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Candida Rose in North Falmouth

Updated: Mar 15

Entertainer and educator Candida Rose Baptista (known professionally as simply "Candida Rose") delivered a rousing performance of Cape Verdean culture and music at the North Falmouth Congregational Church on Feb 10. Titled "KabuMerikana—The Sum of US," the NFVA-sponsored performance began with an exploration into the legacy of Cape Verdean artists in U.S. musical history. (Among those cited were Paul Gonsalves, who played with Duke Ellington for nearly 25 years; jazz pianist/composer/arranger Horace Silver; and the powerhouse group Tavares, which won a Grammy in 1979 for their work on the Saturday Night Fever album.) Backed by her KabuJazz Ensemble, Candida Rose follow that exploration with a selection of her own songs. The performance brought the audience members to their feet, and even sometimes got them dancing—as shown below, when Pastor Christina Williams followed Candida Rose in a traditional Cape Verdean dance, with JL Santos Spencer providing some slick guitar work.

Born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, “Candida Rose” Baptista is a second-generation, American-born Cape Verdean who started singing songs from her ancestral country at the age of six. After immersing herself in Cape Verdean-American culture through her teenage years, she took a "hiatus" before rediscovering her Cape Verdean musical roots and earning a B.A. in music (African-American/World music) at the age of 40. Her first CD, KabuMerikana: The Sum of ME, came out in 2006; it led to several performances in Cabo Verde as well as an appearance on the nationally televised PBS program“No Passport Required/Boston,” where she discussed Cape Verdean history. In 2017 she earned an M.S. degree in transnational, cultural, and community studies, and she has continued to perform and lecture throughout Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Her latest album, Here I Am, is available through her website,

The event was supported by grants from the Mass Cultural Council and Rockland Trust.

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