Portuguese Fado Star Mariza Receives Berklee’s Master of Mediterranean Music Award

Margot Edwards
November 13, 2017
Press release
Javier Limón, artistic director of the Berklee Mediterranean Music Institute presents fado star Mariza with a Master of Mediterranean Music Award.
Fado star Mariza performs after the awards ceremony.
Mariza delivers a powerful performance during the concert portion of the event.
Mariza poses backstage with her Master of Mediterranean Music Award.
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green

Portuguese fado star Mariza was presented with Berklee’s Master of Mediterranean Music Award by Javier Limón, Latin Grammy-winning artist and artistic director of Berklee’s Mediterranean Music Institute, at her weekend performance at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts.

In presenting the award to the acclaimed singer, Limón hailed Mariza as the most important fado singer in Portugal today and honored her “for her contribution to the evolution of fado music, her recognition on all the world stages, and for being an unquestionable leader of a generation that has revolutionized Portuguese music and elevated it to world prestige like never before.”

Mariza has quickly risen from a local phenomenon in Lisbon, to one of the most widely acclaimed stars of the world music circuit. Beginning with her debut, Fado em Mim and continuing to her latest album, Fado Tradicional, Mariza has been redefining fado, the urban folk music that has given voice to Lisbon's woes for the past two centuries.

No Portuguese artist since Amália Rodrigues has experienced such a triumphant international career, accumulating success on stages around the world, rave reviews from critics, and countless awards and distinctions. Mariza’s musical partners have included Jacques Morelenbaum, John Mauceri, José Merce, Miguel Poveda, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, Lenny Kravitz, Sting, Cesária Évora, and Tito Paris. Her repertoire, while firmly rooted in classical and contemporary fado, has grown to include Cape Verdean mornas, R&B classics, and other themes dear to her heart.

Berklee’s Mediterranean Music Institute created the Master of Mediterranean Music Award to honor the great maestros of Mediterranean music. Musical figures who are granted the award exemplify the practices and values of Berklee's Mediterranean Music Institute, which stimulates cultural exchange of the folk-based music traditions of the various regions of the Mediterranean, internationally promotes these traditions, and supports young and emerging talent from the area. Past recipients of the Master of Mediterranean Music award include flamenco singer José Mercé, flamenco guitarist Pepe Habichuela, harmonica player Antonio Serrano, singer and composer Pepe de Lucía, and Kurdish singer Aynur.

Listen to a podcast featuring Mariza: