It’s a small world, especially when you’re talking about both Rhode Island and Portugal, two small but proud places that are intertwined in a way that will be on display at the Providence Performing Arts Center Saturday night.
“I’m very proud of our little country and our people,” Ruah, who plays Agent Kensi Blye on the long-running CBS procedural drama, said in an interview. “This is just one more opportunity for me to celebrate the Portuguese people.”
The event is celebrating its 10th anniversary, but is back in person for the first time since before the pandemic. It also marks his first time in Rhode Island. The awards ceremony was usually held in New Bedford, but this year it will be at PPAC. Rhode Island, like Massachusetts, has a large population of Portuguese-Americans. Portuguese would be the third most common spoken language in the state, a proportion that will increase on Saturday night, where about 95% of the show will be in Portuguese, said co-host Ricardo Farias.
“It’s the perfect place to celebrate,” Farias said.
Farias hosts a late night show filmed in New Bedford and broadcast on RTP Açores titled De Cá P’ra Lá. In English it means “from here to there”. This sentence could also serve as the theme for Saturday’s event, which will pay tribute to the music produced by people of Portuguese origin, whether they are in Portugal itself, in the Portuguese diaspora in North America or as far afield as Malaysia.
Some tickets are still available for the event, although the after-party is sold out.
Some of the names in the lineup touted by the organizers will be familiar to fans of Portuguese music, such as Jorge Ferreira, Aurea and the group Xutos e Pontapés. Local household names are also expected to make appearances: Boston Pops artistic coordinator Dennis Alves and Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee.
The event will be broadcast at a later date on the international channel RTP, according to Farias. It also makes a lot of noise in Portugal.
Although fado is the best-known genre of Portuguese music, at Saturday’s event it will be just one of 13 award categories, which will also include rock, pop and other traditional music. It’ll be like a typical awards show, Farias said, with awards, performances and “hopefully no slaps.”
“People just want to hang out and they just want to have fun again,” Farias said. “This is the event for the Portuguese who live here. And not just the Portuguese, because music is a universal language. Even if you don’t understand the language, it’s a good time.