Artist Profiles: Rabo de Lagartixa

Rabo de Lagartixa

Rabo de Lagartixa (“Tail of the Lizard”) was the acclaimed group acknowledged to be one of the top ensembles of choro novo. Its CD was voted one of the top 5 instrumental releases by the highly regarded newspaper “O Globo” and the group received rave reviews for its performances throughout Brazil.

Rabo de Lagartixa was chosen to represent the new choro movement at the centennial celebration of the choro tradition held by the Banco do Brasil at its prestigious cultural center in Rio de Janeiro.

The band was formed in 1993 when its members were studying music together under the auspices of a program at the Villa Lobos Museum in Rio de Janeiro.

From the very beginning, the spirit of the group was to have fun with music. This was reflected in their arrangements where the “game” was to alternate the featured solo instruments so the listener could identify the particular sonority of each instrument and how it sounded within the group. This became the trademark of the group. There is always a dialogue between the instruments as all of the instruments are equally important within the arrangement.

The Musicians:

Daniela Spielmann (saxophone) – Studied sax with Juarez Araujo, Eduardo Neves and Idriss Boudriuaflute with David Ganc, and harmony and arranging with Victor Santos. She is a graduate in Music from the University of Rio (Uni-Rio) and also studied at Berklee. She has performed at the Free jazz Festival with the orchestra of Victor Santos (trombonist), at Carnaval in Recife with the orchestra Bloco Carnavalesco do “Galo da Madrugada”, in the Grande Banda Carioca (Big Carioca Band) of Claudio Dauelsberg, at the tribute for Tim Maia in Vitoria, and as a soloist of the Rio Jazz Orquestra. She has also played with legendary artists like Jorge Ben, Sandra de Sa, Leny Andrade, Moreira da Silva, Ze Keti, Carmen Costa, Nelson Sargento and Moraes Moreira. She is a member of the trio Mulheres em Pixinguinha (Women in Pixinguinha).

Alessandro Valente (cavaquinho) – Started studying cavaquinho in 1986. He is a graduate of Uni-Rio where he played with: Osvaldo Pereira Group (recorded CD), Companhia Carioca, Urubu Malandro, Orquestra de Musica Popular da Uni-Rio (recorded CD), and the Quarteto de Camara Popular. He has performed in shows with singer Carmen Costa, in the bands of various musicals and with the Orquestra de Cordas Brasileiras (The Orchestra of Brazilian Strings).

Marcello Goncalves (7-string guitar) – Marcello is one of the sought-after 7-string guitar players today, having performed and recorded with such names as Baden Powell, Elza Soares, Elton Medeiros and Ze Renato. He is a member of the Trio Madeira Brazil and works in duo with the great cavaquinho player Henrique Cazes. His style unites the spontaneity and spirit of popular music with the elegance and distinction of classical.

Beto Cazes (percussion)- Started his career in 1976 with the group Coisas Nossas. In 1980 he joined the group Camerata Carioca with the great mandolin player Joel Nascimento and the legendary Radames Gnattali. In the same decade, he played with No Em Pingo DAgua and the Orquestra de Cordas Brasileiras (Orchestra of Brazilian Strings), with whom he received 3 Sharp awards (Brazil’s equivalent to the Grammy). In 1990 he formed the percussion quartet Baticun and did 3 tours in Europe and recorded 2 CDs. At the same time he recorded and toured with Brazilian superstars including Chico Buarque, Paulinho da Viola, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Nara Leao, Wagner Tiso.

Discography

Quebra-queixo (Malandro Records, 1998)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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