Tag Archives: Brazilian music

Vitto Meirelles’s Delicious Servings

Vitto Meirelles – Da Hora

Vitto Meirelles – Da Hora (Cooking Vinyl, 2019)

If you have even the slightest affinity for Brazilian music you need a copy of Vitto Meirelles’s Da Hora, out on the Cooking Vinyl label. And, I’m not just saying that because the cover features Mr. Meirelles in the buff with just a guitar. Yes, after years of bitter complaints about CD covers exploiting women’s bodies to boost sales, we can just chalk this up to an About Time Moment. Regardless of the cheesecake photo connotations, Mr. Meirelles has crafted a first rate recording that is a smart, savvy and satiny follow-up to previous recordings Da Fonte and Vem Rei.

Conjuring up an airy and intimate feel on Da Hora, singer, composer and musician Mr. Meirelles enlists percussionists Domenico Lancellotti, Marivaldo Paim, Carlos Sales and Pedro Fonte in addition to his own playing guitar, piano, bass and electric keyboard to weave this silky smooth Brazilian musicscape. Mr. Meirelles’s past work with the like of Gilberto Gil, Salif Keita and Seu Jorge and composing for film and theater serves him well on Da Hora in crafting engaging tracks and moods.

Opening with the “A Fonte Secou” featuring Denis Lavant, listeners are teased with flirty bit of opening accordion before riding the easy, breezy vocals of Mr. Meirelles and some delicious percussion dashed with a bit of cuica.

Lazing his way into “Nada E melhor do Que Voce,” listeners are lulled by backing Brazilian drumming, guitar and keyboards against Mr. Meilleres’s vocals before giving way to sections of just percussion and vocals.

Full of interesting turns of vocal phrasing and percussion, Da Hora transforms what might have been ordinary Brazilian fare into something extraordinary. Equally delicious are servings of “Outro Ceu,” the savvy swinging “Le Cannibale,” “Um Tempo ao Tempo,” the delicately worked “Tudo Era Leve” and the faint vocal backing of easy feeling “O Amor E Tudo.”

Title track “Da Hora” is indeed a standout track, along with “Sou Menina Menino” and the bonus tracks “Tu T’laisses Aller” and “Aguas de Marco.”

Da Hora’s warm intimate feel is dreamy drowsy laze steeped in Brazil, and we all know if Brazilian music is playing then all is right with the world. And hey, there’s a naked man with a guitar on the cover.

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Artist Profiles: Adriano Adewale

Adriano Adewale

Brazilian percussionist and composer Adriano Adewale was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. For many years he was known as Adriano Pinto, a colonial name he received at birth. After his visit to Africa (Nigeria and the Benin Republic), searching for his roots, he changed his name to Adriano Adewale Itauna, respectively from the Yoruba-Nigeria and Tupi Guarani-Brazil. Adewale means royal child who come back home and Itauna means black rock.

Music has always been part of Adriano’s life. His father, an aficionado percussionist, used to play drums during carnival, and drumming was also a big feature of family gatherings. Adriano’s maternal grandfather used to play clarinet, his uncle accordion and every weekend they would meet and play ‘Chorinho music’, a style also known as Brazilian Jazz.

Two uncles played a great influence on Adriano’s career; Claudio Silva, who was a virtuoso ‘pandeiro’ player, and Joao Nicanor, a singer-songwriter, guitarist and actor.

While working as an actor, Adriano took piano and percussion lessons, followed by a degree/BA in classical music-percussion at the University of Sao Paulo State. In April 2000, Adriano moved to the UK, quickly establishing himself as a respected percussionist, composer, educator and band leader.

In 2002, Adriano was introduced to Italian guitarist Antonio Forcione and soon became part of the Antonio Forcione Quartet.

 In 2004, Adriano went to Africa (Nigeria-Benin) in search for his roots and also to study music with great master percussion players. The trip deeply changed Adriano’s playing and understanding of his own culture in many aspects.

Upon his return, he went on to study further, this time a Masters course in Music/Performance at SOAS – School of Oriental and African Studies in London. His first UK band, Sambura, released the album: Cru in 2006.

In 2008, Adriano released his first solo album, the critically acclaimed Sementes (Segue records) produced by Gilad Atmov. It featured the ‘Adriano Adewale Group’, an international line up of musicians, including Australian born double bass player Nathan Riki Thomson, Senegalese Kora player Kadially Kouyate and Brazilian flutist and saxophonist Marcelo Andrade.

In 2012, he released The Vortex Sessions, a collaboration with the leading Brazilian piano player Benjamin Taubkin. This was followed by Raizes (Caboclos Records) in 2014, his second solo album with the ‘Adriano Adewale Group’, produced by Chris Kimsin (Rolling Stones, Jimmy Cliff).

Adewale is also the mentor behind Catapluf’s Musical Journey, a concert that introduces young audiences to Jazz, commissioned by the EFG London Jazz Festival. With one CD released,  Catapluf’s Musical Journey has toured many parts of Europe including Norway, Sweden, France and Scotland.

Adriano’s characteristic sounds come from organic materials, connected to nature. They are made out of wood, clay, metal, skins and the philosophy behind it is the connection with the four classic elements: water, earth, air and fire. Playing percussion is about making music.

Over the years, Adriano has worked as a curator and artistic director. From 2009-2010 Adriano was an artist in residence at the Lakeside Theatre, Colchester. He also curated ‘Festival Brasileiro’, which involved theater, dance, music and fine arts from Brazil, and challenged presiding conceptions of Brazilian culture. As part of the festival, he arranged for and conducted the Essex Youth Jazz Ensembles.

As a composer, Adriano has been commissioned by Bath Music Festival to write a new music piece for the opening of 2011 and 2012’s Bath festivals. He was also a composer/music director of dance-theatre piece Ballroom of Joys and Sorrows, a collaboration with Kate Flatt (original choreographer of Les Miserables). He has composed for dance companies, including Phoenix dance company 2016, with whom he wrote the score for ‘Undivided lovers’, a dance piece based on and celebrating Shakespeare’s 400 anniversary.

Education is part of Adriano’s life. He is often writing new music to collaborate with primary school pupils both singing and playing instruments.

Adriano has performed with leading word musicians such as the great singer Bobby Macferrin, and pianist Joanna McGregor with whom he still works and play as duo, combining classical, jazz and contemporary classical music.

Adriano Adewale with AKA Trio at WOMEX – Photo by Quique Curbelo

In 2018, Adriano formed AKA Trio, together with Italian guitarist Antonio Forcione and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita. The trio released an album titled Joy in 2018.

Discography:

Sementes (2008)
The Vortex Sessions (Adventure Music, 2012)
Raizes (Caboclos Records, 2014)
Joy (Bendigedig , 2018)

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Artist Profiles: Carlos Malta

Carlos Malta at EXIB 2016 in Portugal – Photo by Angel Romero

Carlos Malta was born February 25, 1960 in Brazil. A master of flutes and other wind instruments, he has been described as The Wind Sculptor. Carlos plays piccolo, flute, fife, indigenous flutes, clarinet, and saxophone, among others.

He began playing professionally at the age of eighteen, performing with musicians such as Johnny Alf, Antonio Carlos & Jocáfi and Maria Creuza. In 1981 he joined Hermeto Pascoal, collaborating with him until 1993, when he began his solo career.

Carlos also performed with Egberto Gismonti, Pat Metheny, Gil Evans, Marcus Miller, Charlie Haden, Wagner Tiso, Laércio de Freitas and Nico Assumpção.

Carlos Malta at EXIB 2016 in Portugal – Photo by Angel Romero

He frequently acts as a studio musician, having participated in albums by Guinga, Lenine, Sergio Ricardo, Leila Pinheiro, Marcus Suzano, Paralamas do Sucesso, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil (on the album São João Vivo, 2001).

In 1993, he teamed up with Swiss cellist Daniel Pezzotti to record the album “Rainbow”, competing for the 1995 Sharp Award.

He has participated as an instructor in festivals in Brazil and abroad since 1994. That year, he founded the groups Coreto Urbano (varied formation) and Pife Muderno (Carlos Malta, Andrea Ernest Dias, Marcos Suzano, Oscar Bolão and Durval Pereira).

In 1998 he released his first solo CD called “The Wind Sculptor”. The following year, the album “Carlos Malta and Pife Muderno” (1999) came out.

Carlos Malta at EXIB 2016 in Portugal – Photo by Angel Romero

In 2003 participated in the CD Os Bambas da Flauta, released by Kuarup.

Discography:

Hermeto Pascoal e Grupo, with Hermeto Pascoal (Som da Gente, 1982)
Lagoa da Canoa, with Hermeto Pascoal (Som da Gente, 1984)
Brasil Universo, with Hermeto Pascoal (Som da Gente, 1986)
Só não toca quem não quer, with Hermeto Pascoal (Som da Gente, 1987)
Festa dos Deuses, with Hermeto Pascoal (Polygram, 1992)
Instrumental no CCBB, with Laércio de Freitas (1993)
Rainbow, with Daniel Pezzoti (1993)
O Escultor do Vento (1998)
Carlos Malta e Pife Muderno (Rob Digital, 1999)
Pixinguinha – Alma e Corpo (2000)
Pimenta (500 Anos De Som, 2000)
Mapa (Tratore, 2005)
Wonderland (Edge Music, 2006)
After The Carnaval (Stunt Records, 2009)
Na Paleta do Pintor (Tratore, 2009)
Leve o Que Quiser (Tratore, 2015)
Samba Noir (Tratore, 2015)
O Mar Amor – Canções de Caymmi (Deckdisc, 2016)
Dreamland (Stunt Records, 2017)
Besouros (Deckdisc, 2017)
Alabê Ketujazz (Tratore, 2018)
Sertão do Mar (Madame Bobage production, 2019)

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The Expressive Vocals of Daniela Soledade

Daniela Soledade – A Moment of You

Daniela Soledade – A Moment of You (Blue Line Music Records, 2019)

A Moment of You is the debut album from talented Florida-based Brazilian singer-songwriter Daniela Soledade. Although Brazil is a country rich in musical genres, the majority of the Brazilian music productions mad in the United States gravitate towards bossa nova and this is the case here as well.

The highlights of the albums are the upbeat samba and baiao songs, when their lively beats come to the surface, featuring outstanding Brazilian percussion by Duduka Da Fonseca and producer Nate Najar’s guitars and cavaquinho. Another standout track is the exquisite “Veja Bem Meu Bem” featuring Yves Dharamraj’s magnificent cello.

The slower songs drift towards smooth jazz with the pre-requisite sax solos and melancholic harmonica.

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Brazil’s Dona Onete Tops the September 2019 Transglobal World Music Chart

The album Rebujo by Amazon-based Brazilian artist Dona Onete has reached the number 1 position in September 2019 at the Transglobal World Music Chart. More about Dona Onete.

Dona Onete – Rebujo

The September 2019 Chart

  1. Dona Onete – Rebujo – AmpliDiversão / Mais Um
  2. Cimarrón – Orinoco – Cimarrón Music
  3. Mara Aranda – Sefarad en el Corazón de Turquía – Mara Aranda
  4. Boban Marković Orkestar – Mrak – Fonó
  5. Angelique Kidjo – Celia – Verve / Universal Music France
  6. Mísia – Pura Vida (Banda Sonora) – Galileo Music Communication
  7. Oumar Konate – I Love You Inna – Clermont Music
  8. Africa Express – Egoli – Africa Express
  9. Lajkó Félix & Vołosi – Lajkó Félix & Vołosi – Fonó
  10. Refugees for Refugees – Amina – Muziekpublique
  11. Minyo Crusaders – Echoes of Japan – Mais Um
  12. AKA Trio – Joy – Bendigedig
  13. Tuuletar – Rajatila / Borderline – Bafe’s Factory
  14. Janusz Prusinowski Kompania – Po Śladach / In the Footsteps – Słuchaj Uchem / Buda Musique
  15. Santana – Africa Speaks – Concord
  16. Parno Graszt – Már Nem Szédülök / Rolling Back – Fonó
  17. Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi – There Is No Other – Nonesuch
  18. Yolla Khalife – On the Road – Nagam
  19. Oum – Daba – Lof Music / MDC
  20. Kronos Quartet, Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat – Placeless – Kirkelig Kulturverksted

More about the chart: www.transglobalwmc.com

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Artist Profiles: Dona Onete

Dona Onete – Photo by Adriano Fagundes

Dona Onete was born on June 18, 1939 in Cachoeira do Ararí, located in the delta of the Amazon River, across from Belém. She grew up further down the river, in Igarapé Miri, 100km away from Belém, where she regularly attended local dances of carimbó, siriá and banguê. She explains she only started to sing suitably at the age of 11. “I used to spend the whole day on the river banks, washing clothes. One day, I saw a dolphin and thought that I should sing for him. The next day I sang again, and another came, and another, and soon a whole family of dolphins came to listen!”

