Vacaville’s Ramana Vieira, a convincing practitioner of fado, a melancholy Portuguese folk music, released her fifth album, “Tudo De Mim” (All of Me), which will be released on Saturday Evening at Journey Downtown. (File photo/Ramana Vieira)
The winter and spring of autumn and new year 2022 began studio time and recording for Ramana Vieira’s new fifth fado album “Tudo De Mim” (All of me), a time and creative process that she likens to “birth A child” and “pregnancy” – its exact due date cannot be predicted.
Vieira, a persuasive practitioner of fado, a melancholic Portuguese folk music, said the 10-song record – the first track was recorded last fall and finally released in May Released 1st – The theme is reminiscences of recent trips to Portugal, Madeira, the Portuguese islands in the Eastern Atlantic and off the coast of Morocco and Hawaii.
In an hour-long interview Tuesday at her Vacaville home, she confirmed the new music was also about the beauty of the jacaranda, a tree native to Brazil that produces clusters of fragrant purple flowers , which she had seen in the Pacific Islands.
Vieira, who booked a CD release gig at Vacaville’s Journey Downtown on Saturday, said in an interview with reporters that the tree’s beauty “haunted” her.
On the new disc, she explores the shape of her memories and tunes with songs in Portuguese and English that reflect more current happenings in her life, many of them originals but also some covers, including At least one song by Amalia Rodrigues, perhaps the most famous fado artist in the world.
She added that the album “expresses my love for fado music and my global approach to popular music” and, like two other fado artists, Ana Moura and Mariza, both Portuguese, “has evolved into their own creations and identities” she had met both of them.
“We’ve progressed from the Fado base, we’ve been moving forward,” said Vieira, a mezzo-soprano who sings with power and power. “I’m not the only one. We’ve modeled the form and mirrored it back.”
Vieira, who has performed in Macau, New York City and Hawaii in recent years, “embedded” her Catholic upbringing in “Madonna,” a song she previously described as setting her sights on “the holy woman.” “.
“It’s just a tribute to all the mothers in the world,” she said of the song, adding, “We need to pay tribute to the mothers of the world,” noting that her mother’s name is Mary.
Other songs include “Fado La La La”, “Jacaranda”, “Please Love Me Forever”, “Verdes Anos” (Green Years) and Rodrigues’ “Trago Fado nos Sentidos” (I Bring Fado to the Senses).
During a trip to Portugal last year, Vieira visited the home of the Fado icon, where she saw her wardrobe, her awards, her living room, her collection of Japanese antiques, and the fact that she still lives in a cage in the kitchen. live parrot. She also saw Rodriguez’s memoir, her book and her show costumes.
In her live performances, such as one last year at the Sevastopol Arts Center in Sevastopol, she sang Rodriguez tunes, so visiting her idol’s home is part of a personal journey , is also a tribute to the famous singer.
“It’s like going to Elvis Presley’s Graceland,” she said in a previous interview. “The experience of being at home is so profound,” likening it to “a three-story San Francisco Victorian.”
Vieira will return to Madeira in August for the Fado Festival, performing with a traditional fado trio and singing some of Rodriguez’s songs.
Fado, whose name roughly translates to fate or fate, is a musical glimpse into the Portuguese people and the music of their roots. It can be compared to American blues, or to tango to Argentina, or flamenco to Spain.
Fado’s fascination—pronounced “FAH-doh”—is known for its mysterious origins dating back to early 19th-century Portugal, and enjoys a growing fan base in the United States (even Madonna’s “X Madame” tour also sang Fado before), in its melody, the hummable part of each song.
The music is seductive, passionate, mournful, yet poetic and dramatic. Above all, there are love songs of tragedy and longing, or “saudade” in Portuguese, Vieira, a San Leandro native and San Francisco American Conservatory of Music theater program alumnus, previously said.
Portuguese references to fado, the music sung by women to men lost at sea, or to poor rural or urban life, appeared in Portugal as early as the 1820s, but its roots may also have been influenced by the Moors .
While the genre has its heritage, Vieira has stated in previous interviews that she considers her style of fado to be “contemporary fado,” where old world meets new, much like the approach taken by Moura and Mariza, who both Benefited from Rodrigues, who died in Lisbon in 1999 at the age of 79. Although some men also sing Fado, it is best known today because of the female artists in it.
Vieira, who also plays piano in her live shows, has released four albums: “Sem Ti” (Without You), “Despi A Alma” (roughly translated as Bare Soul), “Lagrimas De Rainha (Queen’s Tears )” and “Fado Da Vida” (The Fate of Life). They prove that Vieira not only pays tribute to Rodriguez, but also shows that she can compose original Fado music. Notably, her original composition “Unido Para Amar” was performed at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Games.
Pop, rock and jazz can be heard seeping into her sound, some of which can be found on YouTube, and her influences include Irish rock superstars U2 and British singer-songwriter Kate Bush. Ultimately, Vieira’s sound is an undeniable mix of U2, Bush and Rodrigues.
Vieira has performed in musicals at Cal State University Hayward and Ohlone Community College in Fremont. She is also a trained dancer.
After performing in the Bay Area a few years ago, she was approached by a record producer working with reggae star Bob Marley. She eventually received an offer from a record label in San Francisco.
Like the blues, fado is a feeling, a mood, not just a set of notes. Its power comes from the human spirit, Vieira, who recently performed Christian music at San Quentin Prison as part of his prison ministry.
For Saturday’s performance, her backing band will be Patrick Fahey on mandolin; David Parker, bass; and Jo Sam, drums.
“The band had a facelift,” Vieira said.
if you go
What: Ramana Vieira and Orchestra
CD release party
when: Saturday night at 7:30 (doors open at 6:30)
Where: Journey Downtown, 308 Main St., Vacaville
Tickets: $25 to $45