Born in a university town, Novi Sad, in the former Yugoslavia (and now part of Serbia), and entirely self-taught, Branco began playing guitar at the age of 15 and very soon found a love of jazz and Brazilian music, influenced by Joe Pass, Charlie Parker and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Soon, Branco was being featured at a number of jazz venues and festivals in his home country and appeared at the largest festival “The Days of Jazz in Novi Sad”.
At 18 he prolifically started composing sensual music of great beauty with Sunny dispositions and gathered 1s of tunes till present. He is largely inspired by the Sun, and influenced by Jazz, Traditional Folk music of Yugoslavia, Brazilian, World and classical music. The interest in these compositions led to recordings for radio and TV Novi Sad. Following this Branco formed his “Sad Nova Trio” whose success led to numerous concerts and broadcasts on TV.
As an avid reader of the Sherlock Holmes series, he began to hanker after a different life and wider musical opportunities. In the early nineties he set off to England with little more than his guitar and has since become a fixture on the London and UK music scene, actively composing and performing solo, in various duos and with his NEW trio featuring the elegant Leslee Booth on 6 string contra bass and imaginative Buster Birch on percussion.
The trio has performed at many top venues such as Arts Centres – the National Theatre foyer, the Royal Festival Hall foyer, the Barbican Arts Centre foyer, the Royal Albert Hall-Ignite, Norwich, Colchester, Cardiff, Windsor; Festivals – London Jazz and Jazz on the Streets, City Of London Festival, International Guitar Festival of GB Wirral, Bath International Guitar Festival, Ards International Guitar Festival of Co Down N. Ireland, and an endless list of clubs such as: Pizza Express Jazz Club in London, The Stables Theatre Milton Keynes, Cambridge Modern Jazz Club, The Landmark Hotel London.
Branco has also appeared with his trio on Sky TV “Arts World”, BBC Radio 3’s “In Tune” program and is regularly featured and a favorite on Sarah Ward’s show on Jazz FM and new station The Jazz.
Branco is a qualified teacher at Goldsmiths College, London, where he teaches guitar in his unique, passionate and enthusiastic way, passing that enthusiasm and love for the instrument onto his students from the very start enabling them to relay play the guitar. During seven years of teaching at the college, in course questionnaires he was always rated 5 out of 5, as a mark of excellence and the students satisfaction.
Something between the Sea and the Sky (Sun Recordings BS-SR 24597, 1998)
New York city-based band Forró in the Dark has a new album titled, Sandcastle (Nacional Records), its first release in 8 years. The band was formed in 2002 features Brazilian musicians based in the United States. Forró in the Dark members include Mauro Refosco on zabumba, percussion; Guilherme Monteiro on guitar; and Jorge Continentino on pífanos, flutes, and saxophones.
Forró in the Dark’s music is characterized by the forró rhythm of Brazil that is combined with rock, jazz, country and other genres. Earlier recordings include Bonfires of Sao Joao (2006), Light A Candle (2009) and Plays Zorn (Tzadik, 2015).
We talked to guitarist Guilherme Monteiro about Sandcastle.
This is your first album in 8 years, how has the band evolved musically during this time?
Well, we’ve done a lot of touring after the release of “Light a Candle”, so we had the opportunity of developing that music in big stages around the world, which is pretty different from the process we had before of testing out our new material at Nublu, which is a small club we used to play in New York. Also, we grew a lot individually, playing in different musical situations as side man or with our own projects, so when we get together to play with Forró In The Dark these days it has less of a testosterone driven energy and a much more musical vibe. We play with more dynamics and nuances than we used to.
Are there lineup changes?
Yes, Davi, who was a percussionist in the band, left the band a few years ago, so that was important for us to forge the sound of the new record. Me, Mauro and Jorge have a more similar sense of aesthetics and way of approaching the music.
What languages are you using in your new album Sandcastle?
Portuguese and English.
Eight years is a long time in-between albums. What have you been up to during this time?
