Artist Profile


Carmen Souza

Cape Verde

Carmen Souza was born in Lisbon (1981) within a Christian family of Cape Verdeans. At an early age, she experienced the “Sodade” feeling of missing someone with the long absence of her father, due to his work at sea. She grew up in a mixed language environment of Creole, the Cape Verde dialect her parents spoke at home, and Portuguese, but always surrounded by the Cape Verdean way of life.

Theo Pascal, her producer and mentor, and one of the best bass players in Portugal, discovered her talent and introduced Carmen to Jazz and other contemporary sounds that markedly influenced her musical development.

Carmen Souza has toured extensively around the World since 2005, and performed in festivals like The North Sea Jazz Festival, Leverkusener Jazztage, San Francisco Jazz Festival and many others. Her first concerts in Cape Verde received great reviews from press and audience, and all recognized her special and unique place in the Cape Verdean music culture. In 2013 she won the title of Best female singer and Best Morna with the album Kachupada, at the Cape Verdean ‘Grammys’- Cape Verde Music Awards. In 2013 she was awarded the SILVER MEDAL for Cultural Merit by the Cape Verde Government.

With 8 critically acclaimed albums released worldwide, Carmen Souza is, undoubtedly, a true world music force and one of Europe’s most in-demand jazz singers, as someone said: “Carmen Souza does not have to decide whether her music is Jazz or ‘World Music’. Her style is just as unique and as convincing as her Cape Verdean roots as evident as her desire to create a new language under the label of ‘World Jazz’.