Gilberto Gil’s song on the album Expresso 2222 ‘Qui Nem Jilo’, originally written by Luiz Gonzaga, sounds very similar to a certain Haitian mini jazz aesthetic: the songs of the group Les Ambassadeurs and of Les Fantaisistes from respectively the Bel Air and Carrefour areas of Port Au Prince.
Upbringing? Gilberto Gil and the Haitian mini jazz musicians are originally from black lower middle class to middle class origins – areas well known for having much less prejudice than other areas in their country. Gilberto Gil was born in the mythical Salvador de Bahia, well known for being much less prejudiced than other Brazilian cities. Carrefour was a neighborhood that hosted the living of dark skin Blacks in Haiti and so was Bel Air.
Politics? Gil and the Mini-Jazz musicians all faced similar political realities: bourgeoisie and dictatorship, despite the stark difference between the economies of Haiti and of Brazil. They all chose to respond to the times that they lived with music and perhaps it is why both “Qui Nem Jilo” and the Mini-Jazz from Carrefour play are so thrilling.
Globalization?? Religion?? All lived in a world shaped by mass media broadcasting the music of Americans and Europeans. There is certainly a heavy undercurrent of African diaspora religion music in both Gil’s and in Mini-Jazz songs from Carrefour and Bel Air.
The reason why might be frenzy: both parties committed their songs to expressing frenzy: their sentiments about absolute love and its urgency, whether if it was love of country or or a significant other.
Headline photo: Gilberto Gil – Photo by Priscila Azul
Singer-songwriters and guitarists Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil are two of the most influential and popular musicians of their generation in Brazil. The Tropicalia movement pioneers are also good friends and have been collaborating since the early 1960s. The album “Dois Amigos, Um Século de Música: Multishow Live” brings the two lifelong friends back together for a fabulous set of memorable acoustic bossa and samba songs mostly penned by Veloso and Gil.
The live album is a two-disc set that contains an entire live show recorded in 2015 for Brazilian TV, during the Dois Amigos tour.
“Dois Amigos, Um Século de Música: Multishow Live” includes some of the artists’ most popular songs such as “Coração Vagabundo,” “Desde que o Samba é Samba,” “Expresso 2222,” “Esotérico,” “Drão.” Although most of the song are in Portuguese, the two songwriters have many fans abroad so they included additional languages to their repertoire: Tres Palabras” and “Tonada de Luna Llena” are in Spanish, Nine Out of Ten” in English,” and “Come Prima” in Italian. There is also a brand new song titled “As Camélias do Quilombo do Leblon.”
Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil have different vocal styles that work out perfectly. Caetano is known for his sweet, mellow voice, while Gilberto has a deeper voice. Even though both artists are now in their 70s, they still have their unmistakable voices.
“Dois Amigos, Um Século de Música: Multishow Live” reveals the intimate side and musical beauty of two of the most important singer-songwriters in Brazil.
Inberoamerican Music Expo (EXIB) organizers were forced to move the outdoor showcase venues to the historic Teatro Garcia de Resende. The beautiful renovated theater turned out to be an excellent space to experience the live performances.
The first act on stage was La Colectiva Corazón, a multinational group of graduates from the Berklee College of Music – Valencia, Spain Campus. The collective plays what they describe as cumbia fusion. Bear in mind that it’s Chilean cumbia along with guajiras, boleros, funk, Andean music, and pop. Think of Chico Trujillo mixed with Manu Chao.
The slow dance beat immediately got members of the audience dancing (primarily women). The band brought a dance party atmosphere to Teatro Garcia de Resende and the performance was very well received.
La Colectiva Corazon was created by Chilean composer, vocalist and percussionist Gonzalo Eyzaguirre. The ensemble includes musicians from Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Ecuador, Colombia, Italy and the United States. La Colectiva just released its debut album titled “Viajero.”
The band included Gonzalo Eyzaguirre on vocals, charango and percussion; Travis Smilen on electric guitar; Sebastián Laverde on congas; Carlos Llido on drums and timbales; Eric Benavent on saxophone; Alfonso Benavent on trumpet; and Javier Giner Garrido on bass.
The second act was Portuguese singer-songwriter and guitarist Luiz Caracol. He’s a talented artist who combines the rhythms of Portugal with jazz and the music of African countries, Brazil and the sounds of Jorge Drexler.
Luiz Caracol has a captivating laid back song style supported by his rhythmic electric guitar and a fabulous rhythm section that includes a percussionist from Brazil and a West African drummer.
