Fado is an incredible Portuguese musical artform rooted in the ancient Alfama district of Lisbon. Usually described as Portugal’s form of blues, it is most often sung by women. These days you can find Fado offered in many restaurants around the Algarve. But don’t go looking for Fado houses in this neck of the woods; they are a feature of Lisbon’s unique brand of Portuguese culture. You aren’t likely to get the top ranking fadistas either, but you certainly can enjoy a fun evening of music for a modest cover charge.
It isn’t unusual once the fadista has sung a few sets to have locals begin to join in with their more earthy renditions of favourites. Sadly, I haven’t had much experience of the party evolving to this stage because I’m not much of a late night person!
The long deceased, but still reigning queen of Fado is Amalia Rodriguez. She set the standard for decades and many still try to emulate her vocal range, emotional depth and overall elegance and style. If you have a chance to spend an evening listening to Fado, I encourage you to do so. You’ll discover a world of passion and beauty!