Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


February 2, 2009
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.




Friday, March 6, 2009 at 8 p.m. 


FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 28, 2009 “Mariza has it all – charisma, a voice to die for and stunning good looks … destined to become one of the world’s greatest divas,” says the Times (London) about this powerful contralto has taken the Portuguese fado world by storm. Mariza has established herself as the face of fado, seducing audiences worldwide with her amazing singing, charismatic stage presence and powerful blend of traditional and contemporary songs. She makes her first appearance at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Friday, March 6 at 8 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

Known as the poetry of the Portuguese people, fado – translated as destiny or fate – dates from the 1820s and is a blend of Gypsy, Jewish, Arabic and Andalucian influences, and is sometimes referred to as the “Portuguese blues.” Like tango, fado is an art form that was traditionally associated with the lower classes. It was created as a result of an intermingling of cultural influences: songs sang by homesick Portuguese sailors and African slaves, along with the music of Brazilian, Jewish and Arab troubadours.

Mariza was born in Mozambique, but when she was young, her family settled into the old district of Mouraria in Lisbon, a neighborhood where she first was introduced to fado. She became entranced with the soulful music and guitars she heard from a tavern below her family’s apartment. Although she experimented with other forms of music – from bossa nova to funk to American R&B - fado remained Mariza’s first love. “Mariza is the music’s biggest star for a reason: She sings it not as musty nostalgia but as exuberant 21st-century pop, with a low, mesmerizing alto that's as commanding as any pop singer today ... remaking fado’s ancient sadness into a majestic modern sound.” (Rolling Stone)

Her first album "Fado em mim" ("Fado in me"), was released in 2001, and went quadruple platinum in Portugal, thrusting her into the international limelight. After touring North America and Europe, Mariza completed her second album. "Fado Curvo" ("Curved Fado") reached number six on the Billboard’s World Music chart and went quadruple platinum, outselling all other contemporary fado singers by six times. Mariza’s albums "Concerto Em Lisboa" and "Terra" also received nominations for Latin Grammy Awards for Best Folk Album in two consecutive years. Mariza has performed on four continents at prestigious venues and music festivals, including Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Opera House in Sydney and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. In addition to her music, Mariza was also recently named by the Portuguese government as the ambassador or Portuguese tourism abroad and Portugal’s ambassador to UNICEF. 


The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsor of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason Season.

Tickets for MARIZA are $46, $38, $23. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.