Still feeling the intensity of the emotion experienced in Colombia, where Morna was proclaimed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Nancy Vieira sets a goal: Like so many Cape Verdean immigrants, nothing would make her happier than return to her country. And stay there forever.

What did meant to you to be in Bogotá when UNESCO officially announced Morna as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity?I was very happy and surprised when I was invited to join the Cape Verdean representation at the intergovernmental meeting where UNESCO decided to adopt our Morna as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. What was it like to experience the moment?

It was a moment of great emotion! We were in Bogotá, Cape Verde and all over the world simultaneously. Everyone all over the world was following the news and we whore feeling all the reactions of this big moment.

Do you expect any changes from now on?

Morna is very loved and respected by Cape Verde and Cape Verdeans, inside and outside the islands. This would not change or increase with the proclamation but it will add responsibility of preserving it. This is one of the country’s main commitments to UNESCO and, mainly, to our tradition.

Have you always wanted to sing Morna?

When I chose to be an interpreter of Morna, I knew the responsibility that was entailed.

It was something I saw almost as being sacred by all the work that has been made by the pioneers of traditional Cape Verdean music in the world. Also what I felt listening to Bana, Titina and, later, Cesária and many, many other great ones.


At what age did you start singing?

I recorded my first Mornas at 19 years old. Morna always been present in my life, I listened at home on vinyl records and it was also played all the time by my father and family.

Do you still have a family in Cape Verde?

My family is all from Cape Verde and most of them are there. I was born in Bissau because my parents live there at the time but we went back to Cape Verde when I was four months old.

What memories do you have from your childhood?

I have the best memories of my childhood and adolescence in Cape Verde, between Praia, Mindelo and a dream vacation island, Ilha da Boa Vista, the island where my family is from.

Where do you live now?

In Portugal. My father came to work in Portugal when I was 14 years old, and I live here since then.

Did you maintain connections in Cape Verde?

I have always been lucky enough to be able to go to Cape Verde many times. We have always maintained a strong relationship with the country and with the family that still lives there.

Would you like to live in Cape Verde again?

Yes! It is more than a dream. It is in my plans to return to live in my islands.

You have a daughter. Does she intend to follow her mother’s footsteps in music?

My daughter has a beautiful voice and is very in tune. A few years ago she said she wanted to be a singer, but she didn’t talked about it again. We never know…

Morna of Cabo Verde

Morna of Cabo Verde is proclaimed Intangible Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Cape Verdean singer Nancy Vieira and instrumentalist Manuel de Candinho were the people in charge of accompanying the Minister of Culture and Creative Industries, Abraão Vicente, in Bogota. There, the singer and the instrumentalist performed “Sum Sabia”, a popular Morna.

Interview about Nancy’s participation in the ceremony :


New album «Manhã Florida»

New album « Manhã Florida » CD Harmonia/Lusafrica 025452

Out on 23 March 2018.

Her forebears came from the island of Boa Vista with its Saharan sands, she grew up on the African Santiago and the nomadic São Vicente, and launched her musical career in Lisbon, capital of fado and pop. Naturally, the singer with her direct, open gaze is very much at home in the world of international Portuguese-speaking culture.

 Manhã Florida is the singer’s fifth album and her second recorded for the Harmonia label, Lusafrica’s partner in the archipelago. It opens with Mi Sem Bo Amor, a superb morna penned by two great figures of Cabo-Verdean music: Vitorino Chantre, poet, musician and father of Teofilo, and Amândio Cabral, writer of the iconic Sodade. The first impression is of Nancy’s controlled, supremely true, highly characteristic voice, which has won the young woman acclaim from Portuguese critics as the “finest voice of Cabo Verde” of the new generation; the second is the wealth of musical worlds that unfold over a background of uncompromising classicism.

We find ourselves swept away on a journey to Cabo Verde that leads us from one island to the next in the heart of the Atlantic, between Africa, Brazil, Europe and the Caribbean, serenaded by the guitars and cavaquinhos of some of Cabo Verde’s greatest instrumentalists: Bau, Hernani Almeida, Zeca Mauricio and Zé Paris, not to mention Teofilo Chantre, who also directed the album’s flawless production.

Teofilo, the most Parisian of Cabo-Verdean musicians, is above all famous for the songs he wrote for Cesaria Evora (starting with the 1992 album Miss Perfumado), but also for his collaborations with Bernard Lavilliers – Elle Chante (She Sings), Y a pas qu’à New-York (Not Only in New York) – and Marc Estève (for Enrico Macias). Over the last 25 years, Teofilo Chantre has made his name as one of the key artisans of Cabo-Verdean music’s success worldwide, firstly with his own records (6 studio albums and one live to his credit) and then for his numerous collaborations as songwriter or artistic producer with other artists from the archipelago. So Nancy Vieira, who had been performing his songs for a long time, very naturally asked him to produce Manhã Florida. She wanted to dedicate the album to Cabo-Verdean guitar, whose melancholy, nostalgia and joie de vivre so beautifully accompany the charms of the archipelago’s melodies. Nancy carefully selected the pieces – which laid the foundations of Cesaria’s success and seem to be of another age – from the repertoires of the great classic writers (Amândio Cabral, Eugenio Tavares, Kaka Barbosa…) or the songs of today’s generation (Teofilo, Mário Lúcio, Betu, Tiolino, Antonio Alves)