There’s a dark-haired man with copper skin, standing onstage dressed in black, his silver belt buckle and crucifix shimmering slightly in the dim spotlight. He’s singing in a foreign language, but you instantly recognize the deep, soulful longing in his voice, rising as it does from an almost impossibly deep well of passionate emotion. This is the saudade, the yearning, romantic moment at the heart of all fado – the urban folk music of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. The man in black is Tony Gouveia.
Gouveia has emerged as an impressive voice of a new generation of fadistas (fado singers) in North America. Born in Lisbon, he came to Canada at the age of 13, but never forgot his roots, nor the fados that his father used to sing at family gatherings. And, being an unabashed romantic, he simply couldn’t ignore his wife’s great love for this traditional music of his homeland: She wouldn’t stop listening to fado at home, and eventually Gouveia was once again hooked on it, too – not only as a listener, but this time as a performer.
Although he’s already been singing professionally for 20 years, it was only in 2005 (after his re-conversion to fado) that Gouveia released his debut fado work, O Nosso Fado – a compilation of standards in the genre which reveals his heartfelt, profound passion for it, and his authentic vocal expression of it. Critically acclaimed by the Portuguese-Canadian media (see the attached sheet of press quotes), his work also won over many new converts to fado outside of the Portuguese community. Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, it’s difficult not to be moved by Gouveia’s performance, which embodies the essence of the Portuguese soul.
His new album, Fado Ardente, was recorded in Portugal, and this time offers a blend of new original material along with some fado standards. The recording is produced by Jorge Fernando, who also produced worldwide fado star Mariza's award-winning debut album, Fado em Mim. Virtuoso player Custódio Castelo, master of the Portuguese guitar, also performs on Fado Ardente.
Well known in North America's Portuguese community for his 20 years of performance with the well-established non-fado group Tabu, Gouveia received the prestigious Merit Award for Music, Portugal Week 2007, presented by the Alliance of Portuguese Clubs & Associations of Ontario (A.C.A.P.O.). Gouveia – who has now become something of an ambassador for fado – has begun to attract new audiences to the genre with his remarkable performances at the Brampton and Mill Race (Cambridge) Folk Festivals, as well as at many Toronto clubs with Nuno Cristo's Anima Fado series. In 2007, he performed at the "Fado Toronto" program in the LuminaTO Festival, held at the Young Centre for Performing Arts in the Distillery District.
Tony Gouveia is truly the new voice of fado. His soulful vocals and fervent performances are poised to conquer all listeners, both inside the Portuguese community and well beyond it.
“Tony Gouveia is a genuine fadista.” – António Perinú, Portuguese Sun

“A fado singer of body and soul, unique… [Gouveia] is able to conciliate the tradition of fado with a touch of modernity.” – Inacio Mota, Portugal Além-Fronteiras

““An extremely well-conceived work, worth listening to… Tony Gouveia demonstrates his capacity as a singer of the national song.” - Avelino Teixeira, O Correio Canadiano

“The fadista came forth… and established the magnificent connecting link between his audience and fado. His transparent stage presence accentuated the richness of his voice, reflecting a more personal posture in his approach to fado music.” – Liberal Couto, O Milénio

“Tony Gouveia gave a classy performance... It pleased fado lovers with very well-known fados and was applauded with a standing ovation.” – João G. Silva, TEAM

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