July 29th, 2013 / posted by paularath

Fadista Ramana Vieira

Jerry and I are preparing for our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Europe, and to help us get in the mood, I bought tickets to a Fado concert last Saturday night at the Doris Duke Theater in the Honolulu Museum of Art. The concert was part of the Museum’s Last Saturday Jazz concert series, which I highly recommend.

Fado is a 15th century style of music that originated in Portugal. You may have heard of the Queen of Fado, the late great Amalia Rodrigues

I have always thought of Fado as sort of mournful and melancholy, but in the hands of Ramana Vieira and her four talented musicians, it was a roller coaster of emotions, evoking both laughter and tears. Not all the songs were totally Fado. Several were written by Vieira or her musicians and they had a Fado feel, but were far from traditional. Some were even sung in English rather than Portugese.

Vieira was born and raised in San Leandro, California and she now lives in San Francisco. Her family is from Madeira, Portugal. I remember my grandmother telling me about Madeira back in the ’50s. She loved it and she brought me the most beautiful embroidered pillow case. Madeira is well known for it embroidery, as well as for its port – or is it sherry?

Vieira brought her four musicians with her and they were each outstanding. They are:

  • Alberto Ramirez, electric bass
  • Micheal McMorrow, classical guitar and Portugese guitarra
  • Laua Boytz, cello
  • Stephen LaPorta, drums and multi-percussion

It was so disappointing that the audience was sparce. It was one of those concerts that we knew would grow with word of mouth. It was nicely covered in TGIF in the Star-Advertiser last Friday but perhaps Honolulu folks just don’t really know much about Fado – enough to draw them out on a Saturday night.

Anyway, we’re now totally in the mood for a visit to Portugal! All we have to do is get the house ready for house sitters, get packed, and so on…..

– Paula Rath


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December 4th, 2013 at 8:15 am


Mahalo (thank you) for your corrections. I have made those changes. I have since visited Portugal and loved it!

Paula Rath

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