Cape Verde

UNESCO City of Music

since 2017

Praia, capital of the Republic of Cape Verde, located on the island of Santiago, is the largest population and economic center of the country, with 155,252 inhabitants and 43.2% of the GNP. After independence in 1975, there was, from Praia, a process of national valorization of these musical genres which contributed to the stylization of these traditional musics and the deepening of others, which reflect the country’s creoleness, and who have known internationalization in the 1990s.

Music is part of the life of its inhabitants who establish an intimate relationship with the music awarded by family ties, friendship and neighborhood that ensure the informal and inter-generational transmission of musical practice. Praia is today the main musical center of the country notably through the Atlantic Music Expo (AME), the biggest market of the music of the Atlantic, the Kriol Jazz Festival, the Gamboa Music Festival and the Noite Branca (White Night), an essentially popular cultural and musical event that takes place at the end of the year. This movement helps to boost the economy, through the creation of several jobs (the economy of culture represents about 15% of jobs, and these jobs musicians represent 31%) although small businesses (more than 150 ) that consolidate to the extent that diversifies the cultural agenda of the city.

The main cultural and musical initiation area in Praia is the family and neighborhood network as a privileged area for arts education. In addition to arts education promoted in various recreation associations and cultural centers, others have been developed: the Pentagrama Music School which offers a formal music education program for children and young people and L’Espace Goutte d’Art which aims to promote among children and young people, among informal education, the taste through the arts and personal development through music, dance, theater and visual arts.

Praia recognizes and values the people involved in creative work as fundamental for local music production, but also for the preservation of the musical heritage and cultural identity of the city. Thereby, the Praia City Council has put in place a governance program with clear measures for the cultural and creative sector, with activities and projects to promote training through residency grants in other countries, to support creation and production with the creation and commissioning of rehearsal rooms and community studios, but also to reward talent, creativity and excellence in the field of music creation and production.


Ivan Santos


Facts and Figures

Population: 155,252