Seen from an American perspective, the renewal of Portuguese fado — a trend that has surged in the last 10 to 15 years — has brought a glamorous addition to world-music programming. Seductive stars such as Mariza and Ana Moura have enchanted concert and festival crowds with their update of Lisbon’s passionate, tormented music of the soul.
From the point of view of the Portuguese-American community, however, in its core territories of Eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Newark, the picture is a little different. On one hand, fado has a history here: Old-timers have fond memories of fado nights at local taverns in bygone days. On the other hand, the new Portuguese stars don’t often stop by. And when they do, they play large concert halls, not the small rooms where fado — at its roots, an acoustic and intimate genre — thrives.