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Latin Roots: Fado Creates 'Nostalgia For The Present Moment'

Fado singer Mariza.
Fado singer Mariza.

Today, we welcome singer-songwriter, Grammy-nominated producer and record-company owner Rachel Faro, who visits World Cafe to discuss the Portuguese tradition of Fado.

Fado began in Lisbon and has been around for at least two centuries; over the years, the music has moved from the streets to concert halls. Fado singers like national treasures Amalia Rodrigues and Mariza, both of whom we hear in this segment, have become international stars. At the heart of Fado, the singer conveys "saudade" — the sense of "nostalgia for the present moment."

While Fado singers are women in most of Portugal, Faro also explores the Fado sung by men in Coimbra.

Listen to Rachel Faro's Fado playlist on Spotify.


Latin Roots onWorld Cafe is made possible by a grant from The Wyncote Foundation.

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