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All About Portugal | March 3, 2021

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Mariza – a symbol of Fado

Clara Campos

Mariza is one of the most worldwide acclaimed performers of the World Music scene.

Mariza, the fado singer who has Africa in her veins

Mariza was born in 1973 in Mozambique. At the age of 3 she came to Portugal, namely to Lisbon. She was raised in Mouraria and Alfama two historic quarters of the Portuguese capital, which are the birthplace of Fado.
The Portuguese traditional song was a daily presence in her life as Fado was sung in her parents’ restaurant almost every day. Nevertheless, Mariza chose to embrace gospel, soul and jazz in her early years. I believe that these music styles, along with her African roots, influence her way of singing Fado and contribute to make her unique in today’s music panorama.

Mariza’s shift towards Fado

The death of Amalia Rodrigues in 1999 influenced the shift on Mariza’s career towards Fado as she was urged to record a Fado album after her magnificent performance at the tribute to the Portuguese Fado Diva. Mariza took up the challenge and as consequence the album Fado em Mim was released in 2001; the unique approach to several hits of Amalia’s repertory and the high quality of the new material presented at the album conquered the public and turned it into a huge success.
Two years later Mariza released her second album, Fado Curvo, which brought a more wide repertory and influences.
Transparent album was released in 2005 revealing an even more mature singer, fully aware of her vocal capabilities. She took the chance to honour three fado singers she has always considered as a reference, namely Amalia, Carlos do Carmo and Fernando Maurício.
In 2006 was published a CD and a DVD of the memorable anthological concert Mariza performed in Lisbon, accompanied by the Lisbon Sinfonietta under the direction of Jacques Morelenbaum.
Terra album was released in 2008 to offer us magnificent songs, including incredible partnerships with amazing artists such as Concha Buika, Dominic Miller, Ivan Lins, Rui Veloso and Tito Paris.
Two years later, Mariza goes back to Fado’s root, by recovering themes from iconic traditional composers such as Alfredo Marceneiro at the Fado Tradicional album.
Last April was released Best of Mariza which bring us some of the most amazing songs of her career and also the brilliant O Tempo Não Pára.

Mariza on stage and on TV

The amazing voice of Mariza and the quality of her music granted her concerts on worldwide reference stages such as The Olympia (Paris), the London Royal Festival Hall, the Barcelona Palau de la Música, the Sydney Opera House, the New York Carnegie Hall, the Frankfurt Opera or the Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall, where she sung on a stage specially designed by Frank Gehry.
Mariza was one of the stars of the film Fados from the Spanish director Carlos Saura. She was the leading star of the documentary Mariza and the History of Fado coproduced by the BBC and the RTP, the Portuguese Public Television.
Mariza was also invited to perform on the most important television shows throughout the world, including the iconic David Letterman’s Show, where she made a memorable appearance.


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