Sandra Pinheiro Pacheco was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island to Portuguese immigrants of the Azorean island, Faial. She loved singing as a child and claims to have inherited her father’s genes. He was a well-known singer in Faial for the “bailes.”
She started singing on stage when she was a sophomore at San Jose High School. She joined the school choir and became the lead Soprano. She was fortunate enough to take Portuguese there and was one of the few early participants in the International Baccalaureate program.
She graduated from San Jose State University with a Major in Business Administration and a minor in Portuguese. She has been singing ever since. She’s participated in church choirs, dancas de carnaval, she sang at her High School graduation, she’s sung at weddings (her own included) and funerals.
Manuel Escobar, who’d heard her sing numerous times, approached her and encouraged her to consider Fado. She knew a little about Fado since she studied about Amalia Rodrigues in Portuguese class. She never dreamed that she’d actually enjoy singing it.
On March 14, 2003 Sandra had her first Fado performance in Santa Clara and since then she’s been hooked.
She is extremely fortunate to be among the many Fado singers performing with the 7 Colinas. “Stellar musicians make for stellar performances,” she says. She’s had the honor of singing with many prestigious Fado singers including: David Silveira Garcia, Angela Brito, Zelia Freitas, Jesualda Azevedo, Paulo Filipe, Avelino Teixeira, Ze Duarte, Chico Avila, Isalino dos Santos, Lorraine Jacinto, Marylou Lawrence, Max Gracio, Crystal Mendes, George Costa Jr. and Liliana.
The passing of her father is what inspires Sandra to continue singing the Fado. Many of the fado songs carry such depth and sentiment that allow her to express her “saudade” of him. Her only wish would be to have him see her perform the Fado at least once, he would be proud.
Sandra recently recorded her debut CD album entitled Alma Fadista available for purchase on CD baby, ITUNES, and Amazon.