20 August 2011

A tough week for the fado, but it continues

Within the last week, two very important people in the fado died. The first was José Manuel Osório, whose work I have mentioned various times on this blog. The second was José Fontes Rocha, who worked for twelve years as one of Amália Rodrigues' guitarists. He was responsible for the music on 'Com Que Voz', a landmark album in the modern fado.

A very young José Manuel Osório
Osório much later inlife
Here is Osório's obituary (in Portuguese, from Público).
A fado from Osório, and another (both ultra-rare, thanks to YouTube user anm1951).
And one of Osório live.
He lived HIV+ for 27 years.

Early career

Here is Rocha's obituary (in Portuguese, from Público). What, they couldn't find a picture?

Another appreciation by Vítor Marceneiro (in Portuguese). Even the president of the country felt compelled to talk about his contribution to society (official English translation).

The gold standard: the Conjunto de guitarras de Raul Nery: Raul Nery (gp), Fontes Rocha (gp), Júlio Gomes (v), Joel Pina (vb), with Amália Rodrigues singing "Naufrágio" from the album 'Com Que Voz'.

Here is a guitarrada from the old days with two other greats, José Pracana and José Carlos da Maia.

Fontes Rocha later in life
He worked right up until the very end, regularly at Casa de Fado in Lisbon. Here is an homage from the great YouTube fado documentarian, casadofado, taken at that house.


  1. Certainly, two sad losses for the genre. José Manuel Osório was not only an avid researcher on fado, but also a fine fado performer in his own right. My friend Ofélia Pereira published a nice little tribute to Osório in her blog Fadistas Como Eu Sou. Osório was a brave, humble man, whose knowledge about fado was remarkable. Fontes Rocha, of course, is a legend of the Portuguese guitar, a very versatile musician with a long career throughout which he accompanied everyone who was ever somebody in the world of fado. Fortunately, he recorded extensively, and his music will always live on.

    Regards from Tennessee,


  2. Anton--thank you for the comment, also for mentioning the blog Fadistas Como Eu Sou. For those who are interested, here is a direct link to the article Anton mentions: