Her destiny, it seems, was sealed the moment she left Mozambique to live in Mouraria, an old working-class Lisbon neighborhood where fado was a second language. Fado, the Portuguese blues idiom that has made Mariza a singing sensation with audiences worldwide, means destiny or fate. And for Mariza part of that fate entails serving as the genre's roving ambassador. She is out for another jaunt through North America, this time in support of her latest release, Transparente (Times Square Records). Among the stops is Miami, where the Amazon-tall, platinum-blond, futuristically dressed Mariza will perform October 12 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. "Fado is music that speaks about life's feelings," says Mariza via phone from home. "And those feelings are universal, understood by all, no matter what languages they speak."

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