Danças Ocultas is a Portuguese diatonic accordion quartet that has developed an innovative sound that crosses musical boundaries. Amplitude was recorded live during the ensemble’s concerts at the Casa da Música in Oporto and at the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon.
On Amplitude, Danças Ocultas collaborates with a classical music orchestra, the Filarmonia das Beiras; fado vocalist Carminho; contemporary folk music band Dead Combo; and former Madredeus and Sétima Legião musician Rodrigo Leao.
Most of the material on Amplitude is original material by Danças Ocultas along with a composition by Rodrigo Leao and a recreation of a traditional Portuguese folk song.
The result is a beautiful set of instrumentals and songs where Portuguese folk music influences are interweaved with classical and jazz elements.
Danças Ocultas features accordionists Artur Fernandes, Filipe Ricardo, Filipe Cal and Francisco Miguel. The four musicians got together in 1989 with the goal of exploring all the sound possibilities the diatonic accordion, known in Portugal as concertina.
Amplitude features memorable accordion performances and interplay by Danças Ocultas and their guests.
Diabo A Sete – Figura de Gente (Sons Vadios, 2016)
Figura de Gente is the third album by an excellent Portuguese contemporary folk music band from Coimbra called Diabo A Sete.
The group plays original music inspired by Portuguese folk music. They use a wide-range of traditional instruments ranging from flutes to bagpipes and cavaquinho, featuring modern arrangements and a powerful folk-rock rhythm section including electric bass and drums.
Diabo A Sete was formed in 2003. The current lineup includes Celso Bento on ﬂutes, bagpipes, and background vocals; Eduardo Murta on bass; Luísa Correia on acoustic guitar and background vocals; Miguel Cardina on drums; and Pedro Damasceno on cavaquinho, mandolin, machinho, and background vocals. The band also features a new member, Sara Vidal on lead vocals, Celtic harp, Galician tambourine and adufe. She is currently the lead singer for the group A Presença das Formigas and is the former vocalist of acclaimed Spanish band Luar na Lubre, one of the leading Galician folk music bands.
Figura de Gente also features special guest Julieta Silva on sanfona (hurdy-gurdy), piano and background vocals.
Figura de Gente is a beautifully-crafted album by Diabo A Sete, one of the finest contemporary folk music bands in Portugal.
The 4th edition of the Iberoamerican showcase EXIB Música 2017 will take place in Portugal once more. The 2017 event will be based in Évora with additional activities in Arraiolos and Montemor-o-Novo. The expo focuses on the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries in the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas. It will be held June 7-10, 2017.
The program will be based on the premises of the Expo: impulse, commitment, diversity, industry and identity.
The program will feature 18 showcases from all Iberoamerica as well as 12 Off-EXIB concerts representing the music of the Portuguese regions. The expo will include a professional area with booths to disseminate information and generate networking.
The 4th edition of EXIB Música comes with important international collaborations as well as reflections on the space of musical management in the Creative Economy.
The program will also include the launch of projects, laboratories on music, meetings, masterclasses and documentaries of Ibero-American music.
One of the most exciting new fado vocalists, Gisela João will make her New York City debut at the Schimmel Center at Pace University on Saturday, February 25 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the first NY Fado Festival.
Gisela João’s self-titled debut CD (released in 2013), brought enthusiastic praise from the Portuguese and European press. Within two weeks of release it went straight to the top of the Portuguese charts. Her following live appearances decisively established her as a unique and uncompromising voice. While other singers communicate the fado’s strong sentiments exclusively through their voices, Gisela João’s fado is a full-body experience. Onstage, she jumps, she gestures, and she emotes.
Offstage, her interviews are equally wide-ranging and unrestrained. She moves swiftly from discussing fado to house music to Nick Cave and Nina Simone, affirming confidently that “all genres of music end up influencing all others because music thrives upon life itself.”
