Who will take the stage on Portugal’s Fall River Day? International artists Calema, Santamaria and Rodrigo Leal among the scheduled artists

FALL RIVER – Known for bringing renowned artists from the world of Portuguese-speaking music to this region, the Fall River Day of Portugal committee is once again investing in star-studded programming for next year’s celebration.

Sensational musical duo Calema, multi-platinum selling band Santamaria and Brazilian singer/songwriter Rodrigo Leal are among a dozen artists set to take the stage, when the celebration returns to the City of Gates Plaza, from 8 to June 11, 2023.

The Portugal Day lineup was announced on October 22 at a special launch party held at the Fall River Country Club, which attracted approximately 300 guests.

“We were able to organize our first launch party because we were able to hire all the artists much earlier than usual,” said João Gonçalves, speaking on behalf of the Portugal Day Committee. “We are very pleased with the reaction of those present because in reality they are an incredibly talented group.”

With over 600 million views on YouTube and an average of one million streams on Spotify, Calema is releasing hit after hit.

Originally from São Tomé and Príncipe and currently living in Portugal, the duo are best known for hits such as “A Nossa Vez”, “Te Amo”, “Vai” and the recently released “Onde Anda”.


The song “A Nossa Vez” is one of the most watched Portuguese language videos of all time with nearly 102 million views on YouTube.

“Calema has a huge reach because we recognize that although they are among the most popular bands in Portugal, they are still not very well known in some parts of our community,” Gonçalves said. “So we expect huge crowds for their performance, similar to what happened in previous years with other popular artists.”

Portuguese multi-platinum selling band Santamaria will be back at the Portugal Day celebration in Fall River by popular demand.

Santamaria will be back to partying by popular demand, having filled the Gates of the City Plaza in 2018 and 2019.

Formed in the late 1990s, Santamaria are an award-winning multi-platinum band best known for their mega hits like “Eu Sei, Tu És”, “Falésia do Amor”, “Tudo P’ra Te Amar” and “Quero-me But .”

Rodrigo Leal, son of the late beloved Portuguese singer Roberto Leal, sings his father's songs during the celebration of Fall River Day 2022 in Portugal.

Rodrigo Leal, the son of the late beloved singer Roberto Leal, is also back on the Portugal Day stage. After delighting crowds at the 2022 celebration and even causing emotional reactions by singing his late father’s repertoire as he sounded and spoke like him, this time he won’t just take the stage with the former his father’s group but also his daughter.

In this file photo, Myrica Faya performs at the Boston Portuguese Festival 2019.

Hailing from Terceira Island, Azores, Myrica Faya Band will entertain crowds with traditional Azorean music at its deepest root. Each of the band members comes from different musical backgrounds, creating a very unique sound that mixes vocals, viola-da-terra (a traditional Azorean 15-string instrument), guitars, ukulele, accordion, double bass, percussion, flutes and piano .

These international acts will be supplemented by a few local stars, including Jorge Ferreira, Marc Dennis, José Nazário, BandFaith and Arlindo Andrade.

“As always, we have managed to keep the right balance between local artists and bands from Portugal,” said Gonçalves.

Comic relief will be provided by Gertrudes Labaça, a drag queen character created by hairstylist Bruno Costa of Furnas, Azores, during the pandemic to lighten moods. According to Costa, Gertrudes Labaça portrays an independent Azorean woman who is not afraid to speak her mind and embodies the motto “Be who you are”. At the same time, she is a talker and can’t help but indulge in small talk.

“A group of this quality requires a huge financial effort,” said Gonçalves. “We have already organized fundraising events and we will have to do a few more. Fortunately, we continue to have fantastic support from our sponsors, who contribute as much as they can, some with $300, others with thousands. So, we ask our fans not to forget them, to give their preference to the companies that continue to support us.

The festivities will begin on Thursday, June 8 with a tasting evening under a pavilion, hosted by Gertrudes Labaça. The event will feature a wide variety of dishes prepared by local restaurant chefs.

Scheduled to perform on Friday, June 9, José Nazário, Marc Dennis and Santamaria. DJ Intoit will host an after party for free.

On Saturday June 10, Gertrudes Labaça, Myryca Faya, Rodrigo Leal and Calema will take the stage. The evening will end with a set by DJ Melo Muzik under the pavilion.

The festivities will continue on Sunday, June 11 with the children’s fair, with face painting, soccer games and more. The celebration will culminate with performances by BandFaith and Jorge Ferreira.

For more information, visit the Day of Portugal Fall River Facebook page.

Lurdes C. da Silva can be contacted at [email protected] To read more stories about the Portuguese-speaking community in English and Portuguese, please visit ojornal.com.

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