Fado Star MARIZA Launches North American Tour after 5-Year Absence

Finding the Balance between Motherhood and Music, Portuguese Singer Returns to Stage

New Show will Preview her Upcoming CD, Best of Mariza, Set for Release in 2014

"Remaking fado's ancient sadness into a majestic modern sound" - ROLLING STONE

MARIZA on YouTube "O Gente da Minha Terra" RTP TV 2012


Mariza (vocals), Jose Manuel Neto (Portuguese guitar), Pedro Joia (guitar), Vicky Marquez (drums)

Oct 18 Fairfax, VA George Mason University /Center for the Arts Concert Hall
Oct 19 Montreal, QUE, CN Place des Arts /Salle Wilfrid Pelletier
Oct 22 Carmel, IN Palladium Center for the Performing Arts
Oct 23 Chicago, IL Harris Theater for Music and Dance
Oct 25 Seattle, WA University of Washington / Meany Hall
Oct 27 Vancouver, BC, CN Chan Center Concert Hall
Oct 28 Calgary, AL, CN Epcor Centre, Jack Singer Concert Hall
Oct 30 Berkeley, CA Cal Performances / UC Berkeley / Zellerbach Hall
Nov 1 Stanford, CA Stanford University / Bing Concert Hall
Nov 2 Sonoma, CA Green Music Center
Nov 4 Austin, TX University of Texas / Bass Concert Hall
Nov 6 Modesto, CA Mary Stuart Rogers Theater
Nov 9 San Diego, CA Copley Symphony Hall
Nov 12 Los Angeles, CA LA Philharmonic / Walt Disney Concert Hall
Mariza is back.

After establishing herself as an international star and the new queen of fado, the soul music of Portugal, Mariza turned her attention to marriage and family life. For the last few years she focused on home and her first son. But the stage beckoned, and in April of last year she performed again in Lisbon. She then appeared at selected events.

Now she’s ready to take her music out into the world again.

“I stopped because I became a mom,” she said recently, speaking from her home in Lisbon, Portugal. “I had a son and he was born premature, at just 26 weeks, so he needed care and that’s why I stepped back. Now Martin is two years old, he’s well and I’m coming back. I love being a mom, it’s one of the most wonderful things that has happened in my life. But I can’t live without singing, without being on stage. Those are two very deep loves,” says the singer. “And it’s been wonderful to be able to sing again and to feel that people still want to hear me. It’s a blessing.”

Her 17-city tour of North America, her first since 2009, opens in Fairfax, VA, on October 18 and ends in LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. It’s part of a world tour that will also take the singer through Asia, Africa, South America and Europe. For the North American segment of her tour her program will include her famous Portuguese fados as well as songs in English and Spanish.

“My music world is very broad. I listen to a lot of very diverse music and I like to experiment,” she says. “ I can’t see myself singing exclusively in English, but there are styles I feel as deeply as fado, so why not sing them in my own way?”

She will be appearing with her quartet, including Jose Manuel Neto, “one of the gurus” of the Portuguese guitar, says Mariza; Pedro Joia on guitar; Yami, a bass player originally from Angola and drummer Vicky Marques. “Pedro Joia lived in Brazil, playing and recording with great musicians there, and has also worked with flamenco musicians, so he has a different way to approach fado,” she says. “And Yami is African, like me, so we have a certain swing. And then of course we have Vicky, and he’s a great percussionist. I can’t go on stage without percussion.”

Judging by the response to recent concerts, the GRAMMY® nominated singer hasn’t lost a step. In fact, reviewing a performance at the Barbican in May, London’s Financial Times noted of Mariza that “After childbirth, she herself seems reborn.”

Mariza is not surprised.

“There are things that have happened since I became a mom,” she reflects. “I’ve discovered feelings I didn’t know I had -- and I’m exploring them in my music. It’s wonderful, but it’s also like starting anew.”

The San Jose Mercury News chronicled a performance at SF Jazz Center in March noting that “Mariza seems to have stepped out of a Modigliani painting. The long-limbed queen of fado roams and prances about the stage, part Greta Garbo, part Mick Jagger. She has presence. And then there’s the voice.”

The concert was part of a short, limbering-out visit to North America that also took her to Boston and Toronto. Now comes the full tour.

Born in 1973 in Lourenço Marques – present-day Maputo – the capital of the former Portuguese colony of Mozambique, Mariza (real name: Marisa dos Reis Nunes) learned about fado while still a child, listening behind the curtains or while serving tables at her father’s tavern in Mouraria, a neighborhood in Lisbon steeped in fado.

Not surprisingly, she grew up singing fado. “I always say that I don’t remember my first doll, but I remember my first fado.” Then, at about 13, she turned to soul and funk. Other important influences early on were African music, a reflection of her roots, and jazz. “ But whenever I had a chance, I would go back to singing fado,” she told the newspaper Público.

A striking figure on stage -- slim and graceful, with short, bottle-blonde hair and dressed in high-fashion clothes -- Mariza quickly set herself apart from the static, mournful approach and reserved appearance that had defined traditional fado performers for decades.

Her first album Fado em Mim (Fado in Me, 2001) became an unexpected national and international hit. Fado was recently declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2011, but at the time of Mariza’s debut, the genre was considered a relic of the past. Still, as one of the young standard bearers of fado, Mariza never looked back.

Her subsequent releases, from the early Fado Curvo (Curved Fado, 2003), Transparente (Transparent, 2005), and Terra (Earth, 2008) to her latest, Fado Tradicional (Traditional Fado, 2010), have consistently topped charts and made critic’s best-of lists, earning both GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY nominations, which only confirmed her standing in World Music.

She has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, appeared in Carlos Saura’s film, Fados, and was the first fado singer to guest on Late Night with David Letterman. She has also headlined at London’s Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

“She has a magnetic stage presence,” said musicologist Rui Vieira Nery. And “can communicate joy, sadness and despair overcoming language barriers.” Vieira Nery noted her role in the movement that re energized fado in the late 1990s and compared her with no less than the grande dame of fado, the late Amalia Rodigues. “Since Amália, there has been no other singer who has forged such a career.”

Meanwhile Mariza has continued her work both celebrating the tradition and exploring, working with artists such as flamenco singers Miguel Poveda and José Mercé. The singer, who is fluent in Spanish, has developed a passionate fan base in Spain and throughout Latin America.

Mariza is now working on a new CD, scheduled for release in the United States in 2014, which will include her European radio hits, concert favorites, some of her duets that have never appeared on her own CDs -- such as her collaboration with Sting for the Olympic Games in Greece, with Afro-Spanish singer Buika, and with Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés -- and two new songs.
September 2013