Ramana Vieira and Ensemble present rapturous rhythms, and the passionate stirrings of fado, the folk music of Portugal. Fado, which literally means fate or destiny, is the most widely recognized genre of Portuguese music, dating back to early 19th century Lisboa.
Traditionally, fados are dramatic ballads expressing love, loss and redemption. Vieira captivates her audience with the haunting laments of the old world classics which she has infused with innovative instrumentation, creative layers, and soaring vocals. The ensemble also performs original compositions, American (Blues/Pop/Jazz), and universal classics. In short: sensual, soul-stirring World music.
The New York Times has recognized Vieira as an American at the forefront of the fado resurgence. Legendary fadista Amália Rodrigues popularized fado in the 20th century, but today it has witnessed a revival, and platinum-selling Portuguese singers are selling out concert halls in the US. Vieira was born in San Leandro, California with the beat of Portuguese rhythms coursing through her veins. Her parents had immigrated to the United States from Portugal, where her grandfather was a well-known musician and composer from Madeira Island. She grew up listening to American pop music and Broadway musicals, along with the traditional Portuguese music from her parents’ homeland.
“During my childhood, I sang with my mother to Amália Rodgrigues and other fabulous fadistas that were part of her special record collection,” said Vieira. Early in life, it was apparent that Vieira possessed exceptional musical talent and went on to study at prestigious The American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) of San Francisco. But a spontaneous trip to Portugal shifted her professional vision and catalyzed an exploration deep into the world of fado. In Portugal, Vieira connected with her roots and found that fado ignited her spirit and set her soul aflame. She began to study intensively with local fado musicians and had the opportunity to perform. She was loved by her fans in Portugal; her authentic and individual style was refreshing and well-received.
Vieira’s brilliant musicality and colorful heritage appeal to a global audience. In addition to the traditional fados, and her masterful original compositions, Vieira has now compiled a synergetic repertoire that reflects the full scope of her identity by incorporating her background of American theater, blues, and soulful classics into her sets. Through this multi-faceted fusion, Vieira has finally fulfilled her fado, fate. In her own words, “I love being Portuguese and singing my roots. I just feel now is the time for Ramana to embrace all of me – my American and Portuguese heritage. I am sitting at the precipice of something amazing and excited to see where this is going to take me and my group. Yes, it's time.”
Vieira has been described by Mundo Portugues newspaper as the “New Voice of Portuguese World Music.” Her original composition, “Unido Para Amar,” was played at the opening ceremony for the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Recently, United States Congressman Jim Costa expressly invited Vieira to perform for the President of the Azores, Portugal. Vieira has also headlined the largest Portuguese festivals in the world.
Tickets are $20 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).
The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!