• Antonio Zambujo

Chicagoans could be forgiven for thinking that fado, the poetic, deeply emotional music of Portugal, is a style reserved for female singers. A new generation of female singers including Mariza, Ana Moura, and Christina Branco have had a regular presence here over the last decade, and if World Music Festival: Chicago hadn’t presented the male singer Helder Moutinho back in 2007 there would have been a total gender monopoly on the form in local venues. The truth is that men have been singing fado for as long as the music has existed—since the early 19th century—but the tradition’s greatest practitioner and star, Amalia Rodrigues, so towered above every other singer as to define the genre completely. But there are many great male singers and António Zambujo, one of the best and most ascendant contemporary artists, makes his Chicago debut tonight in a free concert at the Chicago Cultural Center.