MARA is a Portuguese singer whose voice and presence are unforgettable. Her voice is a fresh and sweet: It’s a mix of fado’s emotion rooted in Alentejo’s Cante, Jazz, Folk, Brasilian Bossa-Nova; her commitment is bold, powerful, charismatic and embracing. Altogether Mara is certainly a contemporary world singer.

In 2014 realeased her debut album and ever since has been present in renowned music festivals and exhibitions: Festival Bons Sons (Portugal, 2014), Exib Música (Bilbao - Spain, 2015), Atlantic Music Expo (Cape Verde, 2016), Womad Cáceres (Spain, 2017), Etnomusic Festival Valencia (Spain, 2017) Getxo Folk (Spain, 2017) are amongst them.

MARA has collaborated and developed partnerships with renowned music performers, both Portuguese and international, like Kepa Junkera, Custódio Castelo, Ronda dos Quatros Caminhos, Mestre António Chainho and Tiago Araripe.

Her music shortens distances between time and borders, approaches and renews the meaning of life’shistories. Feelings, emotions, moving and wonderful voice and a unique and overwhelming presence merge together in MARA.


Mara was born in Arraiolos. A quiet and peaceful Alentejo’s village known for their famous wool carpets. Mara grew up in a musical family atmosphere with Fado always present and began singing from a young age. At the turn of the century, she started her musical journey working in several Bossa Nova and Portuguese Popular Music projects. Her first original work soon followed in 2003. In the ensuing years Mara was part of “Música nos Hospitais” project as a singer and directed the album released in 2014. Mara did vocal studies in Jb Jazz, school in Lisbon.

Since 2011 Mara is part of the Folk music project Aquí Há Baile as a co-creator, album recording and live performer. This work has been presented in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and France and it’s a merge of folk sounds and traditional dance.

From 2012, Mara worked in soundtracks for cinema, theater, and dance and was the artistic manager in projects like “Sou do Cante” (2018) and “Vozes de Abril” (2017-2019). In 2014 the album “Folha de Rosto” was born from the collaboration with bass player and music director Carlos Menezes. In this debut album Custódio Castelo (portuguese guitar), Daniel da Silva (flamenco guitar), Henrique Leitão (portuguese guitar), Manuel Ferraz (electric guitar), Rui Gonçalves (percussion) and Rui Travassos (clarinet) all worked closely with Mara. In 2019, Mara will work on her new album that reflects the matureness of her path as an artist and promises to reinvent the traditional languages that build its presence in the panorama of contemporary Portuguese world music.

In Mara’s music journey some collaborations should be highlighted: Kepa Junkera in “Ath- Thurda” project (2018; voice and production); piano player Amílcar Vasques-Dias; A Ronda dos Quatro Caminhos and Orquestra Sinfonietta de Lisboa in concert; Mestre António Chainho in concert; in the theater play “Os Lusíadas - Viagem Infinita”; Luís Pucarinho’s “Orgânica Mente Humana” and Carlos Menezes’s “Em Voz” records; “Do Amor e das Canções” with the fado singer Duarte which was co-creator; Tiago Araripe’s single “Tudo no Lugar” (2019).

In 2018 was part of the Evora’s festival Artes à Rua with the Antígona, Ath-thurda, Sou do Cante, Vozes de Abril and La Lontananza projects. In 2018 Mara participated in the Mercat de Música Viva de VIC (Ath-Thurda) and in the Cantos na Maré festival in Pontevedra (Ath-Thurda).


  • Bruno Chaveiro - Portuguese guitar

  • Carlos Menezes - Contrabass and electric bass

  • Daniel da Silva / Sérgio Rodrigues - Flamenco Guitar / Piano

  • Rui Gonçalves / Baltazar Molina - Percussion


“…En Mara, encontramos un puerto de sentidos que anhelan trascender la musicalidad que no trata únicamente de un fado, pero sí de una cultura que absorve múltiples raíces de una Iberia sonora. Su música enlaza entre la guitarra flamenca y la portuguesa se vuelve un híbrido musical donde su voz se teje [enlaza] en la armonía. Aquí se cuentan historias, que son un ímpetu a la celebración de la vida en el culminar de un sueño.” Céline Valente, PORTUGAL

“..Mara certainly does not perform fado. She is a passionate, charismatic performer who sings canto alentejano, the traditional music of the Alentejo region in south central Portugal. She has revitalized the genre with a high energy combination of traditional instruments like the Portuguese guitar with electric bass, flamenco guitar and cajon. Her concert kept the audience engaged with her prodigious vocals and impassioned delivery.” Angel Romero, World Music Central, USA.

“(...) La cantante, Mara, ha una voce straordinaria e struggente, che coinvolge lo spettatore fino ad ammaliarlo. Le storie raccontate parlano d’amore, di povertà, di orgoglio identitario. Come la bellissima «Penteei o meu cabelo», un affresco fiabesco di enorme impatto emotivo, o l’altrettanto suggestiva «Água sobe água desce». Anche il disco presentato per l’occasione – era l’unica data italiana –, Caderno de danças do Alentejo – Adaptaçôes, suscita un fascino profondo proprio nel suo oscillare tra arcaico e contemporaneità. Uno spettacolo commovente, tutto incentrato sulle volute vocali di Mara, i cui strumentisti accompagnano con discrezione. Da non perdere alla prossima – auspicata – tappa qui da noi.” Leonardo Mello, ITALIA