Cesaria Evora | Celia Cruz | Mama Afrika

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 16:20 PM EDT, 28 January 2010

In Tanzania and Nigeria where I grew up, "everyone is an artist because art in Africa is not a commercial enterprise but is part of life itself." This is true of all the disciplines, sculpture, art, and music; however, unlike sculpture and art, music is immediately accessible. Whether the vocalist sings in Xhosa, Spanish, Portuguese or French the listener comprehends the essence of these songs.

Music is the lyre of our souls and though there are many great voices that hail from all parts of the Diaspora, for me these matriarchs of Africa have created a lasting legacy capable of transporting us from the ennui of our daily existence to the coasts of Cape Verde, the sensuality of Cuba, the heart of a South African township, or to the vaulted halls and stages of Paris, France.

I hope this post will encourage you to learn more about Cesaria Evora, Celia Cruz, Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone. Each of these woman have had a profound cultural impact and influence on the music of the Diaspora. From the perspicacious, political anthems of Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone to the upbeat, celebratory music performed by Cesaria Evora and Celia Cruz, these women through their lives and music have highlighted and promoted the unique and rich cultural diversity that is the people of the Diaspora.

Source: The Independent Article: Art of Africa: The 50 best African artists © 2006 Independent News and Media
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