We toured quite a lot in Europe and the States. Played some important festivals, like Bonnaroo, did extensive tours with Gogol Bordello. At some point we all had individual projects going for each individual member. Mauro was out playing with David Byrne, Atoms for Peace and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers; Jorge with Bebel Gilberto; and I’ve been touring with Gal Costa, who is a 72 year old singer, a sort of a living legend in Brazil.
Forró is still not a well-known genre outside Brazil. Are you making any inroads in the American market?
We think of ourselves of a band that honors the Forró genre but we don’t feel obliged to make inroads for it. We are primarily a band that makes music for people to dance, feel and think. Forró is a means to achieve that but we don’t consider ourselves “ambassadors” of the genre.
Mari Nobre – “Live and Alive” (Chrome Records, 2017)
Italian-American vocalist Mari Nobre (maiden name Mariangela Spiezia) recorded this album live at the Jan Popper Theatre at UCLA (California). Although some of her past albums have focused on rhythms from across Latin America and pop, on “Live and Alive” she performs new Latin Jazz arrangements of American jazz standards as well as Brazilian classics by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Her band features a multi-ethnic roster that provides a jazz flavor and colorful Brazilian influences.
Mari Nobre recorded this album just three weeks after her surgery, recovering from cancer. Mari Nobre has indicated that music had a strong effect in healing her so she’s donating part of the sales from the album to the children’s cancer research.
The lineup on “Live and Alive” includes Mari Nobre on vocals; Leo Nobre on bass; Justo Almario on saxophone and flute; Angelo Metz on acoustic and electric guitar; Sandro Feliciano on drums; and Daniel Szabo on piano.
“Live and Alive” is a passionate album by the talented multilingual vocalist Mari Nobre.
Obnoxious is a cult album that was originally released in 1970 by Brazilian label Quartin. It’s a recording full of musical surprises and lavish unexpected arrangements by composer, guitarist and vocalist José Mauro.
The opening track, “Obnoxious”, sets the tone for the entire album. You’ll find orchestral arrangements, loungy brass, great Brazilian percussion, psychedelia and more. The arrangements sound like a fabulous Brazilian soundtrack to a secret agent movie.
But there is also a melancholic undercurrent and Catholic references in the lyrics that sets it apart from the “happier” forms of Brazilian music that were popular at the time.
The lineup includes José Mauro on vocals and guitar; Maurilio on trumpet; Paulo Mora on alto sax; Altamiro Carrilho on flute; Rildo Hora on gaita; Salvador on keyboards; Geraldo Vespar on guitar; Sebastiao Marinho on bass; Juquinha and Marnao on percussion; Wilson Das Neves on drums; and Roberto Quartin’s string ensemble.
USA-based Brazilian pianist and vocalist Eliane Elias has become of the most familiar names in the world of Brazilian-rooted jazz. Her new album Dance of Time takes Eliane back to her Brazilian roots in a brilliant manner.
Dance of Time was recorded in Brazil and the result is a truly exquisite recording. There is not a weak track on this album. Eliane Elias effortlessly balances her talent as a pianist and singer-songwriter, delivering some of her finest material, injecting spirited samba.
Dance of Time features first class talent from Brazil and the United States, including pianist Amilton Godoy, singer- songwriter and guitarist João Bosco, guitarist and vocalist Toquinho, trumpeter Randy Brecker, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri and the unmistakable remarkable vocals of Mark Kibble (Take 6).
The performances on Dance of Time are remarkable and the recording quality is superb.
Dance of Time is so far one of the best Brazilian-rooted albums of the year.
An album by charismatic Brazilian Amazonian singer Dona Onete. Her songs are about seduction, plants that make your body ‘agitate’ and stories related to the Amazon. The septuagenarian artist is enjoying new popularity in her country and abroad thanks to international releases like Banzeiro.
