Maria João com Moçoilas

An improbable, surprising, even daring concert, this concoction brings together contrasting acts: the jazz and improvised music of diva Maria João; and the unique, irreverent Moçoilas: a group of three women (Margarida Guerreiro, Inês Rosa and Teresa Silva) who sing traditional southern, Mediterranean songs, a capella. The overarching theme of this performance is reaching the exact point at which various musical latitudes meet (Portugal, Brazil, Africa and others), within which tradition and contemporaneity merge, generating new, creative approaches. These approaches have been brought together with great artistic complicity, which in turn positions them extremely close to the audience.

 Maria João's career has taken her as far as performing at the most renowned music festivals in the world. Starting her journey at the Hot Club of Portugal’s Jazz School, she started singing abroad after just a few years, which is why Maria João is now one of the few internationally acclaimed Portuguese singers. Officially recognised as having expanded the reach of Portuguese culture around the world, she was awarded the Order of Prince Henry knighthood by Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio. She is also the only Portuguese artist to have been nominated for the European Jazz Prize along with Jamie Cullum and Bobo Stenson.

 Maria João’s truly unique style has become a benchmark, and can be pinpointed as the key to her success in the difficult, highly competitive field of improvised music. Her notable vocal skills and singular interpretative intensity have earned her not only international recognition, but also a place in the line-up of the best female singers around today. Unanimously praising the singer, both critics and audiences have designated her as having “a voice driven to its very limits”, declaring her to be “a singer in constant evolution”.

 ... the songs of southern Portugal, sung in the voices of women that return with the coming of spring, winters spent huddled around the hearth, or styled on summer. These women always come back. They are women who give the mountains a voice, mountains where singing has always been a much more feminine activity. And this music will find continuity through these women, now even more meticulously than in the past. Now they face a yearning need to revive the songs of the Algarve, which have been forgotten or hidden in time. The prominent sound produced has been reborn from a need to continue to hear and profess the basic sounds; roots, the earth. Fans of these southern songs, who follow the shout that has been released, remain connected because of a sensitivity that arises within them, a sensitivity to something that may be tangential to their identity, or linked to a curiosity they have for the region that served as the birthplace for this music.

These performers bear the soul of the songs of the mountains, and the songs of the earth, and many other themes inspired on similar values, in their tones, sounds and smells, in their echoing and moving voices. Moçoilas is an attitude, a soul, felt from within, clearly encouraging, joyful and feminine. It is a loose tune with sweet, hard, simple harmonies. The responsibility for ensuring the continuity of this musical and cultural bubble - which has been handled and cared for over time by Women who took on the role of Moçoilas and left a little of themselves behind so that this project may continue - has now been taken on by Inês Rosa, Margarida Guerreiro and Teresa Silva.

This trio of women embraces many of the old themes and enriches them with their own energy, modifying some, appropriating others and paving the way for new melodies: new songs.

This third elliptical cycle of the group re-equates and therefore rebuilds the group, making it evolve, taking it to another dimension, maintaining its unique sound, yet simultaneously differing from previous cycles. These women bring everything they’ve learned from walking their individual paths. They collect everything that makes them contrast with each other. They bring their musical tones and complicities together and merge them, creating a harmony of sound that is an intertwined whole - encompassing all that and more.


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