Tag Archives: Portugal

Artist Profiles: Cristiana Águas

Cristiana Água

Cristiana Águas is one of the most influential voices of the new fado generation. A singer with an international career, she studied chant and vocal technique, as well as Portuguese guitar and accordion.

She won several prizes in different Fado contests throughout Portugal and she provided the voice for the character representing the iconic Fado singer Amália Rodrigues (as a 20-year old) in the film Amália Rodrigues, produced by Valentim de Carvalho, exhibited in 24 countries and festivals like Cannes Festival and Festival Do Rio, Rio de Janeiro.

She appeared in most well-known Fado houses in Lisbon, like Luso, Faia, Adega Machado and regularly sings in Clube de Fado in Lisbon. She has performed in different countries such as Brazil, Netherlands, United Kingdom, France and Russia. She was also the host of the Japanese TV show JIN in Portugal, promoting Portuguese culture in Japan.

In 2014, Cristiana released her first album, Cristiana Águas, produced by Pierre Aderne, recorded in Portugal and Brazil. The album includes a stellar cast of Portuguese musicians (Luís Guerreiro, Carlos Leitão, António Quintino, Henrique Leitão) and Brazilians (Jorge Helder, Ricardo Silveira, Jurim Moreira, Dadi, An Oak, Golden Nilson, Gustavo Roriz)


Cristiana Águas (2014)


Artist Profiles: Sandra Martins

Sandra Martins (front) with Caixa de Pandora

Sandra Martins started studying the clarinet when she was five years old and the cello when she was seven, at the Academia Luísa Todi, in Setúbal. She continued her studies at the Oporto Higher School of Music.

Very early on, music became a way of life for her, and she has collaborated as a cellist on many occasions with various artists, including celebrated Portuguese musicians Rodrigo Leão and Júlio Pereira.

Sandra was a member of the RosaNegra project, a musical space where the combination of the thrill of fado with Mozarabic ornamentation constituted a challenge and helped affirm her art.

She is connected with traditional folk projects and European dances in the world music sphere. After many journeys, Sandra found in the trio Caixa de Pandora a place of her own, as well as a unique and original role made to the measure of her talent and artistic ability.


Teias de Seda (Barqueiro de Oz, 2014)
Rota das Afinidades ( Barqueiro de Oz, 2016)


Artist Profiles: Cindy Gonçalves

Cindy Gonçalves (left) with Caixa de Pandora

Born in France, of Portuguese descent, violinist Cindy Gonçalves started her musical education in Tourcoing, her hometown, at the age of seven. Later, she moved to Portugal, where she won the “Musical Youth” competition that allowed her to continue and finish her musical studies. At the same time, she attended a program in Drama Training at Lusíada University.

She joined the music project RosaNegra that combined fado and Mediterranean Sephardic music. Cindy later became a member of the trio Caixa de Pandora, an ensemble where she feels at home, the place that embraces her art and where she displays her boldness.

Violinist and performer of rare sensitivity and curiosity, Cindy also dedicates herself to projects related to dance, theater and puppetry.


Teias de Seda (Barqueiro de Oz, 2014)
Rota das Afinidades ( Barqueiro de Oz, 2016)


Artist Profiles: Rui Filipe Reis

Rui Filipe Reis with Caixa de Pandora

Pianist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and musical producer Rui Filipe Reis started his musical education at the Instituto Gregoriano and became a professional musician at the age of twenty.

After collaborating with Dulce Pontes in the mid-1990s, he undertook a vast enterprise of composition and direction, while continuing to collaborate with many other singers, as well as in musicals, TV shows, music for dancing and the theater.

Starting in 2006, Rui Reis inaugurated a new artistic phase with such projects as Xaile and RosaNegra, the latter of which was awarded the 2012 Carlos Paredes Prize.

The trio Caixa de Pandora reveals Rui’s more emotional side.


Teias de Seda (Barqueiro de Oz, 2014)
Rota das Afinidades ( Barqueiro de Oz, 2016)


Artist Profiles: Caixa de Pandora

Caixa de Pandora

Caixa de Pandora (Pandora’s Box) made its debut in 2013, with performances in Portugal and abroad. In 2014 the ensemble released its first CD Teias de Seda (Silk Ties).

