Alan and I are going to see her tonight at Massey Hall. I can’t wait!

By José Goulão
By José Goulão

Update.Wow. What an artist. I’m still speecheless. I like fado, knew that Mariza was the voice behind fado’s revival and spread beyond the borders of Portugal, but hadn’t actually had the occasion to watch her sing. Her presence on stage was magical and her control of the crowd was awe-striking. But her voice and the soul behind it is what really hits you deep; I don’t think I was prepared to the impact of her music live. During the first few minutes my throat constricted and my eyes moistened – she reached a deep chord. Even Alan, who didn’t understand a word of what she sang, turned to me during intermission and said “I think I know what it feels to be Portuguese now. She made me feel saudade* for Lisbon. I didn’t understand the words but I could feel the emotions.”

I’m still processing it all. I’ll write more later.

* A Portuguese word meaning a feeling of nostalgic longing

Singing Ó Gente da Minha Terra at the David Letterman Show:

This next video is not very good but I really liked the song as it is an autobiographical song that talks about the five-year old Mariza sneaking out of her room late at night to hear the fado singers at her parents’ tavern and being caught by her dad and brought back to bed.

Author: guerson

Food-obsessed historian and knitter.

6 thoughts on “Mariza”

  1. Oi,

    Faz quase dois anos que leio o teu blog, mas nunca deixei nenhum comment.
    Parabens pelo blog, sempre tem algo interessante, adoro!! :-)

    A Mariza e o MAXIMO!!! E ela e a prova da minha teoria que as misturas de culturas so melhoram as coisas. Acredito que o facto da mae ser Mocambicana e o pai Portugues, fez com o que ela desse ao fado, a african flavour! Para um povo tao racista como o portugues e so mais um exemplo que mostra que so tem a ganhar com as “misturas”, pois nem a Amalia atingiu o sucesso que a Mariza conseguiu. Gracas a ela o fado que era visto como uma musica chata pela nova geracao de portugueses, esta de novo na moda, e todos tem um orgulho imenso dela. Eu sou a fa numero 1 da Mariza!!

    Bjos, and keep us entertained with your posts! :-)

  2. Oi Fatinha!

    Obrigada por deixar um recado!

    Vou responder essa em inglês, espero que vc não se importe – sinta-se a vontade pra responder em português!

    I agree that the fact that Mariza is mixed race allows her the freedom to experiment but I’d go further. I think the secret is not in being mixed race but rather in being open and aware of different cultures. And that’s what Mariza seems to do. She borrows not only from her African roots, but also from other music styles (I noticed a bit of jazz as well as Brazilian influences in there). But her traditional fado roots are also unmistakable, which makes her also relevant with the elders. She seems quite remarkable in the balance she reached. Creative yet mindful of the classics. She is truly amazing!

    The Portuguese pride in her was palpable at the concert hall. It was packed with Portuguese (Toronto has a huge community) and you could sense their awe and their admiration. It brought tears to my eyes. The energy was amazing.

    Quanto aos portugueses, acho que eles sabem que só têm a ganhar com as misturas – ainda não conheci um português que não admirasse a língua e cultura brasileiras! ;)

  3. Oh, I missed her last night in Chicago at the CSO! Thanks for giving me this in person report (oh and the videos, missed her on Letterman, too). I was bummed about missing her, but it helps to hear she was as powerful live as I expected she’d be.

  4. Erin

    It was really worth it! I hope to be able to see her play in Portugal one day… it must be quite a thrill! Our experience came very close to it though as most of the people at the concert hall seemed to be Portuguese :)

  5. Hi there. I just stumbled across your blog. We saw Mariza last night here in semi-rural central Pennsylvania where unlike (say) Toronto, there is not much of Portuguese community. There are certainly more deer than Portuguese speakers in the county.
    But Mariza did a wonderful job interacting with and engaging the audience. She is terrific, both in terms of her voice and as a stage persona.
    I don’t know what percentage of the crowd understood the language but am sure it was the minority. Nonetheless, it was a great show. It was a university crowd (Penn State), so maybe folks were a little more open to the world music connections than otherwise, but in any case, people were clapping along in rythm, answering her questions, laughing, and so on. A very good time was clearly had by all.
    And thanks for the blog!

  6. Hi Mike,

    Music is such an amazing communication tool, isn’t it? I have to confess that even though I speak Portuguese, I didn’t understand all of what Mariza sang – I speak Brazilian portuguese, which is quite different from the continental Portuguese she speaks – and yet, I was very touched by the music. One of Mariza’s greatest contributions has been her ability to reach the non-Portuguese world, to make fado, which is a very local style of music, part of the world scene. I’m glad that people in central Pennsylvania had a good time!

    Thank you so much for the visit and the comment!


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