Gisela João was born in 1983, in the northern Portuguese city of Barcelos, rather than in Lisbon, the cradle of fado. Her career began when she procured her first contract by sending a portfolio of videos to Portugal’s major labels, signing soon after with the Valentim de Carvalho label (the most reputable fado label).
Both Gisela João and Nua were recorded not in sterile studios, but in Old World palaces located in and around Lisbon, the equipment trucked in and the interiors left untouched. Her video catalog contains a daring, even radical visual style, expressed possibly most powerfully in the video for “Labirinto ou não foi nada,” featuring not Gisela João but a transvestite artist in scenes of backstage and subterranean intrigue.
With the release of her second album Nua (Naked) she has jumped deeply into the most sacred territory of the fado canon—the repertory of the late Amália Rodrigues, undoubtedly the genre’s foremost exponent. In so doing, she stands an excellent chance of helping to redefine contemporary notions of the fado.
Gisela João also performs contemporary songs on Nua, such as “Noite de São João” (Night of Saint John), with lyrics written for the album by the female rapper Capicua. I’s the recount a tale of late-night romance with a very bad boy. João dismisses any criticism that this lyric is somehow beneath the fado. She stresses that fado was once a music of people living at the margins of society: scoundrels, ne’er-do-wells, seafarers. As she says, “I like traditional fado, pure and raw.”
Gisela João will be accompanied by Ricardo Parreira on the 12-string Portuguese guitar, Nelson Aleixo on the classical guitar, and Francisco Gaspar on the acoustic bass guitar. A pre-show talk on fado and a special exhibit from the Museu do Fado in Lisbon are included in the February 25th program.
Schimmel Center at Pace University Presents: Gisela João (NY Debut)
The Schimmel Center
Saturday February 25, 2017
3 Spruce Street, Manhattan
6:00 pm: Pre-Show Conversation with Fado Scholar Lila Ellen Gray
7:30 pm: Acoustic Trio (Portuguese guitar, classical guitar, acoustic bass)
8:00 pm: Gisela João
Tickets $29, $39 schimmelcenter.org/event/new-york-fado-festival
A fado exhibit from Museu do Fado in Lisbon will be on display in the Schimmel Center lobby
Acclaimed Portuguese flute virtuoso Rao Kyao has been involved in numerous cross-genre projects, ranging from jazz to world music and Portuguese folk music. His album Coisas que a gente sente (Things people feel) contains new compositions inspired by Portuguese music and the sounds of other cultures.
On Coisas que a gente sente, Rao Kyao plays his familiar bamboo player, accompanied by traditional Portuguese instruments such as the Braguese guitar and Portuguese drums.
The lineup includes Rao Kyao on bamboo flute and vocals; António Pinto on classical and Braguese guitar; Renato Júnior on keyboards and accordion; André Machado on percussion.
Coisas que a gente sente features evocative instrumental music that evokes the melodies of Portugal, Cape Verde, India and beyond.
Portugal’s fado sensation António Zambujo has been a major voice in recent years in the resurrection of male fado singers in a genre dominated by females. Renowned for his earthy and atmospheric songs, he speaks of the pain of separation, unanswered love, and longing — themes portrayed in this poetic, deeply expressive genre. Winner of the Amália Rodrigues Foundation prize for ‘Best Fado Male Singer,’ Zambujo merges traditional fado with cante alentejano (male chant form from southern Portugal with North African influences) and Brazilian popular music.
António Zambujo, born in Beja, Alentejo in southern Portugal in 1975, grew up listening to cante alentejano – a traditional male chant that has become a strong influence in his music.
As a child, Zambujo studied clarinet, but soon became entranced with fado. He won a regional fado contest at the age of 16, and then began his professional career when Mário Pacheco, the renowned Portuguese guitarist and composer, invited him to sing in his Club de Fado in Lisbon. Soon afterwards, Zambujo was chosen to take the role of Francisco da Cruz, Amália Rodrigues’s first husband, in the successful musical Amália directed by Filipe La Féria, one of Portugal’s leading stage directors; Zambujo performed in the musical for four years in Lisbon and then toured with it in Portugal, achieving enormous success.