The trio brings together classical and world music elements.

Band members include pianist, multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer Rui Filipe Reis; violinist Cindy Gonçalves; and cellist and clarinetist Sandra Martins.


Teias de Seda (Barqueiro de Oz, 2014)
Rota das Afinidades ( Barqueiro de Oz, 2016)


Artist Profiles: Danças Ocultas

Danças Ocultas – Photo by Pedro Claudio

Danças Ocultas is an ensemble comprising four accordionists from Agueda near Porto, in Portugal. The quartet is among the most innovative and most exciting representatives of contemporary Portuguese music. Their concept is based on tranquil, lyrical, almost traditional music, performed with only four diatonic accordions.

The quartet’s name, Hidden Dances, has nothing to do with mysterious domains but instead means that Dancas Ocultas play music for dances that have yet to be invented. Portuguese fado plays a minor role in the ensemble’s sound; the band’s inspiration comes instead from traditional village music, Tango Nuevo and the chamber music exemplified by the Russian Terem Quartet.

Dancas Ocultas neither engage in virtuosity competitions, nor do they play pure folk music. “Impressionist Folk” is perhaps the best definition for this timeless art music: minimalist, thoughtful sound designs full of unanticipated turns and gracious melancholy.

One of the first supporters of Danças Ocultas was Gabriel Gomes, the accordionist of Portugal’s most famous world music band Madredeus. He encouraged them to explore their own sound worlds.

Dancas Ocultas’ collaboration with choreographer Paul Ribeiro and the Gulbenkian Ballet, regular appearances at international festivals and a highly acclaimed showcase at the World Music Expo (WOMEX) in 2010 have resulted in wide international recognition.

The line-up includes Artur Fernandes on diatonic accordion; Francisco Miguel on diatonic accordion; Filipe Cal on diatonic accordion; and Filipe Ricardo on diatonic accordion.


Danças Ocultas (EMI VC, 1996)
(EMI VC, 1998)
Travessa da Espera (L’Empreinte Digitale, 2002)
Pulsar (Magic Music, 2004)
Tarab (Numerica, 2009)
Alento (iplay / Galileo MC, 2011)
Arco, EP (Uguru, 2014)
Amplitude (Uguru/Galileo Music, 2016)
Dentro desse mar (Galileo Music, 2018)


Artist Profiles: Diabo a Sete

Diabo a Sete

Diabo a Sete is a Portuguese folk-rock fusion group established in Coimbra since 2003. The group has a long career, performing in various stages in Portugal and abroad, participating in important festivals associated with world music.

Diabo a Sete delves into the rhythms, melodies and instruments of traditional Portuguese roots incorporating new contemporary approaches, with a dynamic show where Lusitanian lyricism can be heard as much as feeling the energy of traditional festivals.

With three albums released and to prepare a new album of original songs, his music has received very good reviews both nationally and internationally.

Ther lineup includes Celso Bento on flutes and gaita-de-foles (bagpipe), Eduardo Murta on electric bass; Luísa Correia on guitar; Miguel Cardina on drums; Pedro Damasceno on bandolim, cavaquinho, concertina and low whistle; and Sara Vidal on vocals; Celtic harp, adufe and Galician tambourine.


Parainfernália (2007)
tarAra ‎(Estúdios da acert, 2011)
Figura De Gente ‎(Sons Vadios, 2016)


Artist Profiles: Maria Emília

Maria Emília

Maria Emília was born in São Paulo, Brazil, but always had a strong connection to fado. Her Portuguese grandfather introduced fado to Maria Emília and her father.

She moved from Brazil to Portugal at a young age, and began singing fado early at Taberna do Ganso and other well-known venues in the Minho region.

Althoug she returned to Brazil and sang in the Alfama dos Marinheiros, Maria Emília had a longing for Portugal and fado. She returned to Portugal and began her career as fadista. She performed at the most iconic fado houses and toured Brazil, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium.

Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a steadfast devotion not only to the music’s deepest traditions but also to its expressive possibilities. Her album Casa de Fado features bittersweet fados such as “Perfeito Pecado” and “Sou um Fado desta Idade”, as well as emotive classics such as “Um dia cheguei-me a ti” and “Agora.”


Casa de fado (EMI, 2018)


Artist Profiles: Ana Sofia Varela

Ana Sofia Varela

Ana Sofia Varela Fernandes, better known as Ana Sofia Varela, was born in Lisbon on March 28, 1977).

She was a finalist in RTP’s contest “Selecção Nacional” and later performed in Festival RTP da Canção in 1995.

In 1997, Carlos Zel invited her to perform at Lisbon’s fado houses. She began a collaboration with Mário Pacheco and was a regular act at his Fado club.

Ana Sofia Varela participated in António Chainho’s album “A Guitarra e Outras Mulheres” (A Guitar and Other Women), along with Marta Dias, Teresa Salgueiro and Filipa Pais.

In 1999 she participated in a show in New York put together by João Braga and that would culminate in the recording of two songs for the CD “A Guitarra e Outras Mulheres” (One hundred Years of Fado).

Ana Sofia rose to prominence in the early 2000s as one of a small group of young and dynamic new fadistas, initiating a period of vibrancy and innovation that continues to the present.

Her first release was a single with two songs: “Quem canta na minha voz”, with lyrics by João Monge and music by Rui Veloso, and “Rosa Nocturna” by Vasco Graça Moura and Mário Pacheco.

Ana Sofia’s debut album, the self-titled Ana Sofia was released in 2002 by Universal Music.

In 2006, she met José Peixoto and Fernando Júdice who invited her to participate in the Sal project.

In 2009, Ana Sofia released her second album, “Fados De Amor E Pecado” made in collaboration with João Gil and João Monge. That same year, she appeared in Rao Kyao’s album “Em’Cantado.”


Ana Sofia Varela ‎(Universal Music Portugal, 2002)                            

Fados De Amor E Pecado ‎(iPlay, 2009)


Artist Profiles: Camané

Camané – Photo by Felipe Ferreira

Carlos Manuel Moutinho Paiva dos Santos Duarte, better-known as Camané, was born on December 20, 1966 in Oeiras, Portugal.

He started getting appreciation in Portugal in 1979 after winning the ‘Grande Noite do Fado’ (Great Fado Night) contest. He became one of the leading male singers and achieved commercial success with six certified gold albums: Uma Noite de Fados (1995), Na Linha da Vida (1998),  Esta Coisa da Alma (2000), Pelo Dia Dentro (2001), the live recording Como sempre… Como dantes (2003), and Sempre De Mim (2008).

Infinito Presente (2015), the product of an extended collaboration with the writer José Maria Branco, includes lyrics and arrangements that are deceptively simple. The songs express the mysterious emotion that the Portuguese claim as uniquely and exclusively theirs: saudade, which is at once the happiness that brings sadness, and the sadness that brings happiness.

On Camané’s 2017 album, Canta Marceneiro , he revisits the repertory of Alfredo Marceneiro, an early 20th century fado singer who, though only moderately competent as a technician, completely changed fado’s possibilities for artistic expression through unrestrained inventiveness and wit. Camané’s Canta Marceneiro is filled with mischievous stories that reveal the common cares and fears in all of us through the lives of astute waitresses, drunken painters, and kings’ courtiers.


A Alma Jovem Do Fado ‎(Riso E Ritmo Discos, 1982)
Uma Noite de Fados ( EMI-Valentim de Carvalho, 1995)
Na Linha da Vida ( EMI-Valentim de Carvalho, 1998)
Esta Coisa da Alma ( EMI-Valentim de Carvalho, 2000)
Pelo Dia Dentro (EMI Portugal, 2001)
Como sempre… Como dantes (EMI Portugal, 2003)
Ao vivo no São Luíz (2006)
Sempre de Mim (EMI Portugal, 2008)
Do Amor e dos Dias (EMI Portugal, 2010)
O Melhor 1995–2013 (Warner Music Portugal, 2013)
Infinito Presente ( Warner Music Portugal, 2015)
Canta Marceneiro ( Warner Music Portugal, 2017)