Tag Archives: Portuguese music

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.

Discography:

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

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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.

Discography:

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

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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.

Discography:

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

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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.

Discography:

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

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Elegantly Modern Accordion Rooted in Portuguese Tradition

Danças Ocultas – Dentro desse mar (Galileo Music, 2018)

Portuguese accordion quartet Danças Ocultas recorded Dentro desse mar at Casa do Mato Studios in Rio de Janeiro, produced by celebrated cellist and producer Jaques Morelenbaum. Danças Ocultas is a group of talented accordion players who perform exquisite contemporary musical pieces rooted in tradition and classical music. It is a nuanced sound, creating a mix of laid back ambience and melody rather than flashy virtuosity.

Dentro desse mar is a set of charming, elegant songs and instrumentals featuring various musical guests.  Jaques Morelenbaum brought in Brazilian percussionists, highly expressive cavaquinho, several other instrumentalists and guest vocalists from Brazil and Portugal, who provided finely-crafted chemistry around the accordions. Morelebaum also contributed his own enchanting cello work.

Danças Ocultas – Dentro desse mar

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; David Feldman on pinao; Marcos Suzano on percussion; Brazilian singer Zelia Duncan; Jaques Morelenbaum on cello; Rogério Caetano on 7-string guitar; Luis Barcelos on mandolin and cavaquinho; Marcelo Costa on percussion; Portuguese fado singer Carminho; Robertinho Silva on percussion; Dora Morelenbaum on vocals; Tiago Abrantes on cvlarinet; and Paulo Braga on percussion.

Dentro desse mar features a captivating amalgam of Portuguese and Brazilian influences under a modern prism.

Buy Dentro desse mar

More about Danças Ocultas

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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.

Discography:

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)

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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.

Discography:

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

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Fado Festival NY&NJ 2019 to Feature Portuguese Stars in Downtown Manhattan and Newark

Fado Festival NY & NJ 2019 will offer an exciting representation of fado’s past, present and future. The festival will present four of fado’s biggest names: Camané, Hélder Moutinho, Ana Sofia Varela, and Maria Emília, as well as the fado-inspired Unites States- based Portuguese jazz singer Sofia Ribeiro.

Sofia Ribeiro

This year’s festival will take place May 1 – 11. It includes daytime and evening shows, all free and open to the public, from May 1 to 4 at Brookfield Place, a state-of-the-art venue for cultural programming in New York City. The following weekend, Fado Festival NY&NJ travels to the historical center of fado in the United States, Newark, New Jersey,  on May 11 for a walking tour of the Ironbound district.

The festival opens with two free lunchtime concerts at Brookfield Place by Portuguese singer Sofia Ribeiro on May 1 and 2, both at 12:00pm. An award-winning performer, Ribeiro’s latest recording, Mar Sonoro, embraces fado, jazz and contemporary Brazilian music. Ribeiro has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, and has released a total of eight studio albums.

The festival’s free evening concerts begin at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place with a double bill featuring Camané and Ana Sofia Varela on May 3 at 7:30pm

Hélder Moutinho

The second evening double bill at Brookfield Place features Hélder Moutinho and Maria Emília on May 4 at 7:30pm, as well as a pre-concert talk at 6:00pm with fado historian and scholar Dr. Lila Ellen Gray.

All singers on both nights will be backed up by a trio of dynamic musicians: André Dias (Portuguese guitar), André Ramos (classical guitar) and Rodrigo Serrão (acoustic bass guitar).

The festival concludes on May 11 with a walking tour and live fado performance in the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey, home to a thriving fado community of its own. The Ironbound—so named for the bustling railroad system that encircles it—is an iconic Portuguese neighborhood known for its European feel and for the hundreds of restaurants, cafes, bars and stores within it.

The tour will visit local establishments furnishing Portuguese wine, food and pastries, as well as important cultural attractions. The tour’s final stop will be the Sport Club Português, a leading cultural institution located in the heart of the Ironbound, for refreshments at 6:00pm and an intimate fado concert at 7:00 pm. The tour departs Sport Club Português (55 Prospect Street, a 5-minute walk from Penn Station Newark) at 4:30 pm.

Fado Festival NY&NJ Event Schedule:

Fado Concerts at Brookfield Place – Free!
Brookfield Place, New York
I230 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10281

Wednesday, May 1, 12:00pm – Sofia Ribeiro
Thursday, May 2, 12:00pm – Sofia Ribeiro
Friday, May 3, 7:30pm – Camané / Ana Sofia Varela
Saturday, May 4, 7:30pm* – Hélder Moutinho / Maria Emília

  • 6:00pm pre-concert talk with fado scholar Lila Ellen Gray

Saturday, May 11, 4:30pm – Walking Tour of Ironbound Section of Newark + Fado Concert

Tickets $30 in advance, $40 day of (space permitting)
https://fadofestival.brownpapertickets.com/

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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.”

Discography:

Casa de fado (EMI, 2018)

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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.”

Discography:

Ana Sofia Varela ‎(Universal Music Portugal, 2002)                            

Fados De Amor E Pecado ‎(iPlay, 2009)

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