Singer Ana Moura is one of the brightest young stars of fado, the haunting, centuries-old Portuguese style whose spirit is roughly equivalent to the blues. Rooted in traditional Portuguese balladry and poetry, fado also incorporates a vital tangle of Arabic, African, and Jewish tendrils, coming together to express the virtually untranslatable notion of saudade, which is akin to a potent mix of longing, sadness, and bittersweet resignation. Moura uses her exquisitely rich voice to probe every nuance and crevice of fado, wringing fathoms of emotion from its enormous reservoir while accompanied by florid acoustic picking. On Coliseu, released in 2011 but recorded live in Lisbon three years earlier, Moura covers fado queen Amália Rodrigues and her own modern fados, ranging from slow and heartbreakingly mournful to far more sprightly stuff. With a background in pop and rock, Moura has performed with the Rolling Stones and been known to do a fado-infused version of the Stones' "Brown Sugar" in concert. And to exploit a local connection, Prince is a fan and backed her on electric guitar at a Portuguese festival several years ago, subsequently also showing up unannounced at at least one U.S. concert.
Mondays, Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Feb. 12. Continues through Feb. 13, 2012