Ateneu Luso Americano Club of Fall River, MA held its annual Grande Noite de Fado this past Saturday, March 25th. Featured fado singers included Josefina Couto, Jeremias Macedo, Sonia Bettencourt, José Carlos and a surprise appearance by Luis Dinis, a Luso Canadian fado singer/musician from Quebec, Canada. The fado singers were accompanied on the Portuguese guitar by Jose Silva and on the viola de fado by Viriato Ferreira two accomplished fado musicians who live on the East Coast of the United States.
Fado, a Portuguese musical style is usually referred to as the soul of Portugal, is sung by a single person (fadista) and accompanied by a Portuguese guitar (12 string guitar played with the thumb and index finger) and a classical guitar (viola de fado). Fado was elevated to the category of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2011.
Fado, a music genre can be traced back to the 1820s in Lisbon, Portugal, but probably has a much earlier origin. A common theme in fado music lyrics is saudade, or “longing”, a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for something or someone that one loves.
Those in attendance at Ateneu Luso Americano had a fabulous night of great company, good food, wine and fado music which they will not soon forget.
“Igreja de Santo Estêvão” by Jeremias Macedo and José Carlos accompanied by Jose Silva on Portuguese guitar and Viriato Ferreira on viola de fado