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UMass Lowell Presents ‘Sounds Of Portugal: Mariza’

Fifth annual benefit concert celebrates anniversary of Saab Center for Portuguese Studies

International music star Mariza will perform at a benefit concert for UMass Lowell's Saab Center for Portuguese Studies.


Contacts for media: Christine Gillette, UMass Lowell, and Sophia Willinger, Lowell Memorial Auditorium, 

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell and Lowell Memorial Auditorium will present international music star Mariza on Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. The event is the fifth annual “Sounds of Portugal” concert hosted by UMass Lowell’s Saab Center for Portuguese Studies and the first in the series to be held at Lowell Memorial Auditorium.

In less than 12 years, Mariza has risen from a local phenomenon to one of the most widely acclaimed stars of the International Music circuit and has even performed with stars from other genres including Sting and Lenny Kravitz. Mariza’s career has proceeded with even greater success than ever, with multi-platinum album releases and appearances on stages all over the world, soon to include the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. Tickets to "Sounds of Portugal: Mariza" at Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. are $39 to $79 and are on sale now at or by calling by calling 978-937-8688.

Proceeds from Sounds of Portugal: Mariza will benefit the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies at UMass Lowell and help to support the study of the language, literatures and cultures of Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking world. Funds raised will go to efforts including study abroad opportunities for students and cultural programming for the campus and community. Presenting sponsors for this event are Mark and Elisia Saab.

The Saab Center for Portuguese Studies is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. The center, which is part of the university’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, presents performances, exhibits, film screenings, workshops and visits by distinguished writers and others from across the Portuguese-speaking world and Portuguese America. The center also sponsors research, particularly on immigrants and their descendants in Greater Boston and the Merrimack Valley, and organizes and helps underwrite study abroad programs in Portugal and the Lusophone world in the areas of language and culture, fine arts and security studies. In addition, the center fosters Portuguese studies on the UMass Lowell campus and functions as a liaison between the university and other institutions, including foundations and government agencies that promote Portuguese studies in Massachusetts and across the United States.

Mariza’s success started with her first CD, “Fado em Mim,” released in 2001, which quickly led to a number of notable international performances, including at the Québec Summer Festival, at which she received the event’s First Award (Most Outstanding Performance); New York’s Central Park; the Hollywood Bowl; the Royal Festival Hall; and the Womad Festival. These helped to earn her BBC Radio 3’s award for Best European Artist in the area of World Music. “Fado em Mim” was an exciting first album, showing a young singer with a rich, vibrant voice and a strong artistic personality. She still sang several hits of Amália Rodrigues’ repertoire, but her approach to the heritage of the great fado diva was already so personal that she could easily cast away any suggestion of mere imitation. And within her original material, “Ó Gente da minha Terra” by the young composer Tiago Machado soon became a major hit in its own right.  

Mariza has gone on to perform at some of the most important venues in the world: the Paris Olympia, the Frankfurt Opera, the London Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Theater Carré Amsterdam, the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall in New York and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles with a stage setting especially designed for her by none other than one of the world’s greatest architects, Frank Gehry.  

No Portuguese artist since Rodrigues has experienced such a triumphant international career. Mariza’s musical partners are only the best in international music: Jacques Morelenbaum and John Mauceri, José Merced and Miguel Poveda, Gilberto Gil and Ivan Lins, Cesária Évora and Tito Paris, Carlos do Carmo and Rui Veloso. Her repertoire, while firmly rooted in classical and contemporary fado, has grown to include occasional Cape Verdean mornas, Brazilian and Spanish classics and other themes she holds dear to her heart.  

Over the past decade, Mariza has long passed the stage of a mere exotic episode in the World Music scene, ready to be replaced by whatever new colorful phenomenon appears in another geographic corner of the recording industry’s market. She proved to be a major international artist, strongly original and immensely gifted, from whom much is yet to be expected in the future. The young girl from Mozambique, raised in the popular Lisbon neighborhood of Mouraria, has mastered the roots of her musical culture and developed into a universal artist who is able to open herself to the world without ever losing her Portuguese identity. Portuguese and International audiences are the first to acknowledge this triumph and pay her back with unlimited love and gratitude. 

Mariza’s new album “MARIZA” has just been released in Portugal and across Europe, and it is scheduled to be released stateside in the spring of 2019. 


Tickets to “Sounds of Portugal: Mariza” at Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. are $39-$79 and are on sale now at or by calling 978-937-8688.     


Anyone interested in sponsoring this event should contact Carolyn Rolfe at 978-934-4482 or, or visit


UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 18,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be leaders in their communities and around the globe.



The Lowell Memorial Auditorium was originally constructed in 1922, by the architectural firm Blackall, Clapp & Whittemore. The 2,800 seat-auditorium is an indoor venue located in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts on Merrimack Street. An ideal venue for concerts, family shows, conferences, conventions, trade shows, corporate seminars and much more. Tickets for Lowell Auditorium are available at and they are also available through the auditorium box office open Monday-Friday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.