They did it again! The 2019 International Portuguese Music Awards took place last weekend and it was another home run!

The awards night took place last weekend at the Zeiterion Theater in New Bedford, Massachusetts, with this year’s winners coming from six countries. The seventh edition of this grand event brought several world class performers to the stage.

Cátia Aldeagas and Ricardo Farias – 2019 IPMA hosts

Ricardo Farias and Cátia Aldeagas were once again the hosts for the seventh Annual IPMA and they could not have chosen a better team.

The two work well together using humor and friendly rivalry in a way that is as entertaining and connects with the audience.

Comedian Mike Rita

Mike Rita, the opening act, could not have been funnier. He did a great job of warming up the audience for the evening. He had the crowd in stitches throughout the show. His act was about growing up Portuguese in Toronto, Canada during the ’90s.

Rita is a Luso-Canadian comedian who has worked with some bigwigs including The Portuguese Kids, Joe Rogan, and Bobby Lee. He regularly tours with ‘Yuk Yuks Comedy Clubs’ and is the host of his award-winning show, Stoner Sundays.


The musical performances started with Cordeone who is a French-born Portuguese musician. He started his performance by singing a fado and playing the Portuguese guitar accompanied by the IPMA orchestra.

He then put his Portuguese guitar aside, picked up a concertina and delighted the audience.

Cordeone was also nominated and won an award later in the evening. He plays a variety of instruments like accordion, piano, classical guitar, Portuguese guitar, Brazilian percussion, drums, and the bass and his musical style has influences of jazz, fado, Brazilian music, reggae, funk, and hip-hop.

Rebecca Correia

Next came two-time IPMA winner Rebecca Correia. She is a Rochester, Massachusetts native who began writing songs at nine years old and now has 200 songs to her credit. She also co-wrote the song “So Long Goodbye” with four-time Grammy-winner Keb’ Mo’.

This year’s new talent winner, Peter Serrado, from Canada

Peter Serrado, a Canadian born Luso-Canadian, performed next. He was one of the nominees for the IPMA’ New Talent award and later in the evening found out that he had won.

This was not the first time that Peter Serrado competed in a major music event. Last year, he participated in RTP’s Festival da Canção in Portugal.

This year’s new talent runner-up Lioness, from Luxembourg

Lioness was inspired to make music by her older brother and two-time IPMA winner, Jayjezz. Her style of singing is R&B and pop. She was the runner-up for the 2019 IPMA New Talent award.

Nuno Bettencourt guitarist and songwriter

Next up was the one and only Nuno Bettencourt, and the crowd went wild when they saw him. Nuno had a big smile on his face and you could tell that he loved the audience’s reaction. He performed in a small stage in the middle of the audience.

Nuno Bettencourt is best known as the lead guitarist of the Boston-based, multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated rock band Extreme. They sold over 10 million records worldwide with hits such as “More Than Words” and “Hole Hearted”.

Nuno played an amazing rendition of the Portuguese National Anthem on his acoustic guitar. The audience sang along and it was one of those special magical moments where the audience and the artist become one.

Bettencourt then headed to the main stage, picked up his electric, and sang and played “Get the Funk Out” accompanied on the drums by none other than Kevin Figueiredo. The crowd danced in their seats!

Kevin Figueiredo

Kevin Figueiredo is a Hudson, Massachusetts native. He joined Extreme in 2007. Kevin started playing the drums at ten years old.

Rita Guerra

Rita Guerra, a well-known artist with a long career, walked on stage to a big round of applause. She played and sang at the piano for her first performance. Afterward, she got up and sang to an enthusiastic audience.

Guerra is regularly featured at the famous Casino Estoril and has recorded Portuguese soundtracks of animated films such as The Lion King, Hercules, and The Little Mermaid. In 2003, Rita Guerra represented Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Marisa Oliveira, lead singer for The Code

Azorean pop rock band The Code won two IPMA’s in 2018 for ‘Best Rock Song’ and ‘Song of the Year’.

Clearly one of the audience’s favorite pop-rock bands, the lead singer, Marisa Oliveira, delivered what they wanted. A riveting performance.

Sam the Kid and Mundo Segundo

Sam the Kid is considered to be one of the most important names of Portuguese hip hop and has been praised by critics since his first album Entre(tanto) was released in 1998.

Mundo Segundo is another prominent hip hop figure in Portugal and is well-known for having been one of the MC’s for the band Dealema.

João Pedro Pais

João Pedro Pais, one of the most cherished artists in Portugal, performed and touched the audience in an intimate setting with his musical style. The audience was singing along with him. His musical career spans over twenty years, hundreds of concerts, and more than 420,000 records sold.

Every year that I come to the IPMA awards, I leave with a deep feeling of pride for what I just witnessed and great gratitude for all those who made the event happen.

It takes a multitude of talented people to pull off an event of this magnitude. From the organizers who had the courage to take us on this voyage that started seven years ago, to the talented performers of Portuguese heritage that give so much of themselves to their audience, the IPMA orchestra, the folks who managed the sound and lighting, the sponsors and supporters and many others who played a role in making this event something that the entire Portuguese community is proud of, THANK YOU.

We are already looking forward to next year!


About Author

Diane Fontes is a first-generation Luso-American with ties to Santa Maria, Azores. You can see snapshots of her travels on Instagram: @diane_fontes

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