Cape Verde has been best known for its female artists, from the groundbreaking Cesaria Evora to Lura. But a young man from Santiago is claiming his place. Tcheka has embraced the gentlest rhythms of Cape Verde: the musical form batuku, a beat unique to the island of his birth and primarily the province of women. Tcheka employs such everyday items as hubcaps and telephone books for percussion.
The result is music that transports batuku tradition from the past to the present, carrying the echoes of Santiago's defiant storytellers into a modern age. Tcheka projects this modern version of this "women's work" with his sophomore album, entitled, Lonji produced by Brazilian rocker Lenine, which is in stores now.
The CD sets the stage for a U.S. tour by the Cape Verdean artists, with summer concerts that include Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, the Detroit Festival of the Arts, and Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. His performance on July 20th at the California World Music Festival in Grass Valley, CA will also celebrate Tcheka's 35th birthday.