It was during a trip to Portugal that Maria noticed an aesthetic and spiritual similarity between fado and the emblematic genre of Ecuador: pasillo. Indeed, the two styles are interpreted in an acoustic format including the voice, an accompaniment guitar and a solo guitar dialoguing with the singer (being the Portuguese guitar in the fado and the requinto for the pasillo) and are full of drama and of nostalgia, their poetry telling us about the loves and the daily life of their people.
In 2011, while preparing to record her album Nocturnal, Maria and Donald worked on an arrangement of the Ecuadorian song “Esta pena mía”, mixing the essence of pasillo with fado colours. Instead of the Portuguese guitar or the requinto, here it is the cavaquinho that takes the role of the soloing guitar.
We have to wait until 2013 and Maria’s meeting with the Portuguese singer Rita Maria, to see the first duo performance merging the two musical genres: the arrangement of the pasillo “Ojos Tentadores” by Carlos Brito, in a 2/4 time signature typical of fado and fragments of the poetry translated into Portuguese.
The two singers meet again in 2018 and this time it’s in a quartet format with Donald Régnier (bouzouki, cavaquinho) and Horacio Valdivieso (nylon guitar) that they perform a fado and a pasillo, opening even more the cultural borders between the two countries:
In 2016, it’s backstage at the Pobre Diablo (Quito’s emblematic jazz club) where Maria, Donald and Horacio just finished their concert, that the idea of recording a album around this repertoire was launched. Some Argentinian tangos performed that evening will find their way on the recording which will be arranged, recorded and mixed in three weeks.
When you buy the album on Bandcamp, the artists receive fair compensation.
The trio has performed on many stages in Ecuador in the years that followed, including a session at the Domo de Tumbaco:
With Maria’s return to Europe in 2021, a reunion with Rita around a new album is in the works.