Maria José da Guia(N. 16 October, 1929 - M. 2 September, 1992)
Maria José dos Santos da Guia was born in Angola on the 16 October 1929, but she came to Lisbon at a very young age; she lived in Alfama, being the mascote of this neighbourhood’s Marcha Popular.
The fado singer probably debuted in 1944, performing at several houses in Bairro Alto and Alfama, Café Luso, Retiro da Severa, or Adega Machado, where she stayed for some time.
She performed in many vaudeville plays in Teatro Maria Vitória, Variedades and ABC, shows that made many fados famous, but she favouredLisbon’s fado houses circuit.
Maria José da Guia married Amadeu José de Freitas, one of the most well known Portuguese media professionals.
The fado singer who wore black and always a shawl, sang themes about the city, love and fado, and she left countless records, both in EP and LP formats. Unfortunately, there are not many re-releases on CD.
Maria José da Guia made many fados famous, singing verses by the most renowned poets, with music by equally important fado composers. Her most popular interpretations included: “Coimbra”; “Lisboa Antiga”, by José Galhardo and Raúl Ferrão; “Casa Portuguesa”, poem by M. Sequeira and music by A. Fonseca; “Sempre que Lisboa Canta”, by Aníbal Nazaré and C. Rocha; “Marcha do Centenário”, by Norberto de Araújo and Raúl Ferrão; or “Ronda Fadista”, lyrics by Domingos Gonçalves Costa and the music of Fado Corrido.
At the beginning of the 1970, Maria José da Guia was invited to sing in Luanda, at a fado house called Muchima. She returned to Portugal in 1975, already sick.
She would perform again at many fado houses, nightclubs and casinos, namely at Mal Cozinhado, in Porto.
At the beginning of the 1990s, the fado singer definitely retired from the artistic life, and died at 62 years old.
To perpetuate the fado singer’s memory, the Lisbon Town Council gave her name to a street in Lisbon, located at Bairro da Cruz Vermelha, at the parish of Lumiar.
Ronda Fadista Maria José da Guia (Domingos Gonçalves da Costa/ Vianinha / Fado Corrido)