On Banzeiro, Dona Onete delivers infectious Brazilian rhythms like bangue and a style she developed called carimbó chamegado where she combined two genres called lundum and carimbó. She mixed them with the rhythm of the songs from the slaves. Dona Onete describes carimbó chamegado as slower and sexier than carimbó.
Brazilian vocalist Ive Mendes will perform at ICE Kraków with her band and string quartet on June 25, 2017. Mendes combines elements of smooth jazz and Brazilian bossa nova, resulting in an example of really great music. The critics praise Ive’s voice, whose color and warmth lend expression and romanticism to her music. We expect that during the Summer Festival we will hear all the songs from her new album, Bossa Romantica, which actually appeared first in Poland.
Bossa Romantica was recorded by Kevin Armstrong, known for his collaborations with, among others, David Bowie and Iggy Pop. One of the singles from this album, the song ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New’, was mixed by Miles Walker, the legendary winner of several Grammys, in his studio in Atlanta.
The world music accent in the work of Ive Mendes has its source in the singer’s origins. Ive was born in Ceres, Brazil, in a farming family with mixed roots: Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Brazilian. She also mentions her Indian heritage.
The music of Ive Mendes is perfect for a warm evening with a glass of wine or a great late dinner—the point being that it complements the sensual pleasures of life. The sensuality, depth, and moodiness of her voice will lead our thoughts along the paths of Spanish vineyards. We’ll hear the sounds of samba, jazz, soul, and chillout, guaranteed to awaken sensual passion and bring out life’s most delicious flavors.
Ive has the ability to move freely between bossa nova and modern influences, smooth jazz and pop, and her originality ensures that she is appreciated by listeners in the Asian and European markets, where she is known as the “Brazilian queen of smooth jazz.” Ive Mendes is one of very few Brazilian singers representing this cosmopolitan and open attitude to music. Her worldwide success is sustained by renowned, highly esteemed, intimate live performances, during which we are guaranteed to discover her charm, charisma, and hypnotic voice.
Ticket sales locations: eventim.pl, ticketpro.pl, biletywkrakowie, Punkt InfoKraków, ul. Św. Jana 2, and the organizers’ office at ul. Karmelicka 52/1, Kraków.
Saudade is a collection of beautiful, poetic songs composed by some of Brazil’s greatest songwriters and performed by the remarkable voice of Renato Braz. The album combines Brazilian melodies and rhythms with Paul Winter’s global jazz sound as well as world music elements from Russia and other cultures.
Renato Braz has been an essential member of the Paul Winter Consort family in recent years. Even though he has made recordings in Brazil, Saudade is first release in the United States.
The lineup is quite impressive. His band includes the Paul Winter Consort, the Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble, Dori Caymmi, and Ivan Lins.
Saudade is beautifully packaged, featuring an extensive booklet with photos, lyrics and descriptions of the songs.
A champion of Brazil’s African-rooted traditions who has scoured the vast backlands of his own country and the far corners of the world in search of inspiration for his constantly evolving artistic vision, Gilberto Gil remains one of his land’s most enterprising musicians. His singing and composing career in Bahia, the center of African culture in Brazil, began in the mid sixties as one of the founders of the revolutionary Tropicalismo movement.
Tropicalismo, built on an eclectic mix of native and global influences, turned the conventions of Brazilian popular culture inside out and created its own language. Gil’s quest for new ways to invigorate his personal take on the sounds of Brazil have led to Jamaican reggae, African pop music, R&B and rhythmic and harmonic vignettes that range from Amazonian backwaters to the posh clubs of Tokyo.
Gil has collaborated with reggae singer Jimmy Cliff and The Wailers, Bob Marley’s former band.
In December of 2002, at the age of 60, Gilberto Gil was named Minister of Culture of Brazil by President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Gil was one of the leaders of the Green Party, which shared power with President Lula’s Worker’s Party.
As a musician and as a diplomat, Gil possesses a key role in the constant modernization of Brazilian popular music and culture throughout the world. Gil’s Broadband Band Tour for June and July 2008 followed his unprecedented 2007 solo tour.
