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Ramana Vieira – A Journey to the World of Portuguese Fado

Date & Time: Saturday February 9, 7:30  p.m.
Venue: Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco
Tickets: $20 General, $15 Seniors/Students

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Program

Ramana Vieira and Quartet Presents:
Contemporary Fado for the Modern era

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Music lovers have a special opportunity to savor the symphonic stirrings of Ramana Vieira in an intimate environment. The audience will find themselves immersed in the romantic melodies and haunting rhythms of fado, the folk music of Portugal. Fado, means fate or destiny and is the most widely recognized genre of Portuguese music, dating back to early 19th century, Lisboa.

Traditionally, fados are dramatic ballads whose purpose is to express love, loss, and redemption. Vieira captivates her audience with the evocative laments of the old world classics while infusing it with innovative instrumentation, creative layers, and soaring vocals. The ensemble also performs original compositions drawing from blues, pop, latin, and jazz genres — resulting in sensual, soul-stirring world music sure to satisfy a variety of tastes.

The Quartet: Ramana Vieira — Vocals, piano Brad Bivens — Guitar Leslie Thorne — Acoustic bass Steve La Porta — Drum kit, percussion

About the Artist

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Ramana Vieira has been described by Mundo Portugues newspaper as the “New Voice of Portuguese World Music.”Described by the San Francisco Examiner as a “rising star in world music” and by the Boston Globe as deserving “a prominent place in the front rank of today’s Fado singers,” Ms Vieria has currently been nominated in the 2016 Fado Performance Artist category for the International Portuguese Music Awards, IPMA held in New Bedford, Mass. Vieira was the first inaugural Fado Educator at several Musical educational type settings, including most recently JAzzCampWest in La Honda, Ca.

She is a gifted songwriter/composer and has created a Fado Fusion sound that is a blend of the classic Fado with a more contemporary sound to expose and broaden new audiences in her quest to introduce Fado to today’s music listeners.

She has headlined the world’s largest Portuguese festival, the New Bedford Portuguese Feast in Massachusetts, and performed at the 2010 Encontro Festival in Macau. One of her original songs, “Unido Para Amar,” was played during the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Vieira was also chosen to sing for the 50th Grammy Awards special MusiCares benefit honoring Aretha Franklin, and was invited by United States Congressman Jim Costa to perform for the president of the Azores. She has toured thru the Hawaiian Islands, Asia, Europe and East Coast.

The most widely recognized music of Portugal; Fado is a passionate, soul-stirring music with soaring vocals and dramatic tales of love, loss and redemption. Legendary fadista, Amália Rodrigues popularized Fado in the 20th century, and it is once again enjoying considerable popularity today, thanks to platinum-selling Portuguese singers such as Ana Moura and Mariza. The New York Times has recognized Vieira as an American artist at the forefront of the Fado resurgence. Traditionally, Fado was music for voice and the Guitarra Portuguesa, a 12-string guitar derived from a type of African lute. But as Larry Rohter of The New York Times has noted, “Conservatory-trained singer Ramana Vieira adds a New Age sensibility and instrumentation to the music with cello and drums.”

Vieira’s personal relationship to Fado music lies deep in her family history. Her grandfather was a well-known musician and composer from Madeira Island, Portugal. She was born in San Leandro, California, to Portuguese immigrant parents, and was exposed to the voices of Portugal’s past at a young age. “During my childhood, I sang with my mother to Amália Rodgrigues and other fabulous fadistas that were part of her special record collection,” she remembers.

Although Vieira had dreams of a Broadway career, her direction shifted abruptly when a famous music producer inspired her to embrace her Portuguese roots. Shortly thereafter, she found herself on an unexpected journey to Portugal where she had the opportunity to perform with local Fado singers and musicians, bringing audiences to their feet with her authentic, yet individual style. “It was there I discovered that there was nothing in the world more gratifying to me than singing Fado.”Her first recording was an EP, Sem Ti (Without You), released in 2000. In 2004 she released Despi A Alma (Stripping the Soul), followed in 2009 by Lagrimas De Rainha (Tears of a Queen.) In its review of that album, Blogcritics.org stated, “…Vieira never neglects the genre’s origins. To visit Portugal without leaving home, pick up Vieira’s new album and be transported.” Allmusic.com noted that “she is well aware of Fado’s rich history, although the expressive singer obviously isn’t afraid to carve out an appealing identity of her own. And that willingness to take chances serves Vieira well.” Her release “Fado Da Vida” gained three international nominations with the International Portuguese Music awards and rave reviews.

What is Fado?

Fado is the most widely recognized genre of Portuguese music, dating back to 19th century.  The word Fado literally means destiny or fate.  Musically, Fado is characterized by poetic lyrics related to the darker elements of love, loss, redemption, and occasionally humor–as heard on her original composition “A Fadista” from her Fado da Vida album. Fado contains Moorish musical roots and must follow a specific musical structure.  Its eruptive ballads evoke the emotion of saudade–a yearning for something lost. During a grievous time and turbulent era in Portuguese history, Fado was popularized as it served as a means of cathartic lamentation for the mourning and sorrowful.

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