The musician, who was 100 years old, died this Thursday in Cascais, where he was hospitalized, the director of the Fado Museum, Sara Pereira, told Lusa.
Joel pina, who accompanied several Portuguese interpreters and different generations of fado, such as Maria Teresa de Noronha, Teresa Tarouca, Tony de Matos, Max and Tristão da Silva, would turn 101 next Wednesday.
Prime Minister António Costa has already reacted to this loss on his Twitter account. “Fado lost one of his great masters. Joel Pina was born in the same year as Amália Rodrigues and between the two there was a musical understanding that lasted three decades. He followed successive generations of fado singers with his bass guitar, which he continued to play, from the height of his 100 years. The best way to express our gratitude is to continue listening to him ”, he wrote.
Joel Pina was the stage name of João Manuel de Pina, who accompanied Amália Rodrigues from 1966 until the death of the singer, and of those who kept “vivid memories”, as he reminded the Lusa agency, some years after the singer’s death.
In one of his interviews with Lusa, the musician recalled how the French team from the film “Les Amants du Tage” (“Os Amantes do Tejo”, 1955), by Henri Verneuil, made a point of counting on his participation, accompanying Amália, who he was part of the cast, and described how many “played” with him, referring to the instrument – the larger bass guitar – as “the refrigerator”.
The musician was part of the Raul Nery Guitar Ensemble, honored by the Lisbon Chamber, for his musical excellence and contribution to music, in June 1999. For similar reasons, in 1992, the Ministry of Culture presented Joel Pina with the Medal of Cultural Merit. In 2005 received the Amália Rodrigues Award, distinguishing it as “the Best Viola-Bass”, and highlighting its contribution to the development of the instrument.
He partnered with musicians such as Jorge Fernando, Pedro de Castro, Carlos Gonçalves (who died in March 2019), Jaime Santos, José Fontes Rocha and José Nunes, among others.
According to the Encyclopedia of Portuguese Music in the 20th Century, Joel Pina was characterized “by the clarity of the bass’s progression performed with a regular pulse that allows the fado singer and guitarist a wide margin of expressive freedom (often using ‘rubato’ and to melodic elaboration), without losing rhythmic control and the basic harmonic path ”.
Pina was born on February 17, 1920, in Rosistãol, in the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova, in the district of Castelo Branco, where he began, as a self-taught person, to play mandolin, before starting solfeggio. At the age of 12, in 1932, he began to study the Portuguese guitar and viola. In his homeland he was part of several dance entertainment groups.
In 1938 he settled in Lisbon, starting, as a spectator, in the circuit of fado houses. Professionalization came in 1949, four years after marrying Aurora Gonçalves Borges.
The musician Martinho d’Assunção (1914-1992) invited him to be part of his Typical Guitar Quartet, which also included António Couto and Francisco Carvalhinho. It was Martinho d’Assunção who advised him to dedicate himself to the bass guitar.
In 1959, he joined the Raul Nery Guitar Ensemble, with whom he maintained friendship until the guitarist’s death in June 2012. “Strong and solid friendship, of whom you esteem yourself and have always been comrade”, said Joel Pina, in a of his interviews with Lusa.
The ensemble, in its different phases, also included names like José Fontes Rocha, Joaquim do Vale and Júlio Gomes, and stopped playing in 1969.
In 1961, Joel Pina entered the Civil Service, for the staff of the Inspection of Economic Activities, from where he retired.
In addition to an accompanist, Joel Pina was also the author of melodies, namely “Folha Caída”, “Madrugada” and “Tempo Perdido”.
In 2013, Pina participated in the presentation, in Lisbon, of Margarida Bessa’s album, “Saudade das Saudades”, which included an interview with the musician in which he recalled the work with Maria Teresa de Noronha (1918-1993) that he accompanied, namely in its programs at the former National Broadcaster, between 1933 and 1962.
The musician was honored in September last year, at Teatro S. Luiz, in Lisbon, in a concert that included the participation, among others, of Maria da Fé, Mariza, Gonçalo Salgueiro, Mísia, Teresa Siqueira and Lenita Gentil, and attended by the Prime Minister, António Costa.