Banda Larga (Broad Band), the album and the tour, reaffirmed Gil’s irreversible engagement with the new rules and compasses of the universe of bits and bytes, embracing all of the risks and challenges. This theme that has fascinated him for more than 30 years characterized a previous tour outside of North America, also called Banda Larga, in which Gil made available as much of his work as possible for webcasts, podcasts, cellcasts, etc.
The great novelty of the Broadband Band Summer Tour 2008 was really the set list. Whereas the previous tour was created around the greatest hits, this time Gilberto Gil played a new collection of songs such as Banda Larga Cordel, Nao grude nao and other more recent compositions.
In 2016, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil released a double live album titled Dois Amigos, Um Século de Música: Multishow Live. The set includes 28 tracks from each songwriter and some favorites written by other composers, sung in Portuguese, English, Italian, and Spanish.
* Louvação (1967)
* Gilberto Gil (with Os Mutantes) (1968)
* Tropicalia ou Panis et Circensis (with Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Os Mutantes) (1968)
* Gilberto Gil (Cérebro Eletrônico) (1969)
* Gilberto Gil (Nêga) (1971)
* Barra 69: Caetano E Gil Ao Vivo Na Bahia (Philips, (1972)
* Expresso 2222 (1972)
* Temporada De Verao Ao Vivo Na Bahia, with Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa (Philips, (1974)
* Refazenda (1975)
* Os Doces Barbaros, with Maria Bethania, Gal Costa and Caetano Veloso (Philips, 1976)
* Refavela (1977 )
* Gilberto Gil Ao Vivo em Montreux (1978 )
* Refestança (1978)
* Nightingale (1979)
* Realce (1979)
* Brasil, with Joao Gilberto, Caetano Veloso and Maria Bethania (Philips, 1981)
* Luar (A Gente Precisa Ver o Luar) (1981)
* Um Banda Um (1981)
* Extra (1983)
* Quilombo (Trilha Sonora) (1984)
* Raça Humana (1984)
* Dia Dorim Noite Neon (1985)
* Gilberto Gil em Concerto (1987)
* Soy Loco Por Ti America (1987)
* Trem Para As Estrelas (Trilha Sonora) (1987)
* Ao Vivo em Tóquio (1988)
* O Eterno Deus Mu Dança (1989)
* Parabolicamará (1991)
* Tropicalia 2, with Caetano Veloso (Polygram, 1993)
* Acoustic (1994)
* Esoterico Live in USA 1994 (1995)
* Oriente Live in Tokyo (1995)
* Em Concerto (1996)
* Luar (1996)
* Indigo Blue (1997)
* Quanta (1997)
* Ao Vivo em Tóquio (1998)
* Copacabana Mon Amour (1998)
* O Sol de Oslo (Blue Jackel BJAC 5031-2, 1998)
* O Viramundo (Ao Vivo) (1998)
* Quanta Live (1998)
* Me, You, Them (2000)
* Milton and Gil (2001)
* São João Vivo (2001)
* Kaya N’Gan Daya al vivo (Globo Warner, 2002)
* Z, 300 Anos de Zumbi (BJ54534-2, 2002)
* Eletrácustico (2004 )
* Ao Vivo (2005)
* As Canções de Eu Tu Eles (2005)
* Soul of Brazil (2005)
* Gil Luminoso (2006)
* Rhythms of Bahia (2006)
* Banda Larga Cordel (2008)
* Bandadois (Warner Music, 2009)
* Fé Na Festa (2010)
* Gilbertos Samba (2014)
* Dois Amigos, Um Século de * Música: Multishow Live, with Caetano Veloso (Nonesuch, 2016)
Caetano Veloso is one of the most influential and beloved artists to emerge from Brazil. He’s been an acclaimed artist since the 1960s. Veloso has made more than thirty recordings to date and has developed a strong international following.
Born in Santo Amaro, Bahia, in 1942, Caetano Veloso began his professional musical career in 1965 in Sao Paulo. In his first compositions, he was influenced by the bossa novas of Joao Gilberto, but rapidly began to develop his own distinctive style.