Caracol was born in Elvas right after his parents arrived from newly independent Angola, where they had lived before the African nation became independent. Luiz Caracol released his first album, Devagar, in 2013. Devagar includes special guest performances by Fernanda Abreu, Sara Tavares and Valete. He’s currently recording his new album titled Metade, scheduled for release later this year, in 2016.
Concert lineup: Luiz Caracol on guitar and vocals; Chico Santos on bass; Miroca Paris on drums; and Ruca Rebordão on percussion.
Mexico was represented by vocalist Zaira Franco. Zaira’s show crossed numerous musical boundaries. She was accompanied by a rock band and delivered a mix of Mexican music, boleros, funk, Afro Cuban sounds and rock. The band’s electric guitar player was impressive, releasing fiery solos using various types of techniques. At one time, Zaira’s band went into full blown progressive rock. Zaira Franco presented her latest album, Tumbalá.
Showcase lineup: Zaira Franco on vocals; Mario Patrón on piano; Federico Erik Negrete on bass; Alfredo Martínez on guitar; Fausto Aguilar on drums; and Luis Manuel García on percussion.
The fourth act was truly spectacular. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the entire event. C4 Trio is an award-winning ensemble of three Venezuelan cuatro players along with a bassist.
C4 Trio are highly skilled musicians who demonstrated virtuosity, creativity and delivered a captivating and fun show featuring ensemble pieces, solos and interplay. The repertoire included Venezuelan folk songs as well as pop standards played at dazzling speeds. The group received repeated standing ovations and was the only act that came back for an encore.
The C4 Trío lineup included Jorge Glem on cuatro; Héctor Molina on cuatro; Edward Ramírez on cuatro; and Gustavo Márquez on bass.
The closing act was 78 year old Brazilian vocalist and guitarist Dona Jandira. The charismatic performer started her career in 2004 after she met producer José Dias.
Lineup: Dona Jandira on vocals and guitar; José Dias Guimaraes de Almeida on bass and Eugenio de Castro Ribeiro on violin.
Headline photo: La Colectiva Corazón, courtesy of EXIB Música
Zé Boiadé – Zé qué casá (La Roda/Rue Stendhal, 2016)
Zé Boiadé is a Franco-Brazilian band based in Aix-en-Provence in southern France. The quartet includes skilled multi-instrumentalists along with vocals in French and Portuguese.
On their new album, Zé qué casá, scheduled for release in May 2016, Zé Boiadé incorporate Nordestino music (folk music from northeastern Brazil), choro, samba and French song (chanson). The Brazilian-French mix is what makes the band’s sound unique, bringing together two distant traditions, combining melodic songs with Brazilian beats and the European-influenced Brazilian string traditions.
There are primarily two sets of material on Zé qué casá. The songs featuring vocals in French set to Brazilian musical arrangements and the instrumentals. On the instrumentals, band members display their virtuosity providing exciting interplay and times for jamming as well.
Zé Boiadé was originally a duo featuring singer-songwriter Claire Luzi (vocals, mandolin, melodica and percussion) and Brazilian composer Cristiano Nacimento (7-string guitar, trombone, and percussion). They were later joined by two musicians from Marseilles: Wim Welker on cavaquinho (small Portuguese and Brazilian guitar), background vocals and 7-string guitar; and Olivier Boyer on pandeiro (frame drum), percussion and background vocals.
Zé qué casá is a delightfully crafted album featuring alluring acoustic interplay, infectious Brazilian rhythms and striking vocals.
Brazilian musician Paulinho Garcia combines the pleasure of listening to great music with the teaching of language and accessible poetry. His album Aquarela – Traditional Songs for Children in Brazilian Portuguese features Brazilian music-flavored songs for children including clear pronunciation, with the intention of teaching Brazilian Portuguese. It’s a fabulous way to introduce children to music from other parts of the world and language as well.
“I reflected on my youth and thought about what I liked,” says Paunlinho Garcia about the project. “I went beyond children’s songs and picked out songs I thought children would like, that I would have liked. Most people in Brazil have some similar experiences and there are some common songs that reflect them, some dating back a century.”
The albums features male and female vocals with delightful interactions between Paunlinho and Silvia Manrique. Paunlinho chose topics that children like to hear about; animals that attract them, like frogs and the fishes; tenderness and love from parents, teachers, and friends. “That’s what the songs are all about,” says Paunlinho. “They are learning, when you talk about love, and that’s the best unselfish love to learn about. That’s the love we dream about.”
