João Cardadeiro is a native of Portugal, and emigrated with his mother and sister
to the United States in 1956, carrying with him—along with the requisite possessions—a
deep love for all things Portuguese, especially music. During his years in the United
States Navy, where he was a Radioman on the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard
(CVA31). It was during the ship’s stays at the Long Beach, California, dry docks
that he joined his first band, a rock trio named “The Outcasts”, as electric guitarist.
Upon completing his military tour of duty in 1967, João was invited to join Orquestra
Lisboa under the direction of Americo Carlos. Several months later, he joined the
groundbreaking group “Conjunto Iberico”, fronted by the well known and respected
Fadista and vocalist Henrique Cordeiro.
For the next 30 years, João was a member of—or a collaborator with—many other Portuguese
musical groups, including “Os Cariocas”, “Os Latinos”, “Latin Exchange”, “Estrelas
de Portugal”, “Nova Era”, “Azes do Ritmo” and “Os Cinco de Portugal”. These were,
arguably, the finest Portuguese groups in their market at their time.
In the realm of Fado, João played with the late magnificent Portuguese Guitarrista
Aniceto Batista, as well as other excellent fado musicians such as Jose Elmiro Nunes,
Jorge Rocha, Leonel Medeiros, Viriato Ferreira, Alcindo Bettencourt, Manuel Mendes,
António Lima, and Manuel Escobar.
Throughout his years as an electric and acoustic guitarist and bassist, João has
set a standard of fine musicianship for his fellow musicians. However, in addition
to his musical performance skills, João has also excelled as an arranger. His love
and deep respect for the purity of Portuguese traditional music has driven him to
develop arrangements that are true to the intentions of the original authors.
João’s love of music is not limited to musical performance. Over a period of 30
years in California (mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley),
João was a producer, director, and on-air personality for many Portuguese radio programs,
a line of work that traces back to his days in the Navy. Some of the radio programs
he directed included “Aqui e Portugal”, “Voz de Portugal” and “Radio Clube Portugues”.
His incomparable radio presence and command of both the English and Portuguese languages
provided him with instant recognition and reverence by his audiences.
Most recently, João has branched out into the Portuguese Folklore arena in parallel
with Fado. He was the musical director for the Rancho Folclorico “A Portuguesa”,
and is currently the musical director and bandleader of the Grupo Folclorico “Alma
Ribatejana”, a traditional folklore group consisting of 10 musicians and 18 folklore
dancers. João is very content with his life because--in addition to his love for
his wife and children—he has become, now more than ever, a fully realized person
through the Fado and Folklore Of all the Portuguese musical styles that he has mastered,
Fado remains Manuel’s greatest passion.