Maja Milinković: Kaftan D’Alma

In the Age of Discovery Portugal was the starting point for explorers, but for Maja Milinković it’s the destination. Like adventurers of old, the Bosnian singer-songwriter thrives in parallel worlds, from the church where she sang as a child and the shelter where she learned guitar during the Bosnian war, to classical studies at the Sarajevo Music Academy and the pop-rock that powered her first two albums … More Maja Milinković: Kaftan D’Alma

Cristina Clara: Lua Adversa

The classic music genres emerged in seaside melting pots during the nineteenth century: In Lisbon it was fado, imbued with longing but often the kind that hurts so good; in Rio de Janeiro it was choro, commonly exuding joy even though its name means “cry.” Affinities aside, fado and choro (also called chorinho) are infrequently paired—and rarely so deliciously as on Cristina Clara’s debut album. With Lua Adversa (Contrary Moon), the artist ambles … More Cristina Clara: Lua Adversa

Mónica Giraldo: Hubo un Tiempo

Like ripples on the water or wrinkles in time, the songs of Mónica Giraldo’s seventh album radiate gently. Water and time, in fact, are central features of the Colombian singer-songwriter’s 10-track collection Hubo un Tiempo (There Was a Time), reflecting on the doubts of the pandemic era, the changes we weather alone or share with humanity, and the beauty and certainties that remain. While … More Mónica Giraldo: Hubo un Tiempo

Teresinha Landeiro: Agora

Fado means destiny, and those who sing Portugal’s signature music explore saudade—nostalgia for what, or who, is lost and longed for. But what is the fate of fado itself? The first post-Amália Rodrigues generation of fadistas—an extraordinary cadre that includes Ana Moura, Camané, Carminho, Cristina Branco, Cuca Roseta, Duarte, Mariza, etc.—brought ample talent and innovation to keep fado fresh and enough tradition to keep it grounded. With most … More Teresinha Landeiro: Agora

Cuca Roseta: Meu

Love is universal, the feeling that most connects people of every era—from cave dwellers to web surfers—which explains why love songs far outnumber all other kinds. And just like common folk looking for that magic spark, the challenge for artists who enter passion’s musical arena is being heard in the crowd. Cuca Roseta is a singer-songwriter of fado which, strictly speaking, is not about love per se but about saudade, that delicious, elusive Portuguese … More Cuca Roseta: Meu

Duarte: No Lugar Dela

Duarte has three defining missions: “I am married to psychology but fado is my lover,” he says, referring to his clinical practice and his art. And though he has a sterling reputation as a fado singer he is also a lyricist-composer, creating tension between his customary genre and his multivalent vision as a Portuguese cantautor. These revolving identities are all at play on his fifth album, No Lugar Dela (In Her Position), an exercise in empathy … More Duarte: No Lugar Dela

Rodrigo Costa Félix: Tempo

Fado and Portugal combined are like a reversible garment: Display the banner of one on the outside and the other side touches your heart. And if the music expresses the Portuguese soul, perhaps no artist expresses fado in as many ways as Rodrigo Costa Félix. In a 30-year career he has recorded albums, performed in fado houses, on television and concert stages and won the coveted Amália Rodrigues Foundation Award for Best Album in 2013 … More Rodrigo Costa Félix: Tempo

Trio Bacana: Transatlântikèr

From their name choices you might not guess that the women of Trio Bacana are French, residents of an ancient walled town in Brittany. Bacana is Brazilian Portuguese slang for “cool,” and the awesome trio’s 2017 debut album was an all-Brazilian affair. Transatlântikèr is an invented word combining the oceanic highway linking France to the Americas with kèr—meaning “village” in Breton and “heart” in Réunion Creole. Cultivating their roots in samba … More Trio Bacana: Transatlântikèr

Ayom

Continents separated by geological forces are knit together again by human movement. But the case of Brazilian singer-songwriter Jabu Morales is exceptional: When she landed in cosmopolitan Barcelona she entered an atmosphere in which her strengths—radiant voice, magnetic persona, Afro-Brazilian rhythms—seemingly became superpowers, especially as they marinated in musical styles from the Mediterranean to Angola, from the Caribbean … More Ayom

Carla Pires: Cartografado

Travel far and discover yourself: The idea has inspired literary figures and works from Camus to Kerouac to Cloud Atlas. The twist Carla Pires offers on her fourth studio album is assimilating the distant horizon not only into herself but also her art—taking fado away from its origins in Lisbon and showing how it becomes more world-wise and simultaneously more deeply fado. She comes naturally to Cartografado (Fado’s Cartography), having … More Carla Pires: Cartografado