Gisela João wants to play tribute concert to the Revolution all year round

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Fado singer Gisela João is celebrating the 50th anniversary of April 25 with a tour, performing songs by the authors and composers of April, such as José Afonso, whose “Grândola, Vila Morena” she will sing.

His aim is to hold “a tribute concert to April 25 throughout the year”, he told Lusa.

The tour opens in Amarante on April 24 at the local cine-theater and continues the following day at the Tivoli Theatre in Lisbon, as part of the Sons da Liberdade Festival.

Gisela João is accompanied by musicians Carles Rodenas Martinez on classical guitar and Luís ‘Twins’ Pereira on keys.

The fado singer told Lusa that she has always enthusiastically celebrated April 25, which she refers to “affectionately as 25”.

“I affectionately call April 25th ’25’, because for me, the 25th [of April] is the most beautiful day in Portugal, it should be the day of Portugal, of our freedom, freedom of expression, freedom to dream, physical freedom. Freedom!” he argued.

“I’ve always made a point of singing on April 25th. From the 24th to the 25th [of April] I’m always very expectant, as if the 25th was a school trip, like when we were kids,” he said.

The idea for these concerts came about last year “in a conversation with friends”, when he realized that this year was the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution and wondered what he wanted to do.

Gisela João decided that she wanted to “do a tribute concert to April 25 all year round”, and so “the idea of the project began to grow”.

Last year, while he was living in Valencia, in the south of Spain, he met a musician to whom he showed “songs by our singers from before the 25th and songs from the Revolution”.

“The fact that I was telling his story through music helped me to close the idea of the concert I wanted to do,” he told Lusa.

Mentioning that she is “still doing some research”, Gisela João said that she has already chosen “some of the best-known singers” for everyone to sing with, but also others who have “fallen off the radar a bit”.

Among those already chosen are José Afonso, José Mário Branco, Fausto, Vitorino and Sérgio Godinho, “names that can’t be missed”.

The fado “Abandono” (David Mourão-Ferreira/Alain Oulman), also known as “Fado Peniche”, in reference to the former PIDE prison, “might” be included in the line-up, “but there are so many songs and so many good ones”, he said, noting that it doesn’t give him “much pleasure to sing the same ones over and over again”.

“Fado Peniche”, a creation of Amália Rodrigues, is considered by some music critics to be the first protest song before April 25, 1974, and one that escaped the sieve of the Censorship Services, through which all publishable material had to pass.

“Grândola, Vila Morena”, “Cantiga de Embalar” and “Redondo Vocábulo”, creations by José Afonso, he will “certainly” sing, he told Lusa.

After Amarante and Lisbon, “many shows are going to happen”, said Gisela João, who assured that “this is the show she wants to do” this year, without giving any other dates.

The show’s set design is also by Gisela João.

Gisela João made herself known to the general public in 2013 with the release of her album of the same name. She had previously taken part in other musical projects, including the album “O Fado E As Canções do Alvim” (2011), and appeared as a fado singer in Zezé Gamboa’s film “O Grande Kilapy” (2012).

In 2015 she was part of the cast of the album “Amália: As Vozes do Fado”. In 2016 she released her second album, “Nua”.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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