Established by Estoril Sol, the Vasco Graça Moura Cultural Citizenship Prize was awarded to Carlos do Carmo, an odd figure in the national artistic environment, who distinguished himself for over five decades as one of the most important voices of fado and that with his talent projected Portugal’s name internationally.
The jury decided to award the Vasco Graça Moura Cultural Citizenship Prize, in its fifth edition, to Carlos do Carmo, for being an “exemplary individuality in an area that Vasco Graça Moura highly valued and to which contributed many poems: the Fado”.
From the jury minutes, chaired by Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, it is pointed out that Carlos do Carmo, “coming from a family linked to Fado, was one of his main voices early on. The national and international awards that he obtained for the quality of his record editions, where he emerged as one of the greatest performers of a Fado that he knew how to renew, account for one of the most exemplary careers in the Portuguese artistic scene. From an early age his voice knew how to break boundaries, cross generations, making Fado an artistic expression of universal expression. This universal expression was decisive for Fado’s candidacy for the Intangible Heritage of Humanity, of which Carlos do Carmo was one of the ambassadors. ”
The jury of the Vasco Graça Moura Cultural Citizenship Prize also recognized “Carlos do Carmo’s fundamental role in publicizing the greatest Portuguese poets, of which Vasco Graça Moura is an example. These poets were sung in the best-known concert halls abroad. In them, Fado was taken to diverse audiences, who applauded the Fadista, but also the man who, born in the city of Lisbon, knew how to become a citizen of the World.
Carlos Alberto do Carmo Almeida is one of the most recognized Fado interpreters in the world. The only child of fado singer Lucília do Carmo and bookseller and businessman Alfredo Almeida, he was born in Lisbon on 21 December 1939. His parents were owners of the well-known restaurant O Faia. The death of his father in 1962 led Carlos do Carmo to take over management O Faia, which over the years had become a crowded Fados house in the capital. The Beech began acting for friends and customers of the house, until in 1964 definitively assumed the artistic career.
Carlos do Carmo established, very early, an intimate relationship with fado. He ventured into new Fado records, carefully choosing his repertoire, in which stand out lyrics by well-known names such as José Carlos Ary dos Santos. His vast discography includes classics such as “Por Morrer uma Andorinha”, “Bairro Alto”, “Gaivota”, “Canoas do Tejo”, “Os Putos”, “Lisboa Menina e Moça”, “Estrela da Tarde”, “Pontas soltas”, “O homem das castanhas” ou “Um homem na cidade”. With the theme “Flor de Verde Pinho” (based on the poem by Manuel Alegre), she represented Portugal at the 21st Eurovision Song Contest in 1976.
He was also a Fado Ambassador in several countries, passing through large and prestigious venues such as the Olympia Paris, the Frankfurt and Wiesbaden Operas, the Janeir River Song or the Savoy Helsinki. At the national level, the numerous concerts at the Casino Estoril Black and Silver Hall, as well as other performances at the Gulbenkian Foundation, Jeronimos Monastery or the Belém Cultural Center are noteworthy.