DONA ROSA

DONA ROSA

BandWorldLatin

Dona Rosa face new challenges as the creative process unfolded, Her new ensemble shows how she developed from a blind street singer in 2006 to an unique performer on stages around the world with her new quartet. ALMA LIVRE, the new album shows the happiness in Donsa Rosas new life.

Biography

Rosa was born in Oporto, a home-born child, at February the 1st of 1957. Daughter of Salvador and Palmira, Rosa has seven brothers and would have 22, if they were all alive.
Her mother tells that Rosa was born with the gift of sight, but one day, when she was 4 years old she was playing a children’s game, and asked her mother to put a blindfold on her eyes so that she could start the game. Suddenly she felt a strong headache that made her loose her sight. She was taken then to the hospital where meningitis was diagnosed, that originated her blindness.
Her mother herself had had meningitis when she was 7 years old, affecting one of her legs. For survival she was forced to become a street seller, while Rosa’s father was a construction worker.
Rosa and her brothers (she remembers that every year in the family someone was born and someone died) begged in the street and lived with their parents all together in a very small room.
Rosa, during the absence of her mother, was the one who took care of the younger brothers. She remembers that her father was gentle to her and was the only person that sometimes gave her attention and offered presents. Unfortunately he passed away when she was 19 years old.
When she was 9 years old, she came across in the street with a lady that was also visually impaired (while she was begging) that worked as a telephone operator. That lady took Rosa to a school which it’s main concern was to give education and new possibilities to blind people. She remained there until she was 13; at the time she changed schools to Oporto in order to have higher education. She dropped out at the age of 15, and spent a whole year in a rehabilitation school and after those 2 years in a nun’s refuge. After those 2 years she decided it was time to live freely, and started to sell magazines and lottery tickets for survival. Because she was mugged and robbed so many times she began to sing and play a traditional triangle used mostly in Portuguese folklore scenes. That triangle was offered to her by a girl friend who paid her a visited in her birthday, in the days she was in the rehabilitation school. It was of great spiritual value to her, giving her the strength to live and fight every day.
Rosa loved to sing since she was a child, and met at an early age a woman who sang in the street with a microphone. When it was robbed, she knew she didn’t need a microphone for her voice to be heard, so she regained trust and hope and embraced this life of her’s, singing for all of us.
Rosa recalls she was discovered as a talented singer by someone who saw her singing in Rua Augusta, one of the most important streets in Lisbon, that same person who then performed several investigations (that same year in May, with the help of the Portuguese Blind Association) in order to discover where Rosa lived. She was hard to find and the best chance was to leave messages with her neighbours, so that she could be aware that someone was recognizing her voice and work. She forthwith arranged a meeting, and was surprised with the invitation to sing in a music festival at Marrakesh.
Rosa has been living for the past 23 years in a small T1 apartment, south of Lisbon (across the river). When she started singing, she lived in various rented rooms, until she heard about an city hall program (of the city of Almada) for homeless and in-need-people, who gave her the opportunity to cherish a place she could call home with low maintenance costs, where she still lives at this present day.
Her dream, if she had the money, is to pursuit a house with an extra room or at least to remodel her’s, since it rains inside, from the cracks on the walls, and there is pour isolation against humidity and cold. In fact it is a house with a lot of work to be done.
At the present, when she doesn’t have shows to perform, she still sings on the streets of Lisbon in order to sell her cd’s.

Discography

Historias Da Rua JARO records
Segredos JARO records
ALMA LIVRE ( NEW CD!) JARO records

Set List

Perfromance 85 minutes qwith 15 minutes break.
Each set contains of around 9 songs. The songs are mainly traditonal songs sung in fado style