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João Cordeiro papers

Identifier: MC-029

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 3 series. Series I is comprised of the personal poetry and diaries of João Cordeiro Jr. These were mostly written during his stay at Sassaquin Hospital in New Bedford in 1960. One handwritten and one typescript copy were originally in separate binders, and one handwritten copy was placed in an envelope.

Series II is material related to his musical career, including photographs of Portuguese musicians and performers and programs and flyers from performances. He has also gathered together news clippings about Portuguese musicians and programs from the many radio shows he participated in. Series III consists of sheet music. Several folders contain handwritten original compositions. The rest of the series ranges from popular Portuguese music of the World War II era to orchestra arrangements.


  • 1930-1960

Language of Materials

Materials in English

Conditions Governing Access

No known restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

João Cordeiro Jr. was active in the musical scene of New Bedford, MA in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s as a conductor and composer of traditional and popular Portuguese music.

Born in São Miguel, Azores in approximately 1907, Cordeiro immigrated to the United States when he was 14. He lived most of his life in New Bedford, MA and was the proprietor of Cordeiro’s Variety Store on Allen Street in New Bedford.

Cordeiro was also very involved in the Portuguese music scene in Southeastern Massachusetts, and played guitar and conducted orchestras throughout the state, as well as composing a number of original pieces. He was a member of several musical groups, including the Golden Star Serenaders and the Alvo Aristocratas. He frequently arranged and conducted music at various south coast locations such as the Colonial Theater in New Bedford, the Aliana Liberal Portuguesa and Roseland in Taunton, MA. Cordeiro also appeared on a number of radio shows during the “Portuguese Hour” on WJAR Providence and WNBH New Bedford. In Fall River he participated in the “Monte Pio Program Hour” on WSAR.

The whole Cordeiro family was involved in the New Bedford music scene. João Cordeiro’s sister Francelina Cordeiro, was a performer in her own right and her son, Gilbert Travers (Tavares) played with Cordeiro in several musical groups. Cordeiro’s two daughters, Vivian and Lillian were also actively involved in his musical life.

He passed away after a long illness in 1971 at the age of 64.


2.8 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box and 2 large boxes)

Physical Location

Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, N. Dartmouth, MA 02747. Telephone: 508-999-8695.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Lillian Andrew and Vivian Perry on January 3, 2002. Accession #02-13

MC 29, João Cordeiro papers
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Repository Details

Part of the UMass Dartmouth Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives Repository

Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA