Santos, José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso

(1929-1987)
   Balladeer, singer, poet, musician, composer, and teacher. Known to the public simply as "Zeca" or "José Afonso," he was a student poet, singer, and musician in the 1950s, and premier interpreter of Coimbra fado, creator of a new school of fado music, and leader of a reform movement in popular music. Using his distinctive musical compositions, appealing baritone singing voice, and iconoclastic lyrics of resistance to tyranny, Afonso Santos employed his poetic and musical gifts as instruments of resistance and opposition to the enduring Estado Novo. Two recorded songs became early shots in this war: Balada de Outono (Autumn's Ballad) and Menino d'Oiro (Golden Boy). With diverse, subversive meanings usually disguised in allegory, his lyrics and style eschewed the traditional Coimbra fado's fare of broad sentiment and unrequited love. Instead, Afonso presented new ballads with contemporary resonance. In the mid-1960s, when so many Portuguese youth were drafted and mobilized for Portugal's colonial wars in Africa, he lived and taught school in Mozambique, where he organized opposition to the regime. Later in that colony, he was arrested by the PIDE.
   After his return to Portugal, Afonso's reputation as a rebel ballad-eer grew; among his most celebrated recorded ballads were Cantigas de Maio (Songs of May, 1971) and Venham Mais Cinco (Five More Came, 1973). His famous revolutionary, rallying song, Grândola, Vila Morena, banned by the Estado Novo before 1974, became the single most famous piece of Portuguese revolutionary music in the second half of the 20th century. Grândola featured Afonso's voice and lyrics and expressed a clearly leftist ideology and resistance to tyranny, to the background sounds of marching feet growing louder. Selected by the coup planners of the Armed Forces Movement as a signal for action, a secret password sign to be played over Lisbon radio at about midnight on 24/25 April 1974, this remarkable song acquired new fame and a place in history as both an actual signal for rebel military operations to begin and an enduring revolutionary rallying cry. After the Revolution of 25 April 1974, Grândola became the most potent symbol of the move to topple the Estado Novo and open the way for profound change, as well as a musical icon, equaled only by the iconographic red carnation. The first stanza of Afonso's lyrics, translated from the Portuguese, is: Grândola, dark-brown town, Homeland of Brotherhood The people have more power within you, oh city . . . .

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos — José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos, kurz José Afonso, (* 2. August 1929 in Aveiro, Portugal; † 23. Februar 1987 in Setúbal), auch genannt Zeca Afonso, war einer der bedeutendsten Sänger und Komponisten Portugals. Sein …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos — Zeca Afonso Pour les articles homonymes, voir Afonso. Monument à Grândola José Manuel Cerqueira A …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jose Afonso — José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos, kurz José Afonso, (* 2. August 1929 in Aveiro, Portugal; † 23. Februar 1987 in Setúbal), auch genannt Zeca Afonso, war einer der bedeutendsten Sänger und Komponisten Portugals. Sein …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • José Afonso — José Afonso, por Henrique Matos. José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos (2 de agosto de 1929 23 de febrero de 1987), conocido como Zeca Afonso o simplemente Zeca, compositor y músico portugués. Fue un compositor de c …   Wikipedia Español

  • Santos (surname) — Dos Santos redirects here. For other uses, see Dos Santos (disambiguation). Santos, originally Portuguese or Spanish for Saints (singular Santo), is a common surname in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries and the Philippines. Sometimes it… …   Wikipedia

  • José Afonso — Detail des Monuments für Zeca Alfonso in Grândola. José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos, kurz José Afonso, (* 2. August 1929 in Aveiro, Portugal; † 23. Februar 1987 in Setúbal), auch genannt Zeca Afonso, oder nur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • José Afonso — Zeca Afonso Pour les articles homonymes, voir Afonso. Monument à Grândola José Manuel Cerqueira A …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Afonso — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Afonso est un prénom utilisé également comme patronyme. Il est porté par de nombreuses personnalités et par une ville: Patronyme Guilherme Afonso,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Zeca Afonso — José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos, kurz José Afonso, (* 2. August 1929 in Aveiro, Portugal; † 23. Februar 1987 in Setúbal), auch genannt Zeca Afonso, war einer der bedeutendsten Sänger und Komponisten Portugals. Sein Lied …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Zeca Afonso — José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos, also known as Zeca Afonso (pron. IPA2| zɛkɐ a fõsu) or only Zeca (August 2, 1929 February 23, 1987) was born in Aveiro, Portugal, son of José Nepomuceno Afonso, a judge, and Maria das Dores. Zeca is among… …   Wikipedia

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