Praia (pop. 155,252), the capital of Cabo Verde, is located on Santiago island. It is the country's largest economic centre, generating 43.2% of GDP. Following the country's independence in 1975, Praia implemented a promotion process for its musical genres, such as tabanka, batuque and funaná. This promotion played a role in the stylistic development of traditional music genres, such as morna and coladeira, which attained significant international renown in the 1990s. This movement revitalised the local creative economy, which currently accounts for 15% of jobs, 31% of which are attributed to the music industry.
Praia is currently the country's main musical centre, supported by the Atlantic Music Expo (AME), the largest music trade fair in the Atlantic region dedicated to promoting creole culture, the Kriol Jazz Festival and the Gamboa Music Festival. The chief sphere of cultural initiation and musical education in Praia is its network of families and neighbourhoods. In addition to the artistic education promoted by a range of different grass-roots associations, other providers such as the Pentagrama music school run a musical education programme for children and young people while the Goutte d'Art Space seeks to promote informal education, a taste for the arts and personal development through music, dance, theatre and the visual arts.
Praia recognises and values the fundamental role that artists play in promoting local music production, and also in preserving the city's musical heritage and cultural identity. Praia municipality has thus set in place a governance programme with clear measures for the cultural and creative sector designed to promote training and capacity-building. The governance programme offers artistic residencies in other countries, significant backing of creation and production through the use of several rehearsal halls and community studios, and a number of awards that recognise talent and creativity.
As a Creative City for Music, Praia envisages:
- exploring the link between creation and musical development, the environment and geographical and historical conditions, through the International Centre for Creole and Island Music, seeking to strengthen intercultural dialogue at the musical and creative levels between Africa, the Caribbean and the specific island context, notably to overcome the limitations of insularity;
- promoting the competition Creativity Ambassadors for Praia – City of Music, open to all musicians and cultural actors in the sphere of music residing in Praia to present their musical projects to a jury composed of local representatives and other cities within the Network;
- supporting the Cultural and Creative Tourism project, which seeks to establish creative tourism itineraries focusing on music;
- organising a major music festival involving groups representing Creative Cities of Music;
- sharing the informal music learning model of Praia with other Creative Cities based on the sharing of videos and other digital tools or targeted trips; and
- creating, together with other cities within the Network, centres for musicians and teachers to promote the development of innovative programmes for music education.