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San Diego, CA 92101

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An International Passport Presentation
Saturday, November 9, 8pm

She has been hailed by The Guardian as the “diva of world music” and one of the greatest Portuguese singers of all time. Three-time BBC award-winner and three-time Grammy®-nominated artist Mariza brings the romantic and old-world sound of Fado to life with a fresh 21st century pop flavor. Mariza will entice with her mastery of the sensual Portuguese sound.

*San Diego Symphony does not appear.

Note: there will be no intermission for this concert.

Mariza sings "Ó gente da minha terra" ("O People of My Land") in this clip from 2011: 


Mariza is a Mozambican whose soul was forged in the old Mouraria district of Lisbon. It was there that she first heard fado singers, lots of them ̶ so many that their names and faces have merged into the mist of memory; but their “reminiscences live on in my singing. I lived in a traditional Lisbon neighborhood and have always sung the fado – I know what it is, I understand myself through it.”

The tributes to Fernando Maurício, Carlos do Carmo and Amália Rodrigues in Transparente (Transparent) therefore come as no surprise. Despite experimenting with other rhythmic forms, Mariza has always been involved in fado. Her first album release in 2001 Fado em mim (Fado in me), went quadruple platinum in Portugal and thrust her onto the international scene. The press had no hesitation in stating that “a star is born.”

In 2002 at the Quebec Summer Festival, she received the First Award for Most Outstanding Performance. That same year she performed in New York’s Central Park, the mythical Hollywood Bowl, the WOMAD Festival, and sold out the Belém Cultural Centre in Lisbon and the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank. After conquering British audiences with her performance on Jools Holland’s legendary television show (as well as being distinguished by inclusion in the commemorative DVD), Mariza was awarded the BBC Radio 3 Award for Best European World Music Artist in March 2003. She received the award from Michael Nyman at Hackney’s Ocean, where silence was called to hear her sing. The previous night she had performed at the Union Chapel.

At that time her second album, Fado Curvo (Curved Fado), was launched – the title expressing that fado, like fate, isn’t a straight line: “The fado is not enclosed by limits.” Mariza confirmed all expectations. German critics awarded her the Deutsche Schalplatten Kritik Award and the album reached number six on the Top Billboard of World Music. It was critically acclaimed in Portugal and went quadruple platinum.

On a succession of tours in Europe and North America Mariza sold out the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Belém Cultural Centre in Lisbon and the Théâtre de La Ville in Paris. Foreign journalists in Portugal noted her “excellence in the spreading of Portuguese culture, in its most characteristic manifestation: the fado” and voted her Personality of the Year 2003. In 2004, the year in which she launched her first DVD, which was recorded at the Union Chapel in London, she received the European Border Breakers Award at MIDEM and went on to participate in Unity, the official album of the Olympic Games, on which she sang the song “A Thousand Years” with Sting.

Mariza has performed concerts on four continents with notable success and full houses: the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Teatro Grec in Barcelona, the Albeniz Theatre in Madrid, the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Opera House in Sydney. She was the guest of honor at the Cairo International Song Festival before returning to Lisbon to perform for 22,000 people in Monsanto Park.

2005 saw Mariza on a non-stop tour through Europe and USA (from New York’s Carnegie Hall, to the Barbican in London). Mariza’s third album Transparente (Transparent), in which she reveals even more than in her earlier work, was released in more than 35 countries throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States. This is not to say that Mariza’s passion for singing the words of poets has changed; she still makes them her own through the emotion of her interpretation.

The Kingdom of Denmark chose Mariza as one of the international ambassadors for the work and the spirit of Hans Christian Andersen. This honor came not only for her fame in Portugal and abroad, but also because the fado, rather like the work of Hans Christian Andersen, has a certain poetic melancholy that makes its appeal universal.

Mariza was invited to be a part of Live 8, performing at The Eden Project in Cornwall in the UK under the banner of “Africa Calling” alongside artists such as Peter Gabriel, Youssou N’Dour and Angélique Kidjo. It was an emotional day for Mariza, who was born in Mozambique: “It’s an honor to perform at such an event, especially because it’s so important to be in solidarity with the continent of Africa, where my roots are”.

