Guitarradas de Fado
music from the soul of portugal


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João Cardadeiro

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.