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Mariza at Cal Performances
Wednesday October 30 the great Mariza played at Zellerbach Auditorium. I have seen her many times over the years since she first played the Henry Kaiser Auditorium as part of SF Jazz. And I saw her in March in the intimate Robert N. Miner Auditorium. In truth, I was considering not attending this show just because I had seen her very recently. But Mariza is one of a hanful of artists, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Ravi Shankar, Paco de Lucia, Vicente Amigo, that I will literally see as often as I can, indeed every night, if I could. And my response at her first notes are always the same - I weep. Yes, she is very beautiful, and dramatic, and has the stage presence of Sinatra. But it is the voice, the emotion, that always overcomes me. Truly universal, and completely fado. With Jose Neto on guitarra, Pedro Joia on guitar, Nando Araujo on bass guitar, and Vicky Marques (a boy) on drums, the arrangements vary from a capella to the orchestral. Even American and Brazillian pop tunes become true fado in her hands. She teaches the audience some Portuguese to sing along with her. Before the encores, she walks through the audience singing, and then sings off mic. I have some sephardic Spanish and Portuguese blood. Is that why she affects me so?