Maiuko sings Saudade
Maiuko, the voice of Mozambique at the Lost Theatre on Monday 31 Oct. (LIFEM-2011)
Maiuko is far from the assumed traditional African music act, but don’t get me wrong, she is so much more, this is real music ,fearlessly expressed and possibly a little ahead of our time.
Maiuko’s involving powerful voice flooded the small room with feelings of ‘saudade‘,
in the singer’s own translation; a blend of sadness and joy. She explains; “as I have been away from home most of my life, this feeling has been my grounding companion, helps me keep connected with my roots and inner essence“.
Maiuko captured the audience right from the start with ‘Jose‘, a song she wrote dedicated to her father who recently passed away. Choosing her notes very carefully, in this song Maiuko makes excellent use of her vocal extensive range, immersed in fusion and accentuated African vocal influences, she performed over a jazzed-up concept rhythm section occasionally topped with flowing high quality improvisation by flutist Paul Cheneour. Further success of cross-over Afro Blues /Jazz was also demonstrated in other compositions of her own; Mozambique, Sweet Back Mama and Shuffle- collaboration with Max Middleton).
Later on in the set, Maiuko briefly spoke about the Blues African origins and the impact these influences add to her development as a singer /song-writer. To highlight this moment she invited on stage Senegalese singer Laye Sow for an African blues inspired ballad. A smooth combination of two great interpreters where once again Maiuko’s voice elevated the performance to another level.
She paid respect to Billie Holliday, Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba as; “great women of inspirational black music “. Finally she closed the show with a second encore; ‘Voa’ a vocal and rhythm moment inspired by African/Portuguese blues ; Fado.
Left us living a little more.
Photo Credit - Dan Desbourgh