BITORI ft Chando Graciosa
80 year old Legend of Funana
Once Forbidden Music of Cabo Verde islands
Re-released on renowned label Analog Africa – WOMEX 2017 Alumni
A Kokako Music production, founded with AA.
Coming up 2018 more to be announced
30 June Festival MED, PT | 5 July Roskilde, DK
In 1997 gaita accordion player Victor Tavares aka BITORI, traveled to Rotterdam from his home on the island of Santiago, Cabo Verde, to record an album with iconic singer Chando Graciosa.
The impact would be beyond their imagination.
From mainstream festivals like Lowlands, to underground like Fusion, from Norway, to Chicago to Malaysia: Funana touched the hearts of global audiences and will continue to do so.
In May 2016 Bitori received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the President of Cabo Verde, during the CVMA Awards!
On tour: 5 on stage, 7 on the road. Based in CV (1), Lisbon & Rotterdam
Education & workshops: the band is available for workshops for various age groups and themes. From Richmond Folk Festival, to Rainforest Music Festival they’ve shared their story in words, rhythm, music and smiles.
20 Years, in 2016, later that album was released once more: this time sharing Funana music far beyond CV, launching a well deserved international career.
They had met years earlier, when Chando (from Tarafal) was in his late teens and lead singer of the main youth band in Praia. He immediately felt drawn to Bitori’s talent, his raw passionate sound and honest lyrics reflecting the harsh reality of the working class.The specific music style they are famous for is Funana: based on ferro (metal scraper), vocals, and gaita (accordion). Under Portuguese rule it was forbidden, frowned upon as music of uneducated peasants and deemed too “wild”. Only following Cape Verde’s independence in 1975 the sound began to spread more and broke out of that rural image with fierce energy.
Chando had moved to the largest port city of Europe, Rotterdam: as safe heaven and home to the countries most important label Morabeza Records. There they build around a formidable rhythm section incl drummer Grace Evora and bass player Danilo Tavares. “Bitori Nha Bibinha” was born, a masterpiece which catapulted Chando Graciosa to stardom, making him Cabo Verde´s No.1 singer of Funana.
The success in Cabo Verde was phenomenal, and funaná rapidly gained the recognition it deserved, especially in urban dance clubs. Bitori´s songs quickly became standards, classics, known and loved throughout the country. But its success was limited solely to the Cabo Verdean islands, and never had the opportunity to travel beyond its confines — until now!
All that changed with Analog Africa prepared it’s re-release for 2016 and started forming a band around Bitori & Chando, teaming up with partner Kokako Music to tour the globe.