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MARIZA’s latest album “Terra” is the first masterpiece of a new breathing cycle. Mariza sums it all up in one word: “truth”. And she adds: “During seven years of international tours, I had the chance of discovering other peoples and cultures. I watched and I listened. I learned. This is my moment. This is my truth. I’ve always been true to myself, and I’ve always been true to my fans. And I wanted this album to show them my progress as a singer and a human being. My two previous albums, ‘Transparente’ and ‘Concerto Em Lisboa’ were like the end of a cycle to me. This new album, I’ve decided to call it ‘Terra’. Why? Maybe because I always have my feet firmly planted on the ground, and also because recording it was like going on a musical journey. Inevitably...”
Mariza is a Fado singer but she keeps experimenting with new ways of singing it, and her fans can’t get enough. All of her previous albums – “Fado em Mim” (2001), “Fado Curvo” (2003), “Transparente” (2005) and “Concerto Em Lisboa” (2006), plus the DVD “Live In London” (2004) – went Platinum. With Amália Rodriguez gone, Portugal has looked for a new voice to express the national soul and has found Mariza.
“Terra”. The Portuguese Fado guitar is joined by British guitarist Dominic Miller (one of Sting’s supporting musicians for the last twenty years), by three piano players, Brazilian Ivan Lins and Cubans Chucho Valdês and Ivan “Melon” Lewis, by Spanish flamenco guitarist Javier Limón, and by Spanish percussionist Piraña (Paco De Lucia’s favorite percussionist). Mariza’s voice blends perfectly with Cape Verdean Tito Paris’ and Afro-Hispanic Concha Buika’s. After Jorge Fernando, Carlos Maria Trindade and Jacques Morelenbaum, Mariza has chosen Spanish Javier Limón as the producer for “Terra” – what a challenge! But in this cosmopolitan mixture of flamenco and morna, jazz and folk music, we hear a constant Portuguese sound; let’s call it Fado or more aptly, Mariza.
In 2001 Mariza wins for Most Outstanding Performance in Quebec. In 2003, she receives the Gold Medal from the Portuguese Tourist Board, is elected Artist of the Year by the Portuguese Marketing Executives Association, wins the German Press “Deutscheschalplatten Kritik” Award for Best Ethnic, Folk and World Music album with “Fado Curvo” (“Fado em Mim” won in the same category in 2001), and is elected Best European Artist by BBC Radio 3 (she would win this award again in 2005 and 2006). In 2004, Mariza wins the “European Border Breakers Award” (an award sponsored by the European Union) for best-selling album “Fado em Mim”, she is voted Person of the Year by the Foreign Press Association of Portugal, and she is nominated Ambassador for Fado’s candidature to UNESCO’S Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity program.
In 2005, Mariza is nominated Ambassador for the Hans Christian Andersen bicentennial celebrations, and she is elected UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador. She also wins the Amália Rodrigues Foundation “International Award” for “making Portuguese music known worldwide”. In 2006, President Jorge Sampaio from Portugal awards Mariza the Order of Henry the Navigator.
Mariza wins Portugal’s Golden Globe for Best Individual Performer, and she is nominated for the Australian Helpmann Awards in the category of “Best International Contemporary Concert”, for her performances at the Sydney Opera House. “Ó gente da minha terra” (from the “Fado Em Mim” album) is the title song for Pang Ho-cheung’s film “Isabella”, winner of the Silver Bear for best soundtrack at the 56th Berlin Film Festival
In 2007, Mariza is nominated for the Finnish “Emma Gaala” Awards for “Best International Artist”, together with Robbie Williams, Andrea Bocelli, Basshunter, Iron Maiden and Red Hot Chili Peppers. She is invited by famous German photographer Bettina Flitner to participate in the “100 most important women in Europe” project, sponsored by the German Government and presented in the European Parliament. Mariza is nominated ambassador for the Portuguese Tourism Institute, in appreciation for her worldwide efforts on behalf of the Portuguese culture. She becomes the first Portuguese artist to be nominated for the Grammy Awards: the “Concerto em Lisboa” is nominated by the Latin Academy of Recording & Sciences for best folk album.
In May 2008, the Paris Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters awarded Mariza the prestigious Medaille de Vermeil, for “her relevant services to the arts and culture”. All these demonstrations of recognition and appreciation honour Mariza’s career, and they honour Portugal. After all, she sings the Portuguese soul. And “Terra” is a Portuguese album, recorded for the World. The seeds were sown, says Mariza, “and the fruits will be plentiful and diverse”.