12 May 2012

Day 1 in Lisbon

Pedro Galveias
First stop, Esquina de Alfama, where there have been a few changes. As we walked up from the Largo do Chaffariz do dentro, I thought..."I recognize that voice." It was Pedro Galveias. He was there substituting for Ricardo Mesquita. We managed also to hear Ivone Dias, Daniela Giblott (worth seeking out) and Lino Ramos--in duet with Pedro on "Lucinda Camareira". The musicians were Tiago Morna (gp) and Júlio Garcia (v). Pedro told me that he has begun working on a new record (lots of surprises in store there). We talked a little bit about the closure of Os Ferreiras, which really is a major blow to the fado tradition. This of course means that Artur Batalha is now without a steady venue, which raises the question--Where is he?

We had dinner and then wandered around the Alfama. Carlos Macedo and Jerónimo Mendes were taking a break from their work at the Taverna d'El Rey (here is an interesting photo with the two of them and Nathalie Pires, a recent contributor to this blog). These are two top flight musicians, particularly when they are playing together.

At Sr. Vinho, the house was completely full with one group of Spaniards having a pre-wedding celebration for one of their friends (a woman wearing an electric purple wig). At 22:00, they hadn't even started playing--too busy taking care of dinner arrangement. The Spaniards were really raucous. We'll stop by there tonight (Saturday).

Things were quiet at Mesa de Frades (normal for that hour). I foolishly mistook Miguel Ramos' brother for Miguel Ramos, but he was quite diplomatic about it. Both are musicians and look very similar to each other.

I said the first stop of the night was the Esquina, but it was really O Faia in Bairro Alto. This place (and the Tasca do Chico) are to me the only two reasons to visit the Bairro Alto for fado. O Faia at the moment has an incredible group of singers: Anita Guerreiro, Lenita Gentil, Ricardo Ribeiro (and, I think, António Rocha). We also passed by the Tasca do Chico in the Bairro Alto, where I learned from the owner that, starting next month, they will be having "Youth fado"--with younger kids who sing or play the fado. Should be great. It was indeed Chico who we saw later in the night at the Tasca do Chico in the Alfama, delivering some of the supplies for the night.

The Current Lineup of the Esquina d'Alfama

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