Tag Archives: choro

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.


Quebra-queixo (Malandro Records, 1998)


Artist Profiles: Nó em Pingo D’Água

Nó em Pingo D’Água

Nó em Pingo D’Água was formed in 1978 and features 5 musicians Celsinho Silva on percussion, Mario Seve on saxophone and flute; Papito on bass; Rodrigo Lessa on bandolim and steel guitar; and Rogerio Souza on guitar.

The group was a pioneer in developing the style of music that is known today as “choro novo” – innovative interpretations of traditional Brazilian instrumental music. They’ve been credited in part for awakening a tremendous enthusiasm among young people for this style of music, which today is wildly popular in clubs, concert halls, and the hot nightspots of Rio.

Their music is the result of many influences, converging in the heart of Rio de Janeiro: Afro-Brazilian rhythms and percussion, typical Brazilian instrumentation, European classical influences, a bit of samba and a dash of jazz.

The group’s name “Nó em Pingo D’Água” literally translated is “a knot in a drop of water” – but as the expression implies, the meaning is more like “something extremely difficult to achieve”.

The year 2003 marked their first tour in the United States, made possible with the joint support of Brazil’s Ministry of Culture and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.


Salvador (Visom, 1988)

Receita De Samba (Visom, 1991)

Nó na Garganta (Rob Digital, 1999)

Interpreta Paulinho da Viola (Rob Digital, 2003)

Sambantologia (Biscoito Fino, 2016)


Tasty San Francisco Choro

Grupo Falso Baiano – Depois (Massaroca Records, 2017)

Depois is the third album by Grupo Falso Baiano, an American ensemble specialized in choro, an early form of instrumental music in Brazil that brought together European melodies and African rhythms.

On Depois, Grupo Falso Baiano delivers a set of choro classics as well as original pieces composed by the band’s multi-instrumentalist Brian Moran. However, there is more than choro on Depois. You’ll also find sambas, frevo and baião, American jazz and they even sneak in a little flamenco.

The musical pieces feature various solo instruments such as clarinet, harmonica, mandolin, flute, saxophone and cavaquinho that interact with each other, sometimes in a call and response way. It’s mostly lively music accompanied by Afro-Brazilian percussion, although there are also slow tempo melancholic moments.

Even though most of the music is instrumental, Grupo Falso Baiano invited two Brazilian vocalists who perform on various tracks, adding a Rio flavor to this San Francisco-based band.

The lineup on Depois includes Ami Molinelli on pandeiro, percussion and vocals; Jesse Appelman on mandolin and vocals; Brian Moran on guitars, cavaquinho and vocals; and Zack Pitt-Smith on reeds and vocals.

Guests: Moyseis Marques on vocals; Ana Carbatti on vocals; Ilya Portnov on harmonica; Jeff Cressman on trombone; Henry Hung on trumpet; and Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone.

Buy the Depois CD from store.cdbaby.com or the digital download version.


Fine Choro from Toronto

Tio Chorinho – Chora Brazil

Tio Chorinho – Chora Brazil (Tio Chorinho, 2016)

Tio Chorinho is a great instrumental ensemble from Toronto that specializes in choro music, a Brazilian genre from the Rio de Janeiro region. It’s lively, uplifting music that brings together Portuguese guitar traditions and African beats.

The group’s sound revolves around the sounds and interplay of the cavaquinho, guitar and mandolin. On Chora Brazil there is also notable flute work by guest musician Alheli Pimienta. The music selection includes classics by Jacob do Bandolim, Waldir Azevedo and Pixinguinha.

The lineup on Chora Brazil includes Eric Stein on mandolin; Avital Zemer on 7-string guitar; Maninho Costa on percussion; Carlos Cardozo on cavaquinho; and Andre Valerio on guitar and cavaquinho. Guests: Alheli Pimienta on flute; Riquinho Fernandes on [percussion; Milos Popovic on accordion and Flavia Nascimento on vocals.

Buy the album from www.tiochorinho.com/music


Superb World Music and Roots Programming at Savannah Music Festival 2017

Earls of Leicester
Earls of Leicester

The Savannah Music Festival 2017 will present an impressive set of world music and American roots sounds. The festival will take place from March 23 to April 8, 2017.

The lineup includes acclaimed Québécois traditional ensembles Le Vent du Nord and De Temps Antan; Canary Island timple (a small Spanish guitar) maestro Germán López; Dom Flemons; Foghorn Stringband; Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms; cellist and vocalist Leyla McCalla; Haitian vodou drum and dance ensemble Chouk Bwa Libète; dobro maestro Jerry Douglas with celebrated bluegrass band the Earls of Leicester; Molsky’s Mountain Drifters; Irish accordionist Máirtín O’Connor; Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie; Holt & Coleman; banjo player Noam Pikelny; Sufi singer Sanam Marvi; 80-year-old virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal; mandolinist Danilo Brito’s choro quintet; Edgar Meyer & Mike Marshall; and