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Fado in Madeira

Thank you so much to Peter who sent me this write up about a recent Fado night they visited.

Last night, on December 13, 2016, we were invited to come to the Bar do Pita, a small, out-of-the-way bar in São Roque, a higher-up district of Funchal. The place has opened quite recently with new owner Duarte Pita.

To promote the new business, a Fado night was planned for last evening. Not quite a coincidence, as Duarte’s life partner Silvia Pereira is the daughter of the well known Fado singer Alexandra Sousa, and Silvia herself is a Fado singer too. The Fadistas (singers) that were announced were, unsurprisingly,the powerful Alexandra Sousa, but also the incredible young male Fado singer Vítor Araújo. As we already knew both Alexandra and Vítor, apart from Silvia, of course, we knew what to expect fado-wise. But we did not quite know what the place would be like, if it would be more restaurant-like or a real bar. We suspected the latter, and we were not disappointed. A small bar, real local, so don’t expect much spectacular interior decoration, but oh, man, what an atmosphere once the Fadistas and the guitarist warmed up a little. As we had already had an early dinner (we did not know if they would serve any food at all) we did not eat, but we could have.

Very friendly priced small traditional Portuguese snacks and soup were served. As Alexandra explained later: this evening is not just a promotional activity. They plan to do a Fado night every Thursday starting in January. Alexandra, who is founder and owner of the old-town Fado House ‘Sabor a Fado’ wanted to do more than just sing and perform for tourists. In the very local setting of Bar do Pita, they are starting to do traditional Fado nights. In the setting of a real ‘Tasca de Fados’, they want to ‘celebrate’ the Fado they way it is meant to be., With the locals and, yes, also by the locals, although any foreign visitors are welcomed with open arms. The presence of Alexandra and Vítor guaranteed Fados of high quality, of course. But it is the locals that made it work:

impromptu performances by passers-by, some of them with amazing voices, made the evening into a real Fado Party that we won’t easily forget. We highly recommend this place for real Fado-lovers and we will certainly become regulars in the months to be. Bar do Pito Caminho do Lombo Segundo nr 18 (below the São Roque church) Funchal Fado every Thursday starting in January 2017

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