The lineup on Aquarela includes Paulinho Garcia on vocals, bass and guitar; Heitor Garcia on percussion; Silvia Manrique on vocals; Cidinho Teixeira on accordion.
Aquarela is a charming and memorable album featuring timeless songs in Portuguese that are rooted in Brazilian tradition.
The wonderful CD booklet contains the lyrics in Portuguese and English-language translations. It is beautifully-illustrated by Daniela Violi and designed by exandra Romero Cortina.
Aquarela is a charming and memorable album featuring timeless songs in Portuguese that are rooted in Brazilian tradition.
If you wonder what Seu Jorge was up to in the 1990s, check out Farofa Carioca’s fiery album Moro No Brasil (Universal Music Latino). The group had a hit in the 1990s with its spectacular Afro-Brazilian funk, creating terrific music with a social conscience.
Muiza Adnet Sings Moacir Santos has a bittersweet flavor. The album was meant as a tribute to legendary Brazilian singer and songwriter Moacir Santos, while he was still alive. He participated in the recording, singing duos with Muiza. Sadly, Santos died after the recording sessions in 2006. Muiza Adnet Sings Moacir Santos has an impressive cast of guests, including Milton Nascimento, Ivan Lins, Mario Adnet, Armando Marcal, etc. The pieces range from ciranda to bossa nova and jazz.
British compilation Brasil Carnaval makes a great party CD and gives a good idea of the music heard during carnaval in Brazil, mixing batuque bands playing traditional samba, along with well known Brazilian stars such as Seu Jorge, Bebel Gilberto, and Gilberto Gil, performing some of their most popular song, and also some of the innovators who combine Brazilian roots with electronica and hip hop beats.
Nosso Tempo by Choro Ensemble presents a festive quintet format with five musicians. The group is composed by clarinetist Anat Cohen, cavaquinho virtuoso Pedro Ramos, guitarists Gustavo Dantas and Carlos Almeida, and percussionist Zé Almeida. The selection includes pieces by Cohen, Dantas and Almeida, as well as several pieces by Jacob de Bandolim and various other Brazilian composers.
Singer Maria Rita turns her attention from MPB to acoustic samba on Samba Meu (Warner Music Latina, 2007), showing her vocal talent.
Pianist Antonio Adolfo and singer Carol Saboya, with a talented jazz combo, pay a tribute to bossa nova classic and samba jazz on the intimate Ao Vivo Live.
The compilation titled The Gringo Guide to Rio Carnaval captures the party atmosphere of the escolas de samba (samba schools), featuring some of the best and most spectacular ensembles.
Mandolin maestro Hamilton de Holanda has recorded Intimo, a collection of solo mandolin pieces composed by de Holanda and several other renowned Brazilian musicians. Using simple recording techniques, avoiding studio gimmicks, De Holanda and his 10-string mandolin delight the mandolin music fans.
Céu has become one of the darlings of Brazilian music in the United States. Her songs were recently remixed by dance music specialists to appeal to the club fans. This remix is only available in digital download format.
Mandolin phenomenon Hamilton de Holanda has just been nominated for his first Latin Grammy award. The nomination is for his critically acclaimed debut for Adventure Music, Brasilianos, which was released in the summer of 2006.
“I am thrilled to be nominated,” said De Holanda, speaking from Rio. “It is a personal honor and it also acknowledges the new generation of young virtuoso musicians who are mixing the best Brazilian spices into a universal musical pot,” he continued. “Maybe the best way to define what we are all doing is ‘modern is tradition,’ since we strive to remain true to the many artists who have inspired us, such as Hermeto Pascoal, Egberto Gismonti, Baden Powell, Pixinguinha, and Villa Lobos.” On Brasilianos, the 32 year-old De Holanda fronts a quintet of those top flight young Brazilian musicians, including guitarist (and Adventure Music label-mate) Daniel Santiago, bassist Andrew Vasconcellos, drummer Marcio Bahia, and harmonica player Gabriel Grossi.
Most recently, De Holanda collaborated with fellow mandolinist Mike Marshall on New Words – Novas Palavras (Adventure Music) and has just released a solo mandolin recording for the label, titled intimo. He is currently at work in Brazil with on a follow up quintet recording to Brasilianos, titled Brasilianos 2, which is scheduled for release in 2008.
