Grammy-nominated fado singer Sara Correia performs this weekend (July 29 and 30) at the Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell, Massachusetts. Correia is one of the most prominent and traditional voices of contemporary fado and is touring in support of her second major label release, Do Coração (From the Heart). Correia’s live performances are characterized by unmatched passion for this traditional Portuguese music. She embraces the energy, improvisation and depth of fado at its best.
Sara has lived and breathed Fado since she was a child. “I’ve been going to Fado houses since I was a little girl. I come from a family that was very involved with fado, and I started singing at a young age,” she says. “When I won the Grande Noite do Fado [an iconic Portuguese Fado competition] in Lisbon, I knew this was what I wanted to do,” she explains. Following this recognition, she was soon invited to sing in one of the city’s most emblematic fado houses, Casa de Linhares. There, she had the opportunity to sing and learn alongside legendary fado singers Celeste Rodrigues, Jorge Fernando, and Maria da Nazaré, among others. She was thus closely connected to the deepest roots of fado from a very early age: “a school of Fado,” in her description.
For Sara, the experience of singing in Fado houses has been instrumental in her development. “In my opinion, spending time singing and learning about fado in these places is very important, if not mandatory. It’s where we conquer the experience of singing, where we witness night after night of singing as the most important thing in our lives. All of the great fado singers of today and the past have their roots in this experience.”
In just a few years, she had made her mark: her 2018 self-titled release, Sara Correia, drew instant and widespread acclaim. “I identify strongly with the songs on this album; I see myself in all of the stories, and they define who I am as a Fado singer.” “That’s why I decided to title it with my own name,” she explains.
Praise for her follow-up, Do Coração, extended beyond Portugal and Europe to the U.S., with a Latin Grammy nomination in the category of Best Portuguese Language Roots Album. In addition to an extensive and worldwide tour schedule, she has performed in film and television, including an appearance in the Netflix series, Glória.
At the Lowell Folk Festival, Sara Correia will be supported by three stellar musicians: Ângelo Freire on the Portuguese guitar (guitarra portuguesa), Bernardo Saldanha on the classical guitar (viola do fado), and Frederico Gato on the acoustic bass (viola baixo). Ângelo Freire is one of fado’s most prominent exponents of the Portuguese guitar. He has accompanied and recorded with fado’s biggest artists, including Ana Moura, Mariza, Carlos do Carmo, Carminho, and António Zambujo, among others. Like him, both Bernardo Saldanha and Frederico Gato have also performed in countless evenings of fado at the fado houses that are distributed across the city of Lisbon.
Sara Correia performs in three separate events at the Lowell Folk Festival.
On Saturday, July 29, she performs from 5:15pm-6:00pm in Saint Anne’s Churchyard.
On Sunday, July 30, she performs from 4:30pm-5:15pm at Boarding Hous e Park.
Also on Sunday, she participates in the performance “Songs of Longing, Loss and Love along with Ahmad Fanoos and Linda Lay.
Ângelo Freire and Bernardo Saldanha, together with Sona Jobarteh and Igor Iachimciuc, perform “Rites of String: Lisbon to Lviv” on Saturday, July 30, from 12:15pm until 1:00pm at Saint Anne’s Churchyard.