Lucibela standing in front of a door.

Lucibela, Cape Verde’s Voice of Gold

This is the first in a six-concert series comprising the Center for World Music’s 2019-20 Season. 

Lucibela, Cape Verde’s Voice of Gold

“Ever since the death of legendary diva Cesária Évora in 2011, the world has been waiting for another Cape Verdean singer with her sublime poise and emotional power. We may have just found her in Lucibela”

—Banning Eyre, All Things Considered NPR.

Lucibela Album CoverLucibela is a young Cabo-Verdean born in 1986 on São Nicolau, one of the Barlavento islands off the coast of West Africa. Her voice has been compared to a friendly smile or a fresh breeze ruffling through bougainvillea blooms. The title of her first album, Laço Umbilical, suggests a cord linking the singer to her homeland. Over its 13 tracks, Lucibela reflects on being Cabo-Verdean woman far away from home who loves with sensuality and grace. The secret of Lucibela’s extraordinary vocal technique lies in her ability to explore the deep register of Brazil’s great samba musicians while adding a thrilling vibrato.

Composed by old masters such as Manuel de Novas, the traditional song repertoire that Lucibela champions spans decades. At the same time, Lucibela belongs to a new, uninhibited generation. Her music combines the instrumental cornucopia of the Cape Verde islands—including, for example, the 6-string guitar, the Portuguese cavaquinho guitar, the saxophone, accordion, and violin)—with contemporary electronic embellishments.

Lucibela grew up in Mindelo on the Cape Verde island of São Vicente. This port town became her “musical paradise,” thanks to the Brazilian, Cuban, British, and Portuguese sailors who sowed the seeds of the Creole musical genres morna and coladera in the islands.Click this button to purchase ticketsBeneath Lucibela’s sweet, smiling exterior is a woman who has also experienced life’s hardships. When she was in the last year of high school, her mother died and left the family destitute. Forced to earn a living, Lucibela began singing in the hotels and bars of Mindelo, frequented by tourists who wanted to hear local songs.

Lucibela smiling in an alleyEventually, Lucibela joined the band Mindel Som and left for the island of Sal, where she performed at the historic Hotel Morabeza. She was then offered a contract to sing on the sand dune island of Boa Vista. There, she worked hard to develop her vocal technique, repertoire, and musical skills for winning over audiences. In 2012 she moved to the capital city of Cape Verde, Praia, where she collaborated with well-known Cape Verdean guitarist Kaku Alves.

Lucibela recently moved to Lisbon, Portugal. She continues to hone her musical skills, remaining connected to the authenticity of her music by performing face-to-face in public squares and on the streets.

(Biography written by Véronique Mortaigne, edited by Center for World Music)

We invite you to visit Lucibela’s website and view her videos on YouTube.  Please download the flyer or visit the Facebook event page and consider sharing it!

$30 Advanced with $2 Online Processing Fee | $35 Door (cash only)

The WorldBeat Cultural Center is located at 2100 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101. The Estacionamento Balboa Park Parking Lot is located directly across the street at Inspiration Point Way.  Please use crosswalks to safely cross Park Blvd.

5:30 PM Doors Open. Enjoy vegan and foods from across the globe at the WorldBeat Cafe.
6:00 PM Concert Starts.

Lucibela will be accompanied at this performance by a live band.

Special thanks to the Worldview Project and the Worldbeat Cultural Center for partnering on this event.
Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

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2019–20 Passport to Worlds of Music Series

The Center for World Music’s 2019-2020 Passport to Worlds of Music Series

Sunday, September 22 at 6:00 PM
Lucibela, Cape Verde’s Voice of Gold
Featuring Lucibela and Band

Saturday, January 18 at 7:00 PM
Preservation Through Improvisation: The Korean Haegeum
Featuring Soo Yeon Lyuh

Saturday, February 15 at 7:00 PM
The Musical Legacy of an African Empire: Kora Music from Senegal
Featuring Amadou Fall

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Are you interested in becoming a sponsor and associating your name with artistic excellence and a global worldview for over 1,300+ attendees during our 2019-20 season? Here’s your chance. Visit our sponsorship page.


Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.


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