Raised by Cape Verdean parents in Mauritania and Rhode Island, and currently living in Los Angeles, Maria de Barros flourishes amidst a whirlwind of musical influences.

Raised by Cape Verdean parents in Mauritania and Rhode Island, and currently living in Los Angeles, Maria de Barros flourishes amidst a whirlwind of musical influences. Her sophomore effort for Narada, "Dança Ma Mi," is an invitation to dance with her to a dozen romantic vignettes. Like Barros' debut CD, "Nha Mundo," this project is animated by a vitality and charm that is her particular vibe. She has quickly become known for her special feel for the coladeira—an upbeat Cape Verdean style similar to salsa—and the album opens with a wonderful song in that vein, "Amor Luz." Following in the barefoot steps of her inspiration—the legendary Césaria Évora—Barros sings bluesy Cape Verdean mornas with a good deal of soul ("Espaco Infinito"). Also note the lively ferro rhythm on "Pazinho Laa" and "Sol Di Manha"; this is something new in Barros' repertoire. "Dança Ma Mi" is a dose of Cape Verdean sunshine.—PVV