António Zambujo is a quite singular artist in Lisbon's Fado environment. Besides his musical education - studied clarinet from the age of 8 and classic guitar further on - he was deeply influenced by the music of his homeland region, Cante Alentejano, a male choir chant from the south of Portugal. But Zambujo sings Fado; as a matter of fact, he is showing us how it can be contemporary.
"...what you listen in Zambujo is something that goes deeper. He is a young Fado singer that, looking for the tradition more than his contemporaries, makes us think about João Gilberto and everything that came into the Brazilian music because of him."
Thiss new recording album Guia (2010) follows the path of Outro sentido (2007) and Por meu cante (2004): having Fado as the starting point of a voyage through Antonio's musical influences: Jazz (he's a Chet Baker fan), Bossa Nova (he has a crush on João Gilberto) and his own Cante Alentejano. Though built upon the traditional Fado combo, Portuguese guitar, Classical guitar and Portuguese bass, we will find in Guia some add-ons like the clarinet, the trombone, trumpet and flugelhorn, the tuba, dobro, drums and even musical sculptures(!).
But all this is grounded on steady roots: Zambujo won his first Fado singing contest aged 16, arrived to Lisbon to immediately perform in one of the Top Fado Clubs, Clube de Fado, and was casted in 1999 for Amália, an outstanding successful musical play, where he performed the role of the Portuguese Diva´s husband during 4 years. Using his own words, '...There I have started to learn the discipline and consistency that a stage performance requires.'
In 2001 Zambujo started to work with Ricardo Cruz, bass player and musical producer of all his albums. O mesmo Fado, a 2002 release, allowed for the recognition of his pairs. Several songs were chosen to be part of major Fado anthologies and António Zambujo won the prestigious ‘Radio Nova FM’ award for the Best new Fado voice, one that was previously addressed to Mariza, Camané and Mafalda Arnauth.
The 2004's Por meu cante gave us some clues about Zambujo’s future artistic path. His homeland influences were clearer, the merging between Cante Alentejano and Fado was always present and, though it happened to be somehow controversial, no impeachment was called. António Zambujo won the 'Amália Rodrigues Foundation' award for the Best Fado Male Singer.
2007 is a significant year in Zambujo’s career. His third album Outro sentido is a statement from a mature artist that has found his own particular way. Outro sentido is released in Brazil under MP,B label and worldwide by Harmonia Mundi/World village. It is considered 'Top of the world album' by Songlines magazine, the best Fado album of the year by the swedish Lyra and it reaches the Top 3 of French FNAC's sales.
Antonio Zambujo's Rio de Janeiro concert was one of the best 10 foreign concerts of 2009 in Brazil for the main Brazilian Newspaper, Globo, among Youssou N'Dour, Terence Blanchard, Elton John and Radiohead. Also the remarkable Lisbon’s festival closing concert, the duet with Luís Represas, a top pop singer, the Cool Jazz Fest with Ivan Lins, Delta Tejo Festival with Vanessa da Matta have shown that Zambujo and his music are really difficult to label.
GUIA is also Top of the World Album, by Songlines Magazine.
After all, Fado can also be contemporary.
António Zambujo - vocals and guitar
Luís Guerreiro - portuguese guitar
Jon Luz - cavaquinho
Ricardo Cruz - doublebass and musical direction