After many years of individually honing their musical skills, Conjunto de Guitarras
Sete Colinas first made music together in early 2003. After just a handful of rehearsals,
Helder Carvalheira, Manuel Escobar, and João Cardadeiro played their first Noite
de Fados with fadistas Max Gracio and Sandra Pacheco on March 14, 2003. Many more
Noites de Fado followed where they refined their collective musicianship and stage
performance. They continue to this day, performing regularly with fadistas from
Portugal and North America.
In parallel with their live performances, Helder, Manuel, and João appeared as the
primary Conjunto de Guitarras on CDs by Jesualda Azevedo, Isalino dos Santos, Max
Gracio, and Zé Duarte.
Upon completing these projects, they embarked on the recording of "Noites nas Sete
Colinas", a collection of Guitarradas de Fado based upon classic Fados and Guitarradas
by the Portuguese masters of this fine art form. Beyond simply re-recording classic
fados, João Cardadeiro led the group through his all-new arrangements and compilations
that grace the CD. The relaxed environment provided by Helder Carvalheira's recording
studio, Meia Noite Studios, allowed for the finest soulful performances to be captured
for this project.
2009 found Sete Colinas back at Meia Noite Studios completing their second CD, "Ao
Luar". While still retaining the classic Guitarrada sound from their first CD, "Ao
Luar" expands upon that with fresh arrangements that highlight Manuel's viola and
João's bass, showcasing the depth of musical knowledge gained from many years of
performing together. The group also includes new instrumentation on several tracks,
introducing piano, flute, accordion, and percussion to their repertoire. Finally,
the group pays homage to the music of the Azores and Madeira islands with exciting
new arrangements highlighting the traditional music of those regions.
However, it is more than simply the Fado that keep the three musicians together.
They have developed a true camaraderie and deep friendship that is conveyed with
every performance and recording. After all, music is the expression of one's soul,
and Fado is the most profound expression for a Portuguese musician. When the feelings
in the Fado environment are deep and true, they are easy to convey to listeners,
regardless of language or nationality