Portuguese music: Urban bagpipes

Photo credits: Rita Carmo

For today’s post we’ll be focusing on traditional Portuguese music and guess what: once again, nothing to do with Fado! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Fado, but I find it frustrating that: a) people only seem to focus on the sad variant and b) generally speaking, people assume Fado is representative of the whole country and it isn’t, neither geographically nor historically. 

The band I’m showing you today is somehow traditional, but very much not traditional as well. Gaiteiros de Lisboa (literally, “Lisbon’s bagpipe players”) began in the early 90’s, focusing mainly on bagpipes and on Portuguese folk soundscapes and imagery. But far from merely sticking to what is traditional, they also invent instruments and compose some of their own songs.

They’ve managed to never get boring while also creating their unique musical atmosphere. Gaiteiros de Lisboa have played extensively and won several awards. Their lead singer, Carlos Guerreiro, has even worked with some big names in Portuguese music, like Sérgio Godinho, Fausto, Zeca Afonso and José Mário Branco.

I’ve chosen a few personal favourites, including a cover they made of one of Carlos Paredes’ most famous themes. Hope you’ll enjoy them!

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The website: http://www.beyondlisbon.pt/

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