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Portuguese Fado
Ana Vinagre singing fado, Portuguese Fado, ; Ana Vinagre (b. 1953); New Bedford, Massachusetts;
Ana Vinagre singing fado, Portuguese Fado,
Ana Vinagre (b. 1953)
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Ana Vinagre singing fado. Photo by Patrick T. Power; Apprenticeship - Portuguese Fado:
Ana Vinagre singing fado at 2011 Working Waterfront Festival; Apprenticeship - Portuguese Fado; 2011: New Bedford, Massachusetts
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Ana Vinagre
New Bedford, MA
Web Site
A tradition dating back hundreds of years, fado singing is "the soul of the Portuguese people", as described by Ana Vinagre of New Bedford, MA. The emotional core of the fado is saudade, an indefinable yearning or nostalgia for love, times past, or a lost home. Accompanied by a twelve string Portuguese guitar and a bass guitar, the voice of a true fadista embodies and expresses the soulfulness of this music tradition. The traditional fadista dresses in black and uses a shawl as a prop to accentuate the passion of her voice and words.

Ana Vinagre was born in the fishing village of Buarcos, Portugal. Following in the footsteps of her sister, mother, and grandmother, she began singing fado professionally at the age of 13 as a member of her local folk dance group, Cantarinhas de Buarcos. For several years, Vinagre toured extensively with this group throughout Europe, until immigrating to the United States in 1972. Today, she is one of the area's best known and most respected fadistas. Vinagre performs regularly in the Portuguese community for various community and private events, as well as at festivals and other events for a wider audience. She has made appearances at the 2002 National Folk Festival, the Northwest Folklife Festival in 2003 and 2004, and the Lowell Folk Festival in 2006.

In 2004, Vinagre was awarded a MCC Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant to work with apprentice Catarina Avelar. Naturally gifted with a beautiful voice, Avelar focused on deepening her knowledge of the fado repertoire and proper techniques, developing her own style of singing, and learning how to express the soul that is needed to be a true fadista. The following year, Ana Vinagre was awarded a MCC Artist Grant in the Traditional Arts, which supported her continuing efforts to promote Portuguese music and culture.
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