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Ana Moura

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Portuguese vocalist Ana Moura, whose soulful and riveting interpretation of her land’s captivating fado style has made her a star in Europe.

Ana Moura has become a leading exponent of this poetic, deeply expressive idiom which personifies the Portuguese psyche as it explores such universal themes as lost love, separation, and longing.

As Ana explains, “It’s very special because it’s all about emotions and feelings. It needs no translation.”

Ana was born in 1980, in Santarém, the bustling capital of the Ribatejo province in the center of Portugal’s heartland on the Tejo River northeast of Lisbon.

The city of half a million souls is also one of Portugal’s most historic cities — an ideal place to develop an appreciation for fado. “I’ve been singing fado since I was little, because grew up listening to it at home,” she recalls of her early home life. “My parents sang well, and at family gatherings, we all would sing.”

Like young people everywhere, she soon developed an appreciation for other styles of music. The lure of singing fado, however, never waned. In her late teens, while sing pop and rock music with a local band, Ana always included at least one fado in each performance. Then, one night on a whim, about five years ago, she and some friends went to one of Lisbon’s storied fado houses — small performance venues where singers, guitarists and aficionados gather to worship the affecting style that’s become Portugal’s most important music export.

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