February 4, 2012

New Bedford, MA. March, 2009

I am an all-or-nothing kind of guy. Sometimes that’s good, often not. This time it was good. A few years ago, I was checking out the world-music shelves at my local library and found a CD by a Portuguese fado singer with remarkable hair -- platinum blonde, plastered-down tides of finger waves. I took a chance. One listen and I was hooked. I wound up getting all of Mariza’s albums right away, checked her out on YouTube (and found I was not alone in my enthusiasm) and bought tickets to see her three times within the year on her swings through Massachusetts: Amherst, New Bedford and Boston. My two trips to Lisbon were initially prompted by the appeal of her songs. (She was out of town for each of my visits to her hometown: once in Switzerland, once in Japan.) Mariza does not yet have the fan base here that she enjoys in Europe (where it borders on madness), and so her Bay State venues were smaller and more intimate, her smokey deep voice easily filling the halls even without amplification. And here in New Bedford, with its sizable Portuguese population, there was a special connection with the audience at the Zeiterion. Just check out the local sponsors for her concert and you’ll get an idea what I’m talking about. (We ate at Antonio’s, but more on that another time.)


  1. I'm mad for Mariza too! Thanks for taking the chill of a sub-zero Siberian cold front.

  2. I love fado! It's a very symbolic genre not only for the portuguese, but for all the fallen empires.
    Greetings from Santiago, Chile.

    @cristianpavezd on Twitter.