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Cape Verdean singer
Lutchinha on stage, Cape Verdean singer, 2015; Maria Neves Leite; Brockton, Massachusetts;
Lutchinha on stage, Cape Verdean singer, 2015
Maria Neves Leite
Brockton, Massachusetts
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Maria Neves Leite
Brockton, MA
Known in the performing world as "Lutchinha," Maria Neves Leite is a singer of Cape Verdean songs. She was born into a singing family on the island of Sao Vicente, Cape Verde Islands, part of an archipelago off the coast of West Africa. She began singing at age seven, first with her father and later with family friends who would come to the house. Luchinha's first solo CD Castanhinha, bears the title of a mourna that her father wrote for her mother. She went on to beome one of the winners at the Todo Munco Canta singing competition, representing her island of Sao Vicente. Engagements in the Soviet Union and in Portugal soon followed. Lutchinha enjoyed a successful performing career in Europe before she joined her parents in immigrating to the United States.

The family settled in Brockton. Lutchinha sang out in the local region, performing for Cape Verdean weddings, "Noite Caboverdiana", and other community events. Her repertoire continued to draw from the deep well of traditional Cape Verdean song including the "morna", "coladeira","batuku",and "funana". Only recently, with her own children grown, Lutchina has returned to performing outside of the Cape Verdean community, including appearances at major festivals like the 2015 National Folk Festival in Greensboro, NC and the 2015 Montana Folk Festival in Bangor where she was backed by an all-star band of Cape Verdean musicians from Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Maria Neves Leite was named a Traditional Arts Finalist in the 2016 MCC Artist Fellowship Program.
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