After recording his first album O mesmo fado in 2002, Zambujo won the prestigious ‘Radio Nova FM’ prize for the ‘Best New Fado Voice’ – an award previously received by Mariza, Camané and Mafalda Arnauth. Since then he has recorded several more albums.
In recent years Zambujo has collaborated with the Bulgarian women’s choir Angelite and top Portuguese pop and jazz singers, expanding the horizons of traditional fado while remaining committed to its roots.
Acclaimed fado artist António Zambujo is set to perform on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at Union Chapel in London. Stranger Stranger will be the supporting act.
António Zambujo is fado vocalist and Portuguese guitar player. He was raised listening to Cante Alentejano, a regional genre that inspired him while growing up in Beja, Portugal. At the age of eight he studied clarinet at the Baixo Alentejo Regional Conservatory. At that time, Zambujo becae fascinated with fado. He was shaped by Amália Rodrigues, Maria Teresa de Noronha, Alfredo Marceneiro, João Ferreira Rosa, Max and others. He regularly sang for his family and friends and won a local fado contest at the age of 16.
After completing his clarinet studies, Zambujo moved to Lisbon. Mário Pacheco, the renowned Portuguese guitar player and composer, straightway added him to his company at the prestigious Clube do Fado in the Alfama neighborhood.
Zambujo won the prestigious Amália Rodrigues Foundation award as best male fado singer in 2006. He has toured comprehensively in Europe and South America, including several sold-out concerts in Paris and Rio de Janeiro.
Seiva recreates Portuguese traditional music throughout the use of new arrangements and the incorporation of some electronic effects and world beats. However, the overall sound is very organic. The trio uses a wide range of acoustic percussion and traditional Portuguese musical instruments.
The band’s self-titled album contains original songs as well as refashioned traditional pieces. The band’s lively sound is characterized by the use of captivating vocals, Portuguese bagpipes and plentiful frame drums.
The lineup includes Joana Negrão on vocals, Portuguese Bagpipes, adufe (Portuguese square drum), and tambourine; Vasco Ribeiro Casais on Braguesa guitar, cavaquinho, and Portuguese bagpipes; and Rita Nóvoa on Portuguese percussion.
Seiva is a gracefully elegant production by a talented group of musicians who are innovating Portuguese folk music.
Mariza – Mundo (Warner Music Portugal/Nonesuch, 2016)
Released earlier in the year in Europe, Mariza’s new album Mundo is now available in North America. The acclaimed fado singer became a world music sensation thanks to showcases at WOMEX, performamces at world music festivals and other presentations. Now she’s taken a further step with her collaboration with Spanish producer Javier Limón.
Mundo still contains exquisite fado. In fact, most of the album is still fado plus a Cape Verdean morna. But there is more. Grammy award-winning producer Javier Limón is well-known for making music accessible to large audiences. Limón composed a song titled “Alma” for Mariza. Here, Mariza sings in Spanish. Her Spanish is charming, with an Andalusian flavor.
Although most of the album is in Portuguese, there is another track in Spanish, a 1930’s Argentine tango song. Thanks to “Alma” and a handful of other pop songs that are very radio friendly, Mariza has now reached beyond the fado and world music audiences. She currently has access to Portuguese and Spanish-language mainstream audiences, which will boost her international career. Nevertheless, fado fans shouldn’t worry. As indicated earlier, most of the album still contains splendid classic and modern fado songs featuring Mariza’s passionate vocals and Portuguese guitar.
Mariza is currently touring North America to present her new work.
Acclaimed Portuguese vocalist Mariza is set to perform Saturday, October 15, 2016 at The Town Hall in New York City.
The fado singer will be presenting her new album Mundo (World) that features classic songs honoring the late fado legend Amalia Rodrigues and legendary tango singer Carlos Gardel, as well as new songs written for her by the Grammy-winning Spanish producer Javier Limón. On Mundo, Mariza sings in Portuguese and Spanish.