Tag Archives: Portuguese music

Captivating Music and Poetry of Sao Tome and Principe

Marta Dias – Quantas Tribos

Marta Dias – Quantas Tribos (BigBit , 2016)

Quantas Tribos is an album by superb Portuguese singer and composer Marta Dias. It’s a beautiful album of Afro-rooted and Portuguese music that highlights Marta’s voice as well as duets and great interplay with male vocalist Costa Neto.

Marta Dias has family roots in Sao Tome (West Africa). The lyrics are poems by five leading poets from Sao Tome and Principe: Alda Espirito Santo, Conceição Lima, Fernando de Macedo, Francisco José Tenreiro and Maria Manuela Margarido.

Most of the music was composed by guitarist Osvaldo Santos and features a tasty mix of masterful guitar, percussion, nostalgic accordion and exquisite fretless electric bass.
Jazz vocal wizard Carmen Souza appears as guest on one song.

The lineup on Quantas Tribos includes Marta Dias on vocals; Osvaldo Santos on classical guitar; Yuri Daniel on bass; Ruca Rebordãao on percussion; João Frade on accordion; and Costa Neto on vocals. Guests: Carmen Souza and Kalaf on vocals.

 

 

 

Marta Dias’ earlier albums include YUÉ (União Lisboa, 1997), Aqui (Farol Música, 1999) and Ao Vivo no CCB (Movieplay, 2003).

Buy the album from www.fnac.pt

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A New Vision of Fado

Yolanda Soares – Royal Fado (Compaes Records, 2016)

Eclectic classically-trained Portuguese vocalist Yolanda Soares draws her inspiration from fado, although she doesn’t describe herself as a fado singer. On Royal Fado she showcases her gifted voice accompanied by Portuguese guitar and Welsh harp. In addition, Yolanda Soares incorporates flamenco, tango and Middle Eastern influences. This unconventional, innovative fusion works out very well.

The Welsh connection comes from the album’s producer Chris Marshall who brought in acclaimed harp player Claire Jones; baritone singer Rhydian Roberts; Portuguese guitar maestro Custódio Castelo and traditional choral group A Moda Mae from Alentejo.

On Royal Fado, Yolanda Soares brings passion and a new imagination of fado.

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Portuguese Folk and Classical Music Intersections

Danças Ocultas – Amplitude (Galileo Music, 2016)

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.

Buy Amplitude

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Rejuvenated Portuguese Folk Music from Coimbra

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.

Buy the album from www.sonsvadios.pt/loja/

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EXIB Música 2017 Showcase to Return One More Year to 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.

More at exibmusica.com

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Rising Fado Star Gisela João to Perform at NY Fado Festival 2017

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 – Photo by Estelle Valente

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

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Coisas que a gente sente

Rao Kyao – “Coisas que a gente sente” (Get! Records, 2012)

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.

Buy Coisas que a gente sente

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Artist Profiles: António Zambujo

António Zambujo

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.

Discography:

O mesmo fado (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004O0UZI4?ie=UTF8&tag=musidelmund-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B004O0UZI4, 2002)
Por meu Cante (World Village, 2004)
Outro Sentido (World Village, 2007)
Guia (World Village, 2010)
Quinto (Universal Portugal, 2012)
Lisboa 22:38 – Ao Vivo no Coliseu (2013)
Rua Da Emenda (World Village, 2014)
Até Pensei Que Fosse Minha (2016)

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Fado Star António Zambujo to Perform in London

António Zambujo
António Zambujo

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’s discography includes O mesmo Fado (2002), Por meu Cante (World Village, 2004), Outro Sentido (World Village, 2007), Guia (World Village, 2010), Quinto (World Village, 2012), Lisboa 22:38 – Ao Vivo no Coliseu (Universal Music, 2013), Rua Da Emenda (2014) and Até Pensei Que Fosse Minha (Universal Music, 2016).

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.

Union Chapel
Compton Terrace
London
N1 2UN
020 7226 1686
unionchapel.org.uk

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Seiva’s Folk Innovations

Seiva – Seiva (Bigorna, 2015)

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.

Buy Seiva in the Americas

Buy Seiva in Europe

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