By the age of fifteen, she was singing samba, quadrilhas, boi bumba and other northeastern Brazilian genres in the bars of her hometown. “One of my biggest musical influences are Marajoara, local cowboys who improvise songs. They turn common phrases into beautiful poetry and whenever I write a song, I remember them”.

She became a Professor of History and Amazonian Studies in Igaparé Miri and passionately researched the rhythms, dances and traditions of the indigenous and black people of the area. This led her to form several music and dance groups, which regenerated traditional customs, and that eventually saw her elected as the Municipal Secretary of Culture of Igaparé-Miri. “I helped local musicians and local culture that people didn’t value. I have the chance to help Amazonian communities through my music so I cannot just sing and close my eyes to the people’s plight.”

Dona Onete – Photo by Adriano Fagundes

Absorbing multiple genres and rhythms, Dona Onete also began to compose, creating the hybrid genre for which she would later become famous, the carimbó chamegado.

Carimbó is a rhythm and dance from Pará, influenced by both African and European traditions. However, Onete has her own vision of the genre – carimbó chamegado: “I took lundum and carimbó, two wonderful genres, and mixed them with the rhythm of the songs from the slaves to create carimbó chamegado. It’s slower and more sensual than carimbó,” she adds. She composed throughout her career over 300 songs, but it was not until she retired that her musical career took off, and even then, it was only by accident.

She and her second husband moved to the quiet area of Pedreira in Belém, with the intention of relaxing the rest of their days, singing as she always had done, for her own pleasure. A local band heard her singing though and she claims, “thought I was a young woman, because my songs are pretty cheeky. But when they caught sight of me they were shocked to see a lady of my age!”

Dona Onete – Photo by Adriano Fagundes

Her age and spicy sense of humor was undeniably part of the charm for this band who invited her to sing with them. Believing herself to be past her prime, Dona Onete initially rejected the offer but she agreed eventually and before long, she had become something of a cult figure in Belém. “Sometimes, when you think you’ve given all you’ve got, you realize that, in fact, you have a lot more ahead of you,” she stated.

She recorded her debut album Feitiço Caboclo aged 73 and an international release from Mais Um Discos in 2014 saw critics fall immediately for this high-spirited, saucy and sexy septuagenarian. Dona Onete received invitations to perform at high profile world music festivals and venues: WOMAD UK, Paris’s Cabaret Sauvage, and Portugal’s FMM Sines in 2015.

On Banzeiro, Onete proved that age is nothing but a number as she increased the tempo with tracks such as the banguê that is the title track plus the lively carimbó ‘Faceira’, among others. Banzeiro is the wave created by boats as they pass through the river.

After Banzeiro, Onete’s reputation has blossomed in Brazil. She performs throughout the country to mostly young audiences. She composed and sung the theme song for one of Brazil’s leading soap operas (A Força do Querer) and was awarded the Brazilian Ordem do Mérito Cultural in recognition for her contribution to Brazilian culture. She also plays benefit shows for endangered Amazonian tribes.

In 2019 she released Rebujo an album that features styles born in Belém: carimbós and bangues, as well as cumbia, romantic brega and samba. The album includes numerous Amazonian allusions: the piranha (Festa do Tubarão), mango-scented ticks (Vem Chamegar), biting tucandeira ants (Balanço do Açaí), African deities such as Borocô (Tambor do Norte) and banho de cheiro: an herbal bath used to ward off evil spirits (Mistura Pai D’Égua).

The title Rebujo is the name for the turbulence in a river created as currents pass through. The rebujo raises silt and detritus from the riverbed giving the Amazon its muddy color – and making the waters unsafe for swimmers.

Dona Onete produced Rebujo with long-time collaborator Pio Lobato (guitar) and also includes Breno Oliveira on bass, Marcos Sarrazin on saxophone, Vovô Batera on drums, and JP Cavalcante on percussion.

Dona Onete has gone from playing small bars in her hometown to thousand capacity shows across Brazil and some of Europe’s most respected festivals. “My energy comes from the river,” she says. “It’s like blood rushing through my veins, there’s no stopping it – or me

Discography:

Feitiço Caboclo (Na Music, 2012)
Banzeiro ( Mais Um Discos/Na Music, 2017)
Rebujo (Mais Um Discos, 2019)

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Ricardo Peixoto’s Remarkably Expressive Brazilian guitar

Ricardo Peixoto – Scary Beautiful (Ricardo Peixoto, 2019)

Brazilian guitarist and composer Ricardo Peixoto collaborates with American and Brazilian jazz and classical musicians Scary Beautiful. Although a lot of the Brazilian jazz made in the United States is smooth bossa nova, Peixoto’s music goes in a totally different direction, incorporating various other Brazilian rhythms and tonalities.