New York City Brazilian music group Rob Curto’s Forró For All will be touring the Midwestern United States in June 2007. They will be featured at important venues such as: The City Folk Festival in Dayton,.Ohio, Festival Latino in Columbus, Ohio, The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Rob Curto’s Forró For All is a band dedicated to the sound of Northeastern Brazil’s traditional “forró pé de serra” music, performed with a sensibility born of New York City’s diverse and dynamic musical culture. In Northeastern Brazil a forró party unites communities and generations, with couples dancing, locked in a sensual embrace, to accordion, zabumba and triangle. This collective celebration is a creative response to the difficulties of life in the Northeast and an expression of fantastic musical intelligence and wit. June is the time of year when the traditional Festas Juninas are celebrated in Brazil, especially in the Northeast and forró is played non-stop. The Festas Juninas celebrate the religious, cultural, and rural roots of Brazil.
Forró For All’s founding member, Rob Curto, is a musician who both respects and transcends idioms, mixing elements of jazz with a language and feel that is distinctly Brazilian. A native New Yorker and important member of that city’s world music and jazz scene, Rob has also spent years intimately involved with the music and culture of the Brazilian Northeast. He studied with great accordionists from Pernambuco, Brazil such as Arlindo dos Oito Baixos, Camarão and Silveirinha, and with guitarist and master of harmony Alencar 7-Cordas from Paraíba.
Rob keeps as his bible the work of Dominguinhos (with whom he has performed), Sivuca, Oswaldinho, Hermeto Pascoal and of course the great innovator of forró, Luiz Gonzaga. He has spent years working as a musician in Brazil, and developed a reputation there as an extremely skillful and artistic forró accordionist. In addition his work includes playing and collaboration with heavy-weights of world music such as Lila Downs, David Krakauer, Cyro Baptista, Frank London and Omar Faruk Tekbilek.
Rob Curto’s Forró For All’s June tour features special guest: Rio de Janeiro vocalist, Magali. An institution of Rio’s yearly carnival, Magali, has composed and sung for numerous groups, most recently with Monobloco. In the U.S. she has collaborated with artists such as: Samba New York, Hank Schroy, and Jorge Amorim.
Rob Curto’s Forró For All have been featured at venues like: 2007 Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette, Louisiana, the Madison World Music Festival in Madison, Wisconsin, the Chicago World Music Festival and many others.
World Music Central interviewed composer and conductor Vince Mendoza coinciding with his December 1 concert with Brazilian guitarist and composer Guinga andthe LA Philharmonic.
What attracted you about this project?
Years ago I was introduced to Guinga’s music and I was impressed by its beauty and complexity. I have always wanted to work with him, and am glad that I finally will be in conjunction with the LA Philharmonic.
What kind of arrangements do you plan for this concert?
The second half of the concert will consist of orchestral arrangements of Guinga’s music by Brazilian arranger Paulo Aragão. There is one arrangement by Trumpeter Jessé Sadoc, who is also a soloist on the concert. Finally, Ivan Lins will make a special appearance on the concert. I wrote 2 arrangements of his compositions.
This concert will combine musicians from various traditions: classical, jazz and world music. What would you call the final result?
As a composer I have always worked in a world of mixed musical languages. My activities as a conductor helped me to interpret these languages to instrumentalists and ensembles from different traditions. Personally, I love to work in many different styles, and it is a challenge to put the styles in the context of chamber music, jazz or symphonic orchestrations. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes it is heaven. But musicians need to be open to exploring the multitude of ways to express a musical thought. And in my experience I have found that musicians are much more open to exploring new languages in this manner.
How do you approach composing arrangements?
I think that first the composition has to appeal to me on a visceral level, because after all the analysis and transcription and “deconstruction”, the arrangement must have something that reflects my own view and feelings on the piece. I particularly enjoy working with the themes presented in the lyrics. In this respect I learned a lot from Joni Mitchell. My pattern is to take apart the song, find interesting elements on which I can base my own variations, and put it back together in my own way.
Which are your main sources of inspiration?
As musicians we do not live in a bubble. Well, some of us do. I think that we are influenced by our environment, and in particular the people with whom we play. When you are writing for improvisers, your music is much more subject to the interpretation and development of the instrumentalists. They often send you in a direction that is not expected, and are an endless inspiration to write.