Absorbing musical and aesthetics ideas from sources as diverse as The Beatles, concrete poetry, the French Dadaists and the Brazilian modernist poets of the 1920s, Caetano, together with Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, his sister Maria Bethania and several other poets and intellectuals, founded a movement called Tropicalismo.
By experimenting with new sounds and words, adding electric guitars to their bands and using the imagery of modern poetry, Caetano became a musical revolutionary. The short-lived Tropicalismo movement, founded in 1968, ended abruptly when Caetano and Gil were briefly imprisoned by the military junta that same year. Both musicians left the country and went into exile for a few years. Veloso lived in London during most of that time.
Now, generally credited with redefining what is know as Brazilian music, Tropicalismo led the groundwork for a renaissance of Brazilian popular music, both at home and abroad. Caetano and Gil returned to Brazil in 1972 and found that Tropicalismo had remained intact and their admirers continued to grow.
Although Tropicalismo set the tone for Caetano’s career, his music has evolved greatly over the years. Incorporating elements of rock, reggae, fado, tango, samba canao, baiao and rap – with lyrics containing some of the best poetry in a musical tradition rich in verse – Caetano’s music is sometimes traditional, sometimes contemporary, often hybrid.
Caetano is a skilled social commentator and balladeer of highly emotive love songs, one of the most respected poets in the Portuguese language. Indeed he is one of only a handful of artists who has resolved how to be musically modern and still undeniably Brazilian.
Veloso followed his 1999 Grammy Award-winning Nonesuch Records’ release Livro, an album that received widespread critical acclaim in the United States of America and brought with it his first-ever US tour, with a soundtrack for the Carlos Diegues film Orfeu.
In Spring 2001, Nonesuch released Noites do Norte (Nights of the North), a meditation on themes of race, slavery and Brazil’s quest for a national identity. Caetano also completed a book on Brazilian music and culture, published in the US by Knopf.
Caetano later released Omaggio a Federico e Giulietta, a live recording made in 1997 in Rimini in honor of two masters of Italian cinema, Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina.
Caetano’s long-awaited memoir, Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil, was published by Knopf in Fall 2002, alongside the release of a new 2-CD set, Live in Bahia, on Nonesuch Records.
On April of 2004, Caetano Veloso released his first album sung entirely in English. A Foreign Sound (Nonesuch Records) reveals the diversity of American songwriters he has loved and studied over the years, from Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, and Cole Porter to Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and David Byrne.
A Foreign Sound is a culmination of Veloso’s longstanding exploration of American music. Surprising and imaginative interpretations of American songs have been a staple of his recent live shows, and they have made occasional appearances on his studio albums over the years.
As he explains in his acclaimed memoir, Tropical Truth: A Story of Music & Revolution in Brazil (Knopf 2002), he came to some of his favorite American singers and musicians, including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, and the Modern Jazz Quartet, by tracing the steps of his foremost musical hero, Joao Gilberto.
On A Foreign Sound, Veloso interprets several songs he first learned listening to these artists in the early 1960s, including ‘So In Love,’ ‘Love for Sale,’ ‘Manhattan,’ and ‘Body and Soul.’ Other songs have particular significance in the context of Brazilian culture, such as the1970s hit ‘Feelings,’ which is widely used to teach English there.
Veloso’s approach to the music varies from track to track. While on some songs he is backed by a 28-piece orchestra, on others his only accompaniment is his signature acoustic guitar playing. ‘Love for Sale’ is recorded completely a cappella. Among the many accomplished musicians featured on the album are Caetano’s son Moreno and his longtime collaborator Jaques Morelenbaum, who contributes as arranger, conductor and cellist.
In 2016, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil released Dois Amigos, Um Século de Música: Multishow Live. It’s a live two-disc collection, recorded during a 50-show worldwide tour. The album and tour celebrate 50 years of friendship and artistic collaboration.