Scary Beautiful is masterfully arranged and features stellar performances by Peixoto, flutist Bob Afifi, pianist Marco Silva and a robust rhythm section.

Ricardo Peixoto Peixoto’s compositions include ensemble pieces with fascinating guitar and flute interplay, rich string and brass ensemble orchestrations and an exquisite piano and guitar duet.

The lineup includes Ricardo Peixoto on guitars; Paul McCandless on soprano saxophone; Ken Cook on piano; Cliff Hugo on bass; Kendrick Freeman on drums; Brian Rice on percussion; Bob Afifi on flute; Paul Hanson on bassoon; Marcos Silva on piano; Scott Thompson, bass; John Santos on percussion; Kendrick Freeman on percussion; Aaron Germain on bass; Rafael Barata on drums; Bernardo Bessler on violin; Priscila Plata Rato on violin; Marie Christine Bessler on viola; Marcus Ribeiro de Oliveira on cello; Claudia Villela on vocals; Rob Reich on accordion; Jessé Sadoc on flugelhorn; Marcelo Martins on tenor saxophone; Aldivas Ayres on trombone; Mike Shapiro on drums; Luiz Brasil on tenor guitar, percussion; Ricardo Guerra on percussion; Harvey Wainapel on clarinets; and Kyle Bruckman on oboe.

Ricardo Peixoto – Scary Beautifu

Scary Beautiful is an impeccable example of Brazilian guitar craftsmanship.

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Brazilian Star Daniela Mercury Announces US Tour

The Queen of Axé, Daniela Mercury is set to tour the United States in September 2019. The Latin GRAMMY winner and multi-platinum selling artist will tour with her full band to perform all her hits like “Canto da Cidade”, “Rapunzel”, “Nobre Vagabundo”, “Swing da Cor”, “Ilê Pérola Negra”,”Maimbê Dandá”, and also more recent hits like “Banzeiro” (2018 Best Carnival song in Bahia) and “Proibido o Carnaval”, released earlier this year.

Daniela Mercury is known as “furacão” (hurricane) due to her powerful voice and tireless energy on stage, singing and dancing for hours without losing her breath. Daniela is also known as the Queen of Axé, the percussive and irresistible genre that emerged out of Bahia in the early 1990s, which made her a superstar in Brazil and then around the world.

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João Gilberto, the Father of Bossa Nova Dies at 88

João Gilberto

Brazilian singer and vocalist João Gilberto died on Saturday, July 6th, 2019. Gilberto was one of the creators of bossa nova, a new musical genre that fused samba and jazz.

One of his biggest international hits was Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema), released in 1963 and covered numerous times by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Kenny G, Amy Winehouse, etc.

Two-time GRAMMY Award winner João Gilberto was a multi-talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist,” said
Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy and Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy in a joint statement. “An architect of bossa nova music in his native Brazil, João’s innovative style and master musicianship helped turn the genre into a worldwide phenomenon. Maintaining an impressive career spanning several decades, he earned six GRAMMY nominations between 1964-2000, and, along with his musical partner Stan Getz, he took home the coveted Album Of The Year award for 1964’s breakthrough album Getz/Gilberto. That milestone recording and his classic “Chega De Saudade” have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. João will be missed, but his legacy will live on forever. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, and creative collaborators during this difficult time.”

For more information and discography visit João Gilberto’s Artist Profile.

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Joyce’s Exquisite Renditions of English-language Standards

Joyce Moreno – Coo

Joyce Moreno – Cool (Far Out Recordings, 2016)

Joyce Moreno, one of the greatest Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) singer-songwriters, switches to English on Cool. Joyce Moreno rarely sings in English so this album showcases a different side of Joyce’s multifaceted talent.

The album consists primarily of American jazz standards .  Joyce and her talented band transform these classics into delightful Brazilian-flavored songs. The vocals are charming, featuring Joyce’s marvelous lead vocals and overdubs as well. Joyce is also an excellent bossa nova guitarist and arranger.

The lineup includes Joyce Moreno on vocals and guitar; Tutty Moreno on drums and percussion; Helio Alves on piano; and Rodolfo Stroeter on bass.

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