It was in September that Mariza gave the unforgettable concert in Lisbon with the Orchestra Sinfonietta de Lisboa to over 20.000 people. The concert was conducted by Brazilian producer Jaques Morelenbaum, who also produced Transparente. In October Mariza was honoured with the International Career Prize by Amália Rodrigues Foundation, and was proud to be also nominated by the Portuguese Committee of UNICEF to become a National Ambassador, to collaborate, defend, promote and help UNICEF initiatives.

Mariza began the year of 2006, with two memorable concerts at Sydney Opera House and has been nominated for the Helpmann Awards under the category of Best International Contemporary Concert, by Live Performance Australia (LPA). She was also honored with the prestigious Comenda da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique by the President of the Portuguese Republic. This honorable achievement has the aim to distinguish personalities who have contributed to expand Portugal’s culture, history and values around the world. In May 2006 Mariza received the Portuguese Golden Globe Award in the category of "Best Interpreter of the Year" for her album Transparente.

Mariza kept touring all over the world, from Los Angeles ̶  two nights at the Hollywood Bowl with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by the prestigious maestro John Mauceri ̶ to Asia where she performed for the first time in Malaysia, China and Thailand, to much acclaim by the public and critics.

In November 2006 Concerto em Lisboa was released by Mariza worldwide on both DVD and CD. Recorded in 2005, Concerto em Lisboa was a special concert that Mariza presented to the Portuguese people as a way of thanking them for all the support and love throughout her career. It took place in the gardens of Torre de Belém, a famous and beautiful neighborhood of Lisbon. The setting was perfect for an evening that everyone who witnessed it will remember. That same month, right after two sold out concerts on both Lisboa and Porto mythical Coliseums, Mariza finally fulfilled a cherished ambition to play the Royal Albert Hall. She headlined at the hallowed London venue with a dazzling supporting cast of musicians included special guests Carlos do Carmo, Jaques Morelenbaum and Tito Paris.

In 2007, Mariza was one of the protagonists of Carlos Saura’s film Fados. She gave a memorable concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall in October, where the renowned architect Frank Gehry created a tavern-inspired stage just for Mariza to sing on. She became the first fado singer to guest on Late Night with David Letterman. In the same year, she was the first Portuguese artist ever nominated for a Grammy® award. (Mariza was nominated for the 8th Annual Latin Grammy® Awards in the category of “Best Folk Album.”) To end a remarkable year, Mariza performed for the first time at the largest arena in Portugal, the Pavilhão Atlântico, a show sold out one month before the concert. 2008 saw Mariza release a new record, Terra (Earth), produced by Javier Limón. The album stayed in the top of the Portuguese chart for 10 weeks and earned Mariza a second Latin Grammy® Award nomination. The artist would embark on another successful world tour and release a new live DVD Terra em Concert (Earth in Concert).

Mariza’s most recent record Fado Tracional (Traditional Fado) was release in 2010 and represented a return for Mariza to her roots. In the same year Mariza began her work as ambassador to promote Fado through UNESCO. (Her efforts bloomed last year when UNESCO added Fado to the World’s Heritage Cultural Patrimony in 2011, being designated part of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”)

2010 was also the year Mariza received the highly prestigious Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Government, which declared that “Mariza is a great representative of Portugal in the world.” After a year away from concert stages, when she became a mother, Mariza returned in 2012 with a sold out concert at the Lisbon Coliseum. The return to international concerts happened in 2013, after she received another honorable recognition: the Lisbon City Hall presented her with the Gold Medal of Merit.

Mariza is now working on a new CD, scheduled for release in the United States in 2014, which will include her European radio hits, concert favorites, some of her duets that have never appeared on her own CDs ̶ such as her collaboration with Sting for the Olympic Games in Greece, with Afro-Spanish singer Buika, and with Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés ̶ and two new songs.

November 9, 2013

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