Of course having said that, I love listening to music when I can. Most of my listening has to do with the projects repertoire that I am preparing at the time. We recently worked on a Flamenco project in the Netherlands, so I pulled out my Camarón recordings, and Sabícas/Enrique Morente CD. I am inspired by the Armenian Musician Djavan Gasparian. A friend recently turned me on to Chinese Composer Qigang Chen. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with Dino Saluzzi from Argentina. His music is soulful and romantic. I love Salif Keita. Of course, everything else I need to know I get from Bach and Louis Armstrong.
Is it a challenge to combine orchestras with non classical soloists?
It really depends on the interface of the written music. The composer/arranger needs to understand how the music works, its language, with whom the soloist will be playing, and how the soloist will expect to react to the orchestra. If the music is written in this manner, then it is a lot easier to find a common ground.
In the past, you worked in other projects that combine jazz with world music, like Jazzpaña. What attracts to world music?
Actually, Jazzpaña chose me. Years ago, I had been working with the WDR organization in Germany and Siggi Loch from ACT Music approached me to write this music for the WDR Band plus the soloists. It was a turning point for me as it brought be into the musical world of another culture that shared the improvisational spirit and rhythmic vitality of Jazz music. Plus the music and musicians had such soul and character to their playing. Since then I have come across many musicians from other musical cultures with the same spirit of creativity. I am attracted to this. And I have a lot to learn.
When thinking about arrangements, what’s your favorite musical format?
I enjoy writing for orchestra for the color and beauty of sound. The big band of course is my roots, and is the source of a lot of my early experimentation. I love the power. However my next project will be concentrated on more small group compositions.
What other projects are you working on?
Besides my new recording that I am planning for the spring, I am working on some more dance music for the Compagnie Linga in Lausanne and the WDR band in Koln. I will also be doing a concert of my music in Germany this summer for the Traumzeit festival.
Singer and keyboardist Eliane Elias’ entrancing style combines Brazilian rhythms with world music, funk, electronica and pop elements. On Around the City, Elias presents some of her own material along with popular music classics such as Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va” and “Bob Marley’s Jamming.”
Lenine is a well known figure in Brazilian music. His captivating style is edgy and current, combining rock, funk, and several forms of Brazilian roots music, including samba. His latest US release, Lenine, is on the Six Degrees label.
The Adventure Music label has been very active lately, releasing quite an impressive collection of contemporary instrumental music from Brazil. Brasilianos by Hamilton de Holanda Quintet features mandolin wizard Hamilton de Holanda on the 10-string mandolin. His acoustic ensemble plays jazzy instrumental pieces based on Brazilian rhythms.
Guitarist Daniel Santiago makes his Adventure Music debut with On the Way. Accompanied by a bassist and drummer, Santiago’s style is peaceable and cinematic, with a jazz rhythmic section. He pays musical tributes several Brazilian musicians, including legendary guitarist Baden Powell, Horta and Guinga.
Another Brazilian guitarist, Mario Adnet, presents the familiar sounds of bossa guitar. On the excellent From the Heart he combines his guitars and vocals with a rich ensemble of sounds, including flute and brass instruments such as trombone, trumpet and flugelhorn; electric guitar, piano and cello.
With a name like Philippe Baden Powell, it is not hard to figure the family connection. Philippe is Baden Powell’s son. Unlike his late father, the also talented Philippe plays keyboards. His style on Estrada de Terra is primarily adventurous contemporary jazz, sometimes going in an electric direction, other times drifting into a delightful meditative path.
As the name implies, the live recording Winds of Brazil (Um sopro de Brasil) is dedicated to wind instruments. Navigating blurry waters between classical, jazz and Brazilian folk music, Winds of Brazil showcases some of the top wind-instrument musicians in Brazil. Harmonica, flutes, trumpet, and saxophones are elegantly combined with a chamber ensemble featuring cello, acoustic bass, strings, piano, violins, guitar, cavaquinho, and percussion.
Virtuoso trombonist Vittor Santos plays a delightful mix of bossa nova and jazz on Renewed Impressions, his latest CD and his first solo work in nearly 10 years.
Back to guitarists with Marcos Amorim and his new CD, Sete Capelas (Seven Chapels). The project features Amorim on electric guitar, Robettinho Silva on drums and percussion, Ney Conceicao on bass, and guest flutist Nivaldo Ornelas. Amorim’s Brazilian jazz style easily switches from electric to acoustic. His music includes bossa nova, Latin and even Pat Metheny influences.
Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music including folk, roots and various types of global fusion