Contemporary Portuguese Folk Music from the Heart

Celina da Piedade – Em Casa (independent, 2012)

One of the great discoveries this year is the talented Portuguese virtuoso accordionist, vocalist and composer Celina da Piedade. She was one of the artists selected to perform at the Ibero-American Music Expo (EXIB) opening ceremony earlier this month.

Celina’s most recording album is 2012’s two-disc album Em Casa (At Home). This is fabulous release featuring a mix of traditional songs and dances recreated by Celina along with original compositions. The presentation includes ensemble pieces and solo performances as well.

Although a lot of Celina’s music is rooted in Portuguese music, especially the Alentejo region, she also incorporates folk traditions from other parts of Europe, like Brittany, Spain, England, etc.

While most of the time, Celina’s style is acoustic, she doesn’t have any problem using synthesizers and other electronic tools. It’s done tastefully and the electro-acoustic combination works perfectly.

The repertoire includes mazurcas, roundeaus, waltzes, fandangos, and corridinhos, as well as Portuguese songs set to Breton hanter-dro and Galician muiñeira dance rhythms.

Em Casa highlights Celina da Piedade’s talent as a singer, accordionist, arranger and composer. She delivers beautiful accordion melodies throughout the album and some of her highly engaging songs encourage the listener to sing along.

Em Casa features an impressive roster of musicians from Portugal and abroad: Rodrigo Leão on keyboards and programming; Kepa Junkera on accordion and tambourine; Kelly Thoma on Cretan lyre, Efren López on zanfona (hurdy gurdy), Vicky Marques on drums, Eddy Slap on bass and guitar, Samuel Uria on vocals, guitar and banjo; Tania Lopes on percussion, Marco Pereira on cello; Miguel Nogueira on guitar; Maria João Matos on violin; Viviena Tupikova on violin; Bruno Silva on viola; Tony Carlos Gomes on cello; Paulo Pereira on flute; Valter Rolo on piano; Joana Bagulho on cravo; Paul Abelho on percussion and programming; Carlos Guerreiro on vocals, xylophone, tambourine, bass drum; Jose Manuel David on vocals, gaita de fole (bagpipes), Chinese flute, and classical flute; Ana Isabel Dias on harp; Alex Gaspar on serrote; José Barros on viola braguesa (Braguese guitar); Luis Peixoto on mandolin; Pascale Rubens concertina; Toon Van Mierlo on saxophone; and Vasco Ribeiro Casais on nyckelharpa and programming.

Celina da Piedade’s Em Casa is an impressive, beautifully-crafted album by one of the current masters of contemporary Portuguese folk music.

Buy Em Casa in North America

Buy Em Casa in Europe

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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