The Maryland Cape Verdean Music Traditions Project

Peter Arteaga  Pablo Regis cavaco

Cape Verdean music has a rich musical tradition that is passed on through oral history and direct learning from practitioners. Novices learn from elders and masters in the community through one-on-one interactions, community sessions, and performances. This apprenticeship award grants Cape Verdean master musician Peter Arteaga and Brazilian cavaquinho player Pablo Regis the time and resources to engage in this traditional practice to foster the growth and preservation of Cape Verdean music in Maryland. The apprenticeship will culminate in local performances by Peter, Pablo, and community collaborators.

The musical, cultural art of traditional Cape Verdean music, including the instrumental techniques on cavaquinho and guitar, which will include song forms, rhythmic cycles, conventions, repertoire, as well as Cape Verdean music history and industry, are part of the practice of Luso-African folklife in the diaspora. Their focus on the musical styles of morna, coladeira, samba Angola, and mazurca are the oldest traditional harmonic music styles of Cape Verde.

The project will focus on the genres of morna, coladeira, samba Angola, and mazurca, as well as the specific styles of Cape Verdean guitar and cavaquinho techniques such as Bordão, Monzada, and Spanikada. Peter will also pass on general knowledge of Cape Verdean music history, instrumentation, and various musical genres from the archipelago, with a particular focus on the instrumental music of composers Antonio Travadinha and Eugenio Tavares. While the cavaquinho exists in both Cape Verdean and Brazilian music (the product of Portuguese colonization in both nations), the techniques are different.

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