Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts is extremely proud to present the Portuguese fado singer, Mariza for one special night, Saturday, April 11 at 8PM in support of her newest CD, Terra .
With her striking looks and even more striking voice, Mariza has in a few short years gone from singing in the backroom of a Lisbon bar to selling out the world’s top concert halls, from New York to Moscow and from the Sydney Opera House to the Royal Albert Hall.
Today, she is recognized globally as the queen of the Portuguese musical style know as fado. Yet she was not born in Portugal, but in Mozambique. “My father is Portuguese but my mother is African,” she explains. “We moved to Portugal when I was three but I still have a few memories from Mozambique.” In the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, her family took over a small tavern in a neighborhood called Mouraria. It’s an area with a long and rich association to fado’s history, and on weekends, her father would employ fado musicians to entertain customers. “I fell in love with the sound of the Portuguese guitar coming up through the floor and I started to sing fado when I was five years old,” Mariza recalls.As she grew older, her friends told her that fado was old-fashioned and she tried singing in pop, jazz and soul styles. But her love of fado had taken deep root and she soon returned to it.
Singing in Lisbon’s fado bars and tavernas, she began to develop a following, although she never had any ambition to become a global superstar. She was into her twenties when she recorded her first album, 2001’s Fado em Mim. Even then, thoughts of international success were far from her mind. “I made the first record as a gift to my father,” she says.
The record became a smash in Portugal and was then released around the world. Rave reviews and further award-winning recordings followed. Within an astonishingly short time, Mariza found that she had become the global superstar that she never aspired to be.Now a seasoned performer, Mariza’s Terra showcases the new voice of Portugal, a voice comfortable enough with Portuguese music to have some fun with it.
To be sure, Terra is firmly planted in tradition, yet Mariza incorporates a little flamenco and Cuban elements into a couple of her new songs thanks to Terra’s Producer, Javier Limón, a Grammy-nominated Spanish flamenco guitarist/producer (known for his work with Paco de Lucia, Bebo & Cigala, and Buika) as well as contributions from Chucho Valdes, the Cuban pianist and bandleader more known for his jazz stylings, and a battery of Portuguese percussion played by Spanish master El Piraña.Mariza has pushed the boundaries of fado, while still keeping tradition at the forefront of her ever-evolving style. She is more than a fado singer, she’s the new face of Portuguese fado.