Simon Arruda is a Fado Guitarist (Portuguese Guitarist) working in the Greater Toronto Area. It is the home of Fado artists like Tony Gouveia, Paulo Filipe, Hernani Raposo, and Pedro Joel, and Soraia Mejdoubi.
He performs instrumental fado (guitarradas), and also performs with local fadistas (vocalists who sing fado).
He recently released a cover of Ana Moura's Vinte Vinte, with Jennifer Bettencourt on vocals which aired on CHIN FM, and released his original single, "Azulejo," on all major streaming services.
Though originally specializing in Jazz guitar, his focus has shifted to performing fado guitar (Guitarra Portuguesa), an instrument used in fado music. Fado is the national music of Portugual and is made famous by Amalia Rodrigues and Carlos Paredes, Antonio Chainho, etc.
WHAT IS FADO?
Fado is a traditional genre of music that originated in Portugal in the early 19th century. It is typically characterized by melancholic and nostalgic themes, and is often associated with the saudade, a Portuguese word that describes a feeling of longing or nostalgia for something that is absent or lost.
The exact origins of fado are uncertain, but it is believed to have developed in the port districts of Lisbon in the early 1800s, where it was influenced by a variety of musical styles, including African rhythms, Brazilian modinhas, and local folk music. Fado was originally performed in taverns and other informal settings, and was often associated with sailors, prostitutes, and other marginalized groups.
Over time, fado became more popular and began to be performed in more formal venues, such as theaters and concert halls. It also underwent a process of standardization, with specific styles and forms of fado emerging, such as Coimbra fado, which originated in the city of Coimbra and is performed by male singers accompanied by a Portuguese guitarra and a classical guitar.
Today, fado is considered one of the most emblematic expressions of Portuguese culture and has been recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Fado continues to evolve and adapt, with contemporary artists incorporating new elements and influences while still honoring the traditions and themes of the genre.