LURA 

Di Korpu Ku Alma
Lusafrica/Escondida

Cape Verde's archipelago off the coast of Senegal makes for a small nation, but a surprising variety of music dots those islands, each reflecting various historical influences. While Cape Verdean superstar Césaria Évora showcases the languorous sounds of Sao Vicente, 30-year-old singer/songwriter Lura performs the Africanized syncopated songs and dances from her island of Santiago.

Lura's musical director, pianist and sometime co-writer Fernando Andrade arranges Di Korpu Ku Alma in a way that resembles smooth jazz or neo-soul with softcore Afro-Cuban percussion and electrified instrumentation. That may strike American listeners as pleasantly accessible or disappointingly unexotic, depending on personal taste.

Gifted with an alto voice not as pure or lustrous as Évora's but affectingly spunky and expressive in her Creole Portuguese, Lura appears lovely and animated in performance, as viewed on the DVD included as a second disc. In concert, she's backed by a stylish ensemble that is capable of toning down the cutesiness and showcasing the acoustic appeal of some of the numbers on the songlist. The singer's musically declamatory approach to commemorating a century-old rebellion against colonizers is particularly appealing.

Lura performs Sat., Feb. 11, 8 p.m. $12-$17. Apache Cafe, 64 Third St. 404-876-5436. www.apachecafe.info.

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