The elegant and striking Mariza returns to Cal Performances for an evening of passionate and soulful Portuguese fado music on Wednesday, October 30 at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall. After taking a respite from performing to focus on her home and first son, Mariza has embarked on an ambitious world tour. In fact, reviewing a performance at the Barbican in May, London’s Financial Times noted that, “After childbirth, she herself seems reborn.” The three-time Grammy nominated “Queen of Fado” will be performing with her quartet, including Jose Manuel Neto, “one of the gurus” of the Portuguese guitar, plus Brazilian Pedro Joia on guitar; Yami, a bass player originally from Angola, and drummer Vicky Marques from Portugal. The program will feature songs from Mariza’s vast repertoire; a new album is to be released before the New Year.
Fado, which translates to “fate,” combines sorrowful lyrics, African-slave rhythms, and melodies in minor keys to create songs filled with longing and mourning. Fado’s lyrical style of singing features freely improvised melody lines that oscillate in accordance with the performer’s mood. Mariza elevates fado’s basic structure with piano, strings, and African-inspired percussion.
Mariza (full name Mariza Nunes) was born in Mozambique and raised in Portugal in the Mouraria district of Lisbon, a neighborhood associated with the origins of fado. “I always say that I don’t remember my first doll, but I remember my first fado,” said Mariza. She found inspiration in fado at a young age and loved to emulate the folk singers who performed at her father’s tavern on weekends. In the late 1990s, Mariza was at the forefront of a Portuguese fado revival and rose to international stardom as the “Diva of World Music” (The Guardian).
Mariza has performed at such venues as Royal Albert Hall, Central Park, Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Womad Festival, and Belém Cultural Centre. She has received numerous awards, including Best European Artist by BBC Radio 3 (2003), European Border Breakers Award (2004), Order of Henry the Navigator by Portugal’s President Jorge Sampaio (2006), and Latin Grammy for “Best Folk Album” (2007).
Tickets for Mariza on Wednesday, October 30, at 8:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $22.00 to $58.00 and are subject to change. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. For more information about discounts, go to www.calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php.