Dulce Pontes


*** ESCENAPART works with DULCE PONTES in the following territories: Latinamerica ***

At the age of 4 years old she sang the Portuguese national anthem at her home in Montijo, a small town located in front of Lisbon on the other side of the river Tejo. Daughter of Lourdes and the bookkeeper Tomás Pontes, she was born on the 8th of April of 1969, year in which, in the field of music, the prodigious decade of sixties was powering down with the mythic Woodstock festival, the last recordings of The Beatles ('Abbey Road' and it's famous sleeve of the zebra crossing) and the murder of an African American member of the audience in Altamont by the "Hell's Angels", the security staff that The Rolling Stones contracted. The young Dulce, completely foreign to all those rock music events that was trying to change the world, but that should have woke-up from this dream with the violent decade of seventies, was just starting to walk in the last years of "salazarismo", in a isle and back warded Portugal. She was introduced to the fado tradition for her uncle Carlos Pontes, also bullfights lover. He was her maestro. At seven years old she started to attend the Conservatorio Nacional de Música of Lisbon and the piano was her favourite instrument and where she studied until the forth year. During those years she listened to classical music as such as Portuguese and English popular music. During her adolescence she dedicated for a short period to learn modern dance, but her teachers told that she was too old to become a dancer so she definitely decided to be a musician. In Montijo she became the leader of a urban rock band The "percapita", an amateur project without any aspirations for the future. The first professionals experiences came up when the young singer was chosen among various applicants, to substitute the main actress of the musical 'Enfim Sos", in November 1988. The rehearse was done at Namouche studios where Dulce will know her future first producer Guillherme Ines, a prestigious musician who collaborates among others with Zeca Afonso. She got her first musical contract. After have been the leading actress of another musical, she was invited at TV programs, recording of commercial advertising's and shows at Estoril Casino, where Dulce got the attention for the quality of her voice, her interpretations of fado and Shirley Bassey's themes. The appreciations of the public began with the TV show 'Regresso ao passado', where she sang song of sixties, among them 'The fool on the hill' of Lennon and McCartney. She did her first decisive step at the Eurovison in 1991 where she won the competition with the song 'Lusitana Paixao' , a soul ballad but with a clear homage to fado in its text. This success gave her the passport to represent Portugal at the Eurovision Festival that took place in the same year in Rome (at Cinecitta), where she obtained the 8th place (the best ranking Portugal has ever obtained till that edition) and the critics award for the best performance.

The following year she published her first CD 'Lusitana' following pop music style. Is 1993 when she decided to begin her real musical course with the CD 'Lagrimas'. The new meeting with Guillherme Ines will brings to a new result after a large work of recordings in which the fado and the music of Zeca Afonso, the two sides of the Portuguese music, lived together in a space that until that moment was prohibited for ideological reasons. Amalia Rodriguea and the author of 'Grandola Vila Morena' became her reference point of Portuguese music, although in this work we can begin to see Maghribian and Bulgarian influences, and the synthesizers replaced the Portuguese guitar in various songs. The reinterpretation of 'Cançao do mar' was going to be during the next years the most universal Portuguese song of all times and with more international versions. The song was part of the soundtrack of the Brazilian soap opera 'As pupilas do Senhor Reitor' (1994). The same interpretation of this song of Ferrer Trindade was the main theme of the soundtrack of the movie 'Primal fear' (1996), of Gregory Hoblit, with Richard Gere and Edward Norton as main characters.

The most important thing Dulce Pontes obtained with 'Lagrimas' it was to stimulate a sociological effect that has no precedents, such as re-discover the fado when it was dying and the new generation was not interested in it. It is not possible to conceive the new-fado of this first decade of XXI century without the decisive contribution of the singer from Montijo. First Madredeus, with other style, and than Dulce Pontes, leaded the popularization of the music sang in Portuguese language trough all the world.

Dulce began to perform in international tours, traveling all over Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, German, Italy, U.S.A., Japan, Brazil. The Italian composer Ennio Morricone, in 1995, invited the singer to sing the theme 'A brisa do coraçao', as part of the soundtrack of the movie 'Sostiene Pereira' of Roberto Faenza, with Marcello Mastroianni as main character in one of his last performances before he died.

The collaboration between Pontes and Morricone strengthened forward and had its climax with a CD signed by both artists. In the vortex of this spectacular success (more than 300.000 records sold) she recorded in 1995 the double live CD 'A brisa do coraçao' live recorded into the Coliseu of Porto.

'Caminhos', in 1996, was her last step with the Movieplay editor. The CD was recorded in four countries and there was the collaboration of Carlos Nunez, Leonardo Amuedo and Xiradela. But Dulce was not convinced about the production, because the CD was recorded among airports and concerts, the artist's aim was a change of path: a more natural and acoustic sound that she developed in her following projects. 'O Infante' that opens the CD is an incredibly inspired Pontes' composition on a Fernando Pessoa's poem.

In 1997 Dulce Pontes did an almost permanent tour and she performed in the concert 'Yes for Europe', broad-casted by seventeen TV channels, in the World Food Day organized by the FAO in Rome, in the concert for the 52nd United Nations anniversary celebration, in New York, at the concert for Amnesty International in Madrid. In 1998 she gave her own concert for first time in U.S.A. and Canada, and than went, as guest artist, with the Irish group The Chieftains, as clearly requested Paddy Maloney, to their North American tour of that year. She performed at the First Solidarity Festival of Barcelona, where she knew Elvis Costello. Italy became her second international market after the Spanish one. In the same year she recorded the duet 'O mar e tu' together with Andrea Bocelli. At Lisbon Expo in 1998 she gave two concerts, the second one with an audience of 30.000 people. In the same year she was invited as guest to sing with Cesaria Évora and with the Brazilian singer Marisa Monte. After her great participation in the first CD of the Galician bagpipe and flute player Carlos Nunez 'A irmandade das estrelas', another major Spanish musician, the Basque accordionist Kepa Junkera, asked for her because he wanted her voice in two songs 'Matia nun zira' and the classic from Cabo Verde 'Sodade' in the CD 'Bilbao 00.00 H'.

She was the author of the soundtrack of the fiction documentary 'Curiua Catu - A grande Expedicao de Pedro Teixeira', a Portuguese-Brazilian co-production directed for Carlos Barreto, that tells the adventures of this explorer who, in the XVII century explored a good part of the Amazon, succeeding in annexing the forest to Portuguese colonial territory of that period. Her composer side is beginning to spread.

In the month of February and March 1999 she recorded one of her fundamental masterpiece 'O primeiro canto' at Helioscentric studios in London. It was the first CD she produced herself with the help of Antonio Pinheiro da Silva and that was published at the end of September with Universal. The Uruguayan guitarist Leonardo Amuedo will be the co-author of some themes together with Dulce. In this work she unblocked all her talent as a composer. Wayne Shorter, Jaques Morelembaum, Trilok Gurtu, Justin Vali, Kepa Junkera, Waldemar Bastos, Maria Joao, Gemma Bertagnolli, Myrdhin, Anders Norude (of Hedningarna), Hubert Jan Hubeek, among more famous other artists will share Dulce's talent in this CD, about the four natural elements, and that let her conquer the Jose Afonso award in the year 2000. The CD was launched in two tours in Spain and Netherlands. She received the new of the death of Amalia Rodrigues while she was in Barcelona. She sent a deep release to the media. At the Auditori of the Catalan Capital she respected a minute of silence before she started the concert. In this same year Dulce gave a concert together with Caetano Veloso at Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and she led an ambitious tour in historical monuments of Portugal. Among the public there was an unknown Mariza who didn't miss any concert.

She performed at Hannover Expo, ended an open air 'world' Festival near Brussels, performed at Istambul and went back to Tokio.

In 2001 Dulce's friendship with Ennio Morricone emphasizes and she took part as guest at the Barbican Theatre of London, at the Arena of Verona, at the Accademia Nazionale of Santa Cecilia of Rome, among other auditoriums.

She put her voice for the Italian-Spanish co-production 'La luz prodigiosa' , whose author was Ennio Morricone and that won the 25th International Cinema Festival of Moscow. In September she canceled her official tour in U.S.A. on doctor's order because she was on her 5th month of pregnancy. In the occasion of the birth of her first son Jose Gabriel, she dedicates the year 2002 to her recent motherhood and she paused her artistic career. When she came back to performances Maestro Ennio Morricone invites her again. In to Forum studios in Rome, during the spring of 2003, they recorded the CD 'Focus' where the artist sang the still famous themes of the italian composer, and some new songs specially composed for her. The result of this work was performed in concert in halls like the Royal Albert Hall of London, the Arena of Verona, the Auditorium parco della Musica of Rome, at the Mazda Palace of Milan, the Congress Palace of Paris and the International Forum Hall of Tokio. In Spain the record was near to be gold record (45.000 copies).

Finally she performed with her own concert at the Barbican Theatre of London in the month of October of the same year.

In June 2004, the Lisbon City Hall invites Dulce Pontes, Ennio Morricone and the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra to give a concert. About this project Morricone said:" I knew that the final result should have been a success, but I never imagined that all this experience should have been so exceptional ". The concert took place at the Monsanto Park. In that same year Dulce Pontes obtained the Amigo award for the best latin performer from the Spanish Asociacion Fonografica y Videografica, and the International award Tenco, awarded from the Italian Club Luigi Tenco, the same prize that was given to artists such as Jacques Brel, Ute Lemper, Tom Waits, Caetano Veloso, Joan Manuel Serrat. Sergio Godinho together with Dulce are the only two Portuguese artists that received such award. Dulce received the award as 'Cultural Operator' for the recovery of Zeca Afonso And Amalia Rodrigues work, "for her sensible and honest interpretation inside of the best musical and poetic Portuguese tradition". At the award ceremony Dulce was introduced as a 'new fado craftswoman'.

Spain is becoming her first market and between 2004 and 2005 she gave more than 60 concerts. Madrid is the town of the world where she has performed most.

Her artistic maturity, reached without any doubt, became more active and curious. She goes on with the research of detailed associations for special projects, like the event 'Fado Tango' , where Dulce Pontes divided the scenario of the Centro Cultural de Belem in Lisbon with the Argentinian poet and historian Horacio Ferrer, who, together with Astor Piazzolla, have revolutionized the Argentinian Tango. About Dulce's performance of his song 'Balada para un Loco' the poet said: "She recreated it in a such way that, for the first time, I am beginning to learn something of my own song. This work is a confidence and she succeeded in performing the poet... ".

Greece became a Country that acclaims to the singer with passion and her performances at Athens and Thessalonica are real milestones. The famous singer George Dalaras, one of the most prestigious artist of this Country, invited her at the Greek Festival in 2005, at the Herodes Atticus Odeon at the Acropoli. About that concert it was published the CD 'Mediterraneo' in which Dulce sings in six songs and the same Dulce awarded Dalaras with the platinum record in a ceremony that took place in Athens. She was working at her new double CD untitled 'O coracao tem tres portas', that it has been recorded live during the new tour 'Por dentro do fado', where the artist recovered her love and a new perspective about this genre, and a second CD recorded into the Santa Maria's Church of Obidos and into the Convento de Cristo of Tomar, with rapprochements of Fado to classic music, folk and medieval sounds.

Her first official U.S.A. tour took place during the recordings of this CD in the October 2005. The musical reviewers praised the artist on prestigious publications such as 'The Boston Globe' or the Los Angeles 'Variety', where the writer Phil Gallo defined her as a mix between Ella Fitzgerald and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

In December 2006 'O coracao tem tres portas' (double CD and a DVD) was launched on the market in Portugal self edited for Dulce Pontes, after having ended her contract with Universal. The CD will be gold record and received best reviews of the international specialized press such as 'Songlines' or enter in the European World Music Charts top-20. A part of the music of the CD n. 2 was sed for the Spanish director Alberto Luna for the documentary 'Juan de Castillo, el constructor del mundo'. In that same year she made her second U.S.A. tour and made her debut at the prestigious Carnegie Hall of New York with a great success. John Pareles, reviewer of the 'The New York Times', wrote: "Miss Pontes has an extraordinary voice: intense and faithful, delicate and strong, with a length like a natural soprano". And added to his praiseworthy commentary: "Pontes was surprised about she succeeded in managing the public of the Carneige Hall, when she invited them to sing and the public smiled. And also, when she sang with tears and sorrow, she passed them happiness, sign of a characteristic Portuguese inheritance".

The organization of the "New Seven World Wonders" asked to Dulce Pontes to compose the official Anthem that she recorded together with the Spanish Tenor Jose Carreras. The event was performed at Estadio da Luz of Lisbon, and was one of the most seen TV transmission of the history. The year 2007 ended with a tremendous performance at the 'Aula Magna' of Caracas and another one in Paris, but she also put a musical "brooch" at the Signature of the Tratado de Lisboa into the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos cloister.

The year 2008 begins of course with live concerts. Stands out her performance at Festival Cultural de Zacatecas (Mexico) where she shared the list with Bob Dylan, and her first concert in Moscow at the International House of Music. During the summer there was the Spanish tour together with the Spanish flamenco singer Estrella Morente. 'Dulce Estrella' brought more than 50.000 persons in the various concerts they gave, where the music of both Countries where twinned. Estrella Morente repeated many times, to the media, that Dulce "es mi maestra" ("is my maestro"). And at the beginning of the 2009, the artist from Montijo became mother once more, this time she had a daugther named Maria, so she celebrated her 20 years with music with the editing of the double CD 'Momentos' with inhedited material and some new versions of songs like 'Cancao do mar', 'Lsgrima' and 'O Infante'. The CD was published in Portugal reaching the gold record. Some days after the paunch of this new CD Dulce was invited as guest, together with Juliette Greco and Randy Crowford, at the opening ceremony of the Wiener Festwochen in Vienna. In September she performed in a concert at the Herodes Atticus Odeon of Athens together with the Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco Pena and the greek Bouzouki player Thanassis Polykandriotis, in an event where they mixed together the most representative musical styles of their own Countries. A month later she collaborated with the U.S.A. composer and Grammy Winner 2010 Christopher Tin, at the CD 'Calling all dawns' recording the song "Se e pra vir que venha". The music was played by the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra, that recorded at the mythic Abbey Road Studios of London. A time later, the song 'Fado Morna da Cirandaia' that Dulce composed together with Beto Betuk, was included into the prestigious compilation "Muzyka Swiata: Siesta 5" that Universal Poland publishes each year. The year ended with the important performance of Dulce Pontes at a record homage of Latin American female singers to Joan Manuel Serrat, with the version of 'Bendita Musica'.

The 2010 year started with new spirit and the international edition of 'Momentos' . The German Editor Galileo Music has the most part of the rights and Spain is one of the Countries where this label will distribute the CD starting from March. The changes of this version are in the cover and the style of the inlay booklet. Dulce Pontes also renewed her live performances in Galicia in February, than she went on in Spain at Catalonia, with a concert in Girona and another one at the mythical Palau de la Musica of Barcelona and after two years she met again italian public in Lecce. Without doubt she is at present, the best Portuguese and one of the most important singer of the world.