Grammy nominee in the category of BEST ARRANGEMENT INSTRUMENTS & VOCALS

*Arrangers: Maria Mendes & John Beasley*

ASAS FECHADAS is a Fado song made famous by the Portuguese Fado diva Amália Rodrigues in the 1960’s. An original by Alain Oulman and Luís Macedo, it has been arranged/orchestrated by MARIA MENDES & JOHN BEASLEY and recorded by the Dutch orchestra METROPOLE ORKEST on Mendes’s latest record, CLOSE TO ME (2019 Justin Time Records).
The creative process adopted by Mendes and Beasley implied changes in the original harmony, melody and rhythm of this fado so that, and according to the Portuguese artist, “a majestic and glamorous Jazz sound in the style of a film scene could be contemplated in the new arrangement for chamber orchestra line up”.
This same song is a Latin GRAMMY® 2020 nominee and now has been honoured with a GRAMMY® 2021 nomination. ASAS FECHADAS is the only song in Portuguese language nominated in the category BEST ARRANGEMENT INSTRUMENTS & VOCALS. 
Listen to ASAS FECHADAS

ASAS FECHADAS *Behind the Scenes*

Listen to full album CLOSE TO ME

Music legend Quincy Jones has stated “I see a promising, shining future for this young talented singer,” and he couldn’t have been more right! Maria Mendes‘ new album Close To Me is an adventurous love letter to her homeland of Portugal. Close To Me just won an EDISON Prize (the Dutch Grammy’s) for “Best Jazz Vocal Album” and a Latin GRAMMY® 2020 nomination as well got listed on DOWNBEAT‘s list of BEST JAZZ RECORDS OF 2020

Together with the multi-GRAMMY® Award-winning Metropole Orkest, led by conductor and GRAMMY® Award-nominated jazz pianist/producer John Beasley, Maria and her team connect the dots between Fado and Jazz, fusing each and creating a new blend that has never been heard before – a new musical appetite that stirs your soul.

Press Quotes

“A jazz singer of the highest order. Her poise is as impressive as her power” DOWNBEAT (USA)

“Nothing here disappoints! Graceful vocalist” JAZZTIMES (USA)

“Priming need not be provided to understand the beauty of Close To Me” ALL ABOUT JAZZ (USA)

“Crystal clear voice, strong and confident (…) has the courage to make the classic Fado sound absolutely contemporary and of the moment” JAZZVIEWS (UK)

“You hear the merging of Fado in all elegantly swirling notes, while the music gets wings through Mendes’ great sense of timing and well-dosed scat ” DE VOLKSKRANT (Netherlands)

“Portuguese jazz singer Maria Mendes comes up with a Fado album of superlatives” JAZZTHING (Germany)

“Gently beautiful. Excellent album” SERAI MUSIC MAGAZINE (Japan)

5***** O GLOBO (Brazil)

Jazz Legends Quotes

“I see a promising shining future for this young talented singer”
QUINCY JONES (USA)

“(…) with Maria’s soul-reaching voice, which is clear as a bell and can trigger a wide range of feelings, when you listen, you are left with how to handle the beauty and artistry of what you just experienced. With “Close to Me”, you hear two genres –fado and jazz– infusing each other creating a new blend –a new musical appetite that stirs your soul” JOHN BEASLEY (USA)

“As Metropole Orkest we are always looking to combine music styles. This project intelligently combines Fado and Jazz in a well-balanced and vibrant manner. John Beasley’s charts are rich and his work on this recording can be compared to that of a great fashion designer. Maria, her incredible voice and her songs are his muse in creating a garment that fits perfectly and makes the Metropole Orkest shine” METROPOLE ORKEST (Netherlands)

“Beautiful singing and great scat”
HERMETO PASCOAL (Brazil)

“An album sung from the heart”
SHEILA JORDAN (USA)

Maria Mendes

We welcome you to contact Maria Mendes for more information.