda ahí. Esta joven cantante nacida en Lisboa de padres cabo verdianos, entra en la música desde muy joven, a los 17 años hace sus primeros pinitos como cantante profesional en el Lusophone Gospel Choir y canta ocasionalmente estándares del jazz, soul y funk. Muy pronto adoptará un estilo musical único y muy personal.

Su voz es difícil de describir, porque recuerda a Nina Simone, también a Billy Holliday, a Sarah Vaughan y a Carmen McRae. El resultado es una voz rica en matices, muy expresiva, serena, en ocasiones muy sensual, otras veces espontánea, desenfadada, incluso divertida. Escuchar sus ritmos vibrantes, conmovedores es como estar envuelto en un mar de energía magnética llena de suavidad, tranquilidad y emoción…

Canta en portugués, francés, criollo, inglés, “scats” que recuerdan a la maravillosa Ella Fitzgerald, llenos de musicalidad y de swing, acariciando las melodías con su voz, pasando del agudo al grave con gran virtuosismo; su dominio del swing, el fraseo y su sentido rítmico evocan a la gran Billie Holliday; su tono melancólico y emocional a la cantante de los pies desnudos, Cesária Évora, todo un referente en la música de Cabo Verde.

Autora, compositora e intérprete, mezcla los ritmos cabo verdianos de su infancia, como el batuque, la kola o la morna, con ritmos tradicionales africanos y brasileños, y con corrientes del jazz contemporáneo, ha asimilado y transformado por completo estas y otras influencias y las ha potenciado con su propio vocabulario.

Ha creado un nuevo registro vocal en donde encontramos la cadencia de la morna, la delicadeza del fado, los ritmos del latin jazz, tanto las inspiraciones africanas como la saudade portuguesa. Es ese carácter polimórfico de su voz, con impresionantes modulaciones vocales de profundas raíces africanas, lo que le da esa capacidad de fundirse en una música plural hasta convertir su voz en un nuevo instrumento que nos envuelve.

Pero claro, hablar sólo de su voz, es retratarla a medias. También habría que destacar su habilidad melódica, la calidad de sus letras, su buen gusto con los arreglos y la instrumentación, su fantástico criterio para seleccionar sus músicos acompañantes y, desde luego, el compromiso y el respeto que demuestra para con su propia cultura.

Todo esto hace de Carmen Souza una artista en el sentido más estricto y completo de la palabra.

Podéis escucharla aquí:

 

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