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Internationally celebrated World Music star Mariza brings her inimitable fado style to Abu Dhabi Festival

Mariza 30th Mar 2017

‘Queen of Fado’ Mariza makes sensational UAE debut at Emirates Palace

Grammy-nominated Portuguese superstar Mariza made her UAE debut at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2017 last night, hot on the heels of the release of her latest album ‘Mundo’. Affectionately known as the ‘Queen of Fado’, the most celebrated champion of the Portuguese musical genre delighted her audience with an evening of traditional and modern fado classics from her eight studio albums.


Inscribed with UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity status, Fado is a Portuguese tradition that infuses music and poetry to form a multicultural synthesis including traditional rural music, diverse sung dance influences and cosmopolitan urban song patterns. The world-famous singer took the audience by storm with a remarkable performance that included some of her most-admired songs including Melhor de Mim, Dona Rosa and Adeus.


Mariza’s singing career began with a wide variety of musical styles including gospel, soul and jazz while very young. She released her first album in 2000, “Fado em Mim”, published in 2001, which quickly led to a number of highly successful international presentations – the Québec Summer Festival, in which she received the event’s First Award (Most Outstanding Performance), New York’s Central Park, the Hollywood Bowl, the Royal Festival Hall, the Womad Festival – and ultimately earned her BBC Radio 3’s award for Best European Artist in the area of World Music.


In less than twelve years, Mariza has risen from a well-hidden local phenomenon, known only to a small circle of admirers in Lisbon, to one of the most widely acclaimed world music stars. She has collaborated with stars including Lenny Kravitz, Sting, Jacques Morelenbaum, John Mauceri, José Merced, Miguel Poveda, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, Cesária Évora, Tito Paris, Carlos do Carmo and Rui Veloso. During her impressive career, Mariza has appeared on some of the most important stages in the world including the Paris Olympia, the Frankfurt Opera, the London Royal Festival Hall, the Amsterdam Le Carré, the Barcelona Palau de la Música, the Sydney Opera House, New York's Carnegie Hall and the Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall. Her Abu Dhabi Festival performance marked the stars first show in the capital making it a night to remember. 


No Portuguese artist has experienced such a triumphant international career, accumulating success after success on the most prestigious world stages, rave reviews and numerous international awards and distinctions. She is a UNICEF Ambassador of Goodwill and Ambassador of Fado’s Candidacy to World Heritage by UNESCO. Her awards and honours include being named BBC Radio 3 ‘Best World Music Artist’ (2003), Womex ‘Best Artist’ (2014) and Songlines ‘Best Album’ (2015). She has had conferred on her the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator by Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Government.

For further information on schedules, venues and performances please visit the Festival website Abu Dhabi Festival can also be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.