Fado, The soul of Portugal


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Fado Night - Noite de Fados



After many years of individually honing their musical skills, Conjunto de Guitarras Sete Colinas first made music together in early 2003.  After just a handful of rehearsals, Helder Carvalheira, Manuel Escobar, and João Cardadeiro played their first Noite de Fados with fadistas Max Gracio and Sandra Pacheco on March 14, 2003.  Many more Noites de Fado followed where they refined their collective musicianship and stage performance.  They continue to this day, performing regularly with  fadistas from Portugal and North America.


In parallel with their live performances, Helder, Manuel, and João appeared as the primary Conjunto de Guitarras on CDs by Jesualda Azevedo, Isalino dos Santos, Max Gracio, and Zé Duarte.


Upon completing these projects, they embarked on the recording of "Noites nas Sete Colinas", a collection of Guitarradas de Fado based upon classic Fados and Guitarradas by the Portuguese masters of this fine art form.  Beyond simply re-recording classic fados, João Cardadeiro led the group through his all-new arrangements and compilations that grace the CD.  The relaxed environment provided by Helder Carvalheira's recording studio, Meia Noite Studios, allowed for the finest soulful performances to be captured for this project.


2009 found Sete Colinas back at Meia Noite Studios completing their second CD, "Ao Luar".  While still retaining the classic Guitarrada sound from their first CD, "Ao Luar" expands upon that with fresh arrangements that highlight Manuel's viola and João's bass, showcasing the depth of musical knowledge gained from many years of performing together.  The group also includes new instrumentation on several tracks, introducing piano, flute, accordion, and percussion to their repertoire.  Finally, the group pays homage to the music of the Azores and Madeira islands with exciting new arrangements highlighting the traditional music of those regions.


However, it is more than simply the Fado that keep the three musicians together.  They have developed a true camaraderie and deep friendship that is conveyed with every performance and recording.  After all, music is the expression of one's soul, and Fado is the most profound expression for a Portuguese musician.  When the feelings in the Fado environment are deep and true, they are easy to convey to listeners, regardless of  language or nationality.




Listen to fado music in Boston area, Cambridge, Fall River, Lowell, New Bedford, Peabody, New Bedford,  Newington, Providence ....



  Portuguese Fado, an old form of urban folk music in Portugal, was born in the streetsand  back alleys of Lisbon, Portugal in the early  1800's. Today, fado has gained itsposition in the World Music circuit.  Fado is very much alive not only in Lisbon, Portugalbut also in the US and Canada where many fado performances and fado night eventstake place. Fado music and lyrics can convey feelings of love, joy, sadness, pain passion and loss. This traditional Portuguese music is enjoying a major resurgence, spurred on by UNESCO's designation of fado as "World Immaterial and Cultural Patrimony" The word fado comes from Latin "fatum" meaning “fate” or “destiny”.  A common theme in fado songs is "saudade". The word "saudade" is difficult to translate in any language. It refers to a longing for a happier moment in a person's life and a yearning and hopefulness towards re-living that moment. Fado is usually associated with the cities of Lisboa and Coimbra in Portugal where it flourished.  Fado music is the national song of Portugal. It is very intertwined with Portuguese culture. To truly understand Portuguese culture one needs to experience a Noite de Fados (Fado Night). Lisbon bairros (districts) where fado music flourished include: Mouraria, Alfama, Bairro Alto, Madragoa and  Alcantara. Fado singers (male or female) are usually accompanied by a portuguese  guitar (12 string guitar) and a viola (6 string acoustic guitar) 

Fado Today. A blog about things happening now in the fado of Lisbon. Other Sites of Interest