Captivating the world music scene since his recording debut in 1984, Pepe Bana, has been a steadfast embassador of traditional “Cape Verdean” music. Evoking the beautiful melodies and West African rhythms of Morna, Coladeira, Tabanka and Talaia Baixo, Pepe’s music takes listeners on a soulful musical journey reminiscent of the tropical islands from which he hails. Considered a valued musical treasurer back in his native Cape Verde islands, Pepe Bana emigrated to the United States in 1974 and has been compiling a list of musical hits ever since. His song most famous song, Musteru Nha Tentacao has been covered by many including his namesake and mentor, Cape Verdean musical great Bana. Both standing over 6 feet in height, these two musicians have towered over the world music scene for decades and share the same intense passion for great timeless music. Aside from Bana, Pepe has worked with many other popular Cape Verdean artists such as Tito Paris, Paulino Vieira and Toi Vieira. Frequent requests for Pepe’s music are common for cultural activities and special gatherings in the Cape Verdean communities of Boston, Brockton, New Bedford and Providence, RI and even as far from his Boston home as D.C. and Florida.
A self-taught musician since the tender age of 16, Pepe Bana can hold his ground with most professional players of the Violin, Ukelele and Guitar. Along with being a virtuoso in these instruments, Pepe Bana, also stakes his claim in Cape Verdean music history as one of the first island born musicians to record professionally in Portugal. His debut album, Raiz Di Djar Fogo (1984), successfully blended the Cape Verdean traditional sounds that resonate throughout the picturesque volcanic islands. Two years later, in 1986, he followed Raiz up with another great album, Ca Tem Bedjice, accompanied on many tracks by musical great Tito Paris.
Taking a break from the professional music scene to compose the best music of life which is his family, Pepe Bana kept fans in eager anticipation until 2001 when he released Ternura, meaning “tenderness”. With this 3rd album, Pepe once again solidified his place as one of the best composers of popular yet traditional Cape Verdean music. Waiting another decade to craft his music to near perfection, Pepe released his most recent album, Mimosa, in September of 2010. As sensitive to touch as the tree and silky smooth as the drink’s name, Mimosa, has garnered critical rave for Pepe Bana as a true artist who will be around for years to come. Popular track, Musteru, evokes listeners to “du bai, du bai, du bai” where “ondas di mar e tistimunha”, which translates as his desire to take you where the waves of the ocean are you’re only witnesses. So if you’re ready to get away on the musical journey that is Pepe Bana’s music, leave your worries behind and have a Mimosa or two.