On Tuesday, November 8 at 7 pm, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs presents the Chicago debut of Dulce Pontes, the international singing star, who has sung with the likes of Andrea Bocelli and José Carreras. The concert, which takes place in the Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, features an eclectic mix of rock and fado as well as unusual instruments. Admission is free.
Pontes' brilliant voice and singing are unique and unmistakable, whether she is singing rock, fado, or a song from Angola. She is constantly in search of new ways of interpreting traditional songs. She also seeks out new tones and the sound of unusual instruments, however strange they may appear or however much they have fallen into disuse. She experiments with other voices next to her own, other tongues, other popular song traditions, and can even sing in Berber.
Pontes has performed with the Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, the Spaniard José Carreras, Cesária Évora from Cabo-Verde, and the Brazilians Caetano Veloso, Daniela Mercury, Simone and Marisa Monte, the Spanish bagpipe player Carlos Nuñez, and The Chieftains from Ireland. Her interpretation of Canção do Mar (Song of the Sea) was used on the sound track of the international version of the Brazilian television series “As Pupilas do Senhor Reitor” (1994). The same interpretation of this song by Ferrer Trindade was chosen as the main theme of the soundtrack of the 1996 film Primal Fear by Gregory Hoblit, starring Richard Gere and Edward Norton.
In 2004 Dulce Pontes received the award for Best Latin Singer from the Spanish Phonographic and Videographic Association and the international Prémio TENCO 2004 in San Remo, Italy. Dulce won this award as “cultural operator,” for reviving the works of José Afonso and Amália Rodrigues, for her sensitive and genuine interpretation of the best musical and poetic Portuguese traditions, and for her collaborations with celebrated international composers. At the award ceremony Dulce was introduced as "inventor of the new fado."
Dulce Pontes Bio
Born in Montijo, in the vicinity of Lisbon, in 1969, the young Dulce Pontes was introduced to the fado tradition by her uncle Carlos Pontes, fado singer and a lover of bullfights. When she was seven years old she started with her courses at the National Conservatory of Music in Lisbon, where she chose to study piano. It was here that her curiosity concerning music was aroused.
During her adolescence, she studied modern dance and formed an amateur rock group, Os Percapita, where she first experimented with her vocal qualities. She made her professional debut as a young singer when she was selected from several candidates to replace the lead actress in the cast of the musical Enfim Sós (Alone at last), in 1988.
This first step was followed by appearances in television programs, TV commercials and by performances in the Estoril Casino, where Dulce attracted attention for her vocal qualities interpreting Shirley Bassey’s songs, and her passionate fado interpretations, at a time that young singers hardly showed any interest in this tradition. Although she was considered by many as a potential successor to Amália Rodrigues, the admired Portuguese fado singer who died in 1999, Pontes was interested in more than just fado. Already on “Lagrimas,” her second album, Pontes showed a new talent for performing Portuguese folk traditions and music with African, Arab and Berber roots.
She has performed with the Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, the Spaniard José Carreras, Cesária Évora from Cabo-Verde, and the Brazilians Caetano Veloso, Daniela Mercury, Simone and Marisa Monte, the Spanish bagpipe player Carlos Nuñez, and The Chieftains from Ireland. For her own records Dulce has collaborated with musicians and artists like Leonardo Amuedo, who she considers her musical twin soul, Way