Mariza returns to NJPAC for 20th anniversary concert on January 23



originally published: 12/30/2021

(NEWARK, New Jersey) – Mariza returns to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on January 23, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. for a 20th anniversary concert celebrating her entire career, including her most recent full album, Mariza Sings Amália. With this return to NJPAC, Mariza revisits a city – Newark – and a concert hall – NJPAC – that have helped her to propel herself into the stratosphere of Portuguese artists from all over the world.

Mariza returns with a more intimate and personal sound, based not only on her renewed explorations of classic fado, but also on her own lived experiences. The concert marks an important milestone in her career: a moment for her, at the peak of her abilities, to re-examine the songs she has helped to make standards, while looking unflinchingly into the future.

Mariza’s approach to singing fado – traditional Portuguese music full of exquisite contradictions – embraces the new without ever abandoning the old. His early recordings of classical fados, such as “Primavera”, mixed new and traditional instrumentation in support of a rising and emotionally searing voice. Coupled with a total commitment to live performances, it has created millions of fans, producing an astonishing level of critical and popular acclaim.

In the years since Fado em Mim debuted, audiences around the world realized what few did in 2001 at the dawn of his career: that this ambitious, if not daring, young talent would one day take total control of every moment presented to its. His performances are now fully formed, based on the confidence and wisdom acquired over two decades of touring, incessant recordings and, it must be said, conquering a sometimes skeptical audience, especially in Portugal.

Mariza Sings Amália, released last year on Nonesuch Records, is a living re-engagement of the repertoire of legendary fadista Amália Rodrigues, the artist whose work has served as a benchmark throughout Mariza’s career. It is undoubtedly the most introspective and personal record of Mariza: her singing is controlled, subtle, expressive, even vulnerable. The arrangements are minimal, mainly serving to support her explorations of the meaning and sound of the lyrics. It’s a surprising and thrilling record reminiscent of the pure, undistilled vocals of his early recordings, now steeped in the experiences of adulthood.

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Mariza and her parents, an East African mother and a Portuguese father, left Mozambique for Portugal just three years after the 1974 revolution that shattered the colonial empire of Portugal. The family settled in Mouraria, an old and insular district of Lisbon named after the Moors who once lived there. Encouraged by her father, she begins to sing in public in Zalala, a restaurant owned by her parents. There she learned fado from some of the great fado singers of the 1980s, including Fernando Maurício and Artur Batalha. She also endured the many little indignities of being a mixed-race child in a country struggling with its post-colonial identity. Now, when not on tour, she is known to spontaneously appear in some of the incredibly small fado houses that dot the Lisbon landscape and through which fado finds its primal energy.

Her other life, the one she fiercely kept throughout her career, is with her extended family: in Mozambique, she branches out into several generations from her 15 maternal aunts and uncles; in Lisbon it is centered on her and her son, Martim. Motherhood, and especially the trials of her son’s fragile health after birth, clearly shaped her perspective as an artist. As she said recently, “It made me a different person. My interpretations of music are different because now I know love like I have never known it before. And nowhere is this difference more evident than on the recent single “Mae” (“Mother”), the lyrics left behind, handwritten on the kitchen table, by 10-year-old Martim, and proudly registered in his name by his mother. to the Association of Portuguese Writers. The performance is a love song from son to mother and back again, unpretentious and with breathtaking honesty.

Mariza’s catalog of recordings is an uninterrupted exploration of fado both as a tradition in itself and as a musical form. His recordings feature a surprising range of collaborations with singers and musicians from other genres, including Sting, Brazilian Gilberto Gil, Lenny Kravitz and flamenco singer Miguel Poveda.

Fado Tradicional (2010) opened his second decade as an artist with a tour de force of unbridled, uncompromising and pure fado, anchored in a series of improvised musical dialogues with guitarist Ângelo Freire. Released ten years apart, Fado Tradicional and Mariza Sings Amália establish new boundaries for traditional fado: they are each passionate hymns to fado as a way of life, filtered by the voice of a protean talent.

At NJPAC, Mariza will be accompanied by her longtime collaborator, Luís Guerreiro (Portuguese guitar), as well as musicians Phelipe Ferreira (classical guitar), Adriano Alves (bass guitar), João Frade (accordion) and João Freitas (drums and percussion) ).

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located at One Center Street in downtown Newark, is America’s most diverse performing arts center and the arts, culture, education, and civic hub of New Jersey – where great shows and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings together diverse communities, providing access for all and showcasing the best artists in the state and around the world while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its hometown. Through its extensive arts education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and art lovers. NJPAC has attracted 10 million visitors (including more than 1.8 million children) since its opening in 1997, and maintains meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

Photo by Miguel Angel


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