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Maria Jô Jô

Maria Jô Jô is a familiar name in the fadista universe, usually associated with the house she has managed since 1978 - "Taverna d’El Rey".

The fado singer started her career at "Viela", where she had the old school fado singer Berta Cardoso as her godmother. No wonder Maria Jô Jô reveals that “in the past it was the fado singer who made the fado house” and it was as famous as the names in her cast. Her "Taverna" is one of the best known houses in Alfama, and names such as Tristão da Silva, Tony de Matos, Francisco José, Fernando Maurício, Maria Valejo, Celeste Rodrigues, Vasco Rafael, Artur Ribeiro, Vasco Lima or Martinho d'Assunção, who naturally helped transform the space into one of the most prestigious houses in the neighborhood.

The space was once occupied by a bag store and then by a tavern. Later, it opened under the name "Taverna d’El Rey" by the hand of Francisco Lampreia, owner of several restaurants in Lisbon, ending shortly afterwards. Until Joaquim Manuel, known as “Nelo do Twist” and lead singer of Gatos Pretos, reopens it, presenting Maria Jô Jô and Natália dos Anjos as fadistas. It is in 1978 that Maria Jô Jô's husband buys the house, which is then managed by this fado singer.

The owner, who sings in her house every night, gives great importance to the staging in fado. For this reason, it is important that the fado singers wear a full suit and that the artists are not seen without their shawl and long dress. But although clothing and lights help build an environment and are part of the show, the magic of fado is never the result of an obligation: “fado is not when you want it. Sometimes, when I'm hoarse is when I sing better. This thing about fado has its days, it has moments, it takes a disposition, a state of mind”, she confides, lamenting the lack of criteria of the current public, little able to distinguish between a good and a bad fado singer. During the last few years, almost all the fado houses have received a much larger number of foreign tourists than Portuguese, a fact that in her opinion contributes a lot to the fact that we deman less from the singers today than in the past.

Maria Jô-Jô continues to combine fado with the management of the house where she keeps on performing every night. Under her management she remodeled the space, decorating the ceiling with wood reminiscent of the caravels of yesteryear and paving the floor  with Portuguese pavement, with drawings of large music keys, which transport us immediately to the chords of fado that we can hear here.

Maria Jô Jô s/d.

Taverna Del Rey 2001

Taverna Del Rey 2001

Taverna Del Rey 2001

Taverna Del Rey 2001

Tavrena Del Rey 2001

  • O Amor Que Somos Maria Jô Jô (Maria Jô Jô / Alfredo Marceneiro)