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TITO PARIS (1963) was born into a musical household, absorbing the sounds and rhythms of Cape Verde while growing up. His father played bass and banjo, his grandmother sang mornas and coladeras, and his grandfather played the violin and was also a craftsman building instruments. In the port of Mindelo, on his native island São Vicente, he got in contact with other music styles brought along by the international ships. Tito assimilated all and at the age of nine he made his musical debut.

 

Tito began playing the guitar, bass, drums and other instruments including the Cabo Verdian four-stringed cavaquinho. His intuitive recognition of the language and soul of the instruments inspired him to compose songs and writing lyrics. In 1982, his talent was recognised by the Cape Verdian singer Bana, who invited him to come to Lisbon (Portugal) to join his project, A Voz de Cabo Verde. With this solid experience, he released his first exclusively instrumental album Fidjo Maguado (“Wronged Son”) in 1985. Tito produced this album and also played all the instruments himself. Tito’s shows in Lisbon set the nightlife on fire and a bootleg of one of his concerts sold over 150,000 copies. This recording was mastered and released on CD in 2001. His concerts received outstanding reviews. Portuguese press wrote: “the excellent way, in which the guitarist-singer communicated with the audience, firing them up not just through his music but also by his instinctive understanding of the structure and pace that a concert should have.”

 

In the mid-1990s Tito and his band recorded Dança ma mi criola, which became one of his classics. The albums Graça de tchega (1996) and Ao vivo no B. Leza (1998) followed soon after. Once again the press praised: “With Tito Paris, the music of Cape Verde has become universal without losing touch with its roots. Instrumentally, the group demonstrated a secure touch that could not be bettered.” Another paper describes the performances as “dazzling.” David Byrne included him on the compilation “Afropea” anthology. French critics praise the “rare suavity” of his voice and his “consummate skill as a guitarist.”

 

Next to his successful career as a musician, he continues his work as a producer. In 1985, he produced the first album of Cesária Évora, another icon of the Cape Verdian music. He also composed one of the songs to the album, “Regresso.” Tito continues recording albums, giving concerts around the world and becomes increasingly recognised as one of the leading ambassadors of the Cape Verdian music. Tito released his sixth album Guilhermina, on Universal Music in 2002. It received enthusiastic reactions in Cape Verde, Portugal and around the world.

 

Tito’s music is deeply rooted in the Cape Verdian musical tradition, introducing influences from Angola, the north of Portugal, Mozambique, and the samba of Brazil. These influences are reflected on his new album Acústico. The album contains the recording of the magical live session of Tito and his band at the Aula Magna in Lisbon. It also features three new studio recording, all written by important composers from Cape Verde in the 60s. Their music has in many ways set the standard for the music we hear today from Cape Verde. The songs on the album Acústico display the full range of Tito Paris as a musician, singer, composer and arranger.

 

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