Curatorial Statement – Fiona Black on Antonio Zambujo
December 22, 2013
Fado is a style of music completely unique to Portugal. It has been described as the Portuguese form of the blues but that is selling it short. It has drama, tragedy, majesty, playfulness and sadness and even though it is sung in Portuguese it needs no translation in any language. It comes from a deep and ancient yet timeless place.
The late great Amália Rodrigues is considered the queen of the genre but there have been plenty of successors to her crown. The captivating Mariza is perhaps the most famous Portuguese fadista export in recent times and the style seems to be enjoying a renaissance in her wake. While most non-Portuguese associate fado with female vocalists, there are plenty of male singers with their own take on the tradition.
One of the most original male fado singers in recent years out of Portugal is António Zambujo. Not content to simply follow the tradition, Zambujo brings other Portuguese musical styles as well as venturing into the delicate phrasing and rhythms characteristic of Brazilian music. His new brand of fado is more delicately nuanced and fragile yet strong and majestic too.
When you experience Zambujo live, the atmosphere is palpable with the anticipation of every note he sings. It is that rare occurrence in live performance when the audience is spellbound, transformed and time, itself, is suspended. Like fado, it cannot be explained.
Blueshore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts
Capilano University, 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver
8:00PM (90 min, plus intermission)