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Mariza SF Jazz

Mariza played SF Jazz again for four nights at the end of October. More than the best fado singer, I believe she is the most commanding performer in the world today. With Jose Manuel Neto on Portuguese guitar, Pedro Joia on classical guitar, Fernando Araujo on bass, and Hugo Marques on percussion, she has had the same band for several years, and they are seamless. Unlike most fado guitarists, Joia employs a lot of flamenco techniques, which gives a more percussive edge to many of the tunes. Neto is magical. They all have individual careers, and their affection for Mariza is palpable. The first time I saw her, an SF Jazz show years ago at the Henry Kaiser Auditorium in Oakland, Tom Waits, not known for sentimentality, was weeping a few seats away from me. She always makes me cry; just walking on stage. I know what is coming. Each note goes right through my heart. She always sing Primavera; associated with the great Amalia Rodrigues. She sings it for herself. Walking in the rain afterwards, I am wondering why she affects me so much. And then a flash - I am part Sephardic Jew. Mendes, Soares, Perriea - Spanish and Portuguese names. It is literally in my DNA.

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