World Music/CRASHarts presents, in collaboration with the Mass Cultural Council
Review by Kitty Drexel
(Boston by way of Portugal) While a large percentage of Bostonians were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day (a made up holiday to celebrate something that never happened) there was a smaller part of Boston reaping the benefits of Portuguese culture. The concert given by Ana Moura and her exquisite band (Portuguese guitar player Angelo Freire plays with incomparable skill. His performance was virtuosic.) on Saturday, March 16 was as near perfect as fate can make it. She performed traditional Fado, Portuguese folk, and jazz standard from her 2012 CD, Desfado.
Ms. Moura has a voice like chocolate velvet. It’s timbre is rich and full. She made the music personal with frequent gestures to articulate poignant sadness. She moves her arms in such a way as to imply that she’d rather be dancing across the stage. For her audience, she maintained composure and sang in both Portuguese and English as if the words were a dance instead.
Ms. Moura frequently closes her eyes while she performs. It is at first distracting because it is so unusual. Singers are supposed to keep their eyes open to connect with their audience. Moura did not disconnect. Rather, her comfort on the stage is so firmly secured that when her eyes closed it became a part of her performance practice. She encouraged her Portuguese fans to speak directly to her from their seats and responded when they hooted and hollered. Although unconventional, this action was an extension of her charming persona and added to the concert. She clearly loves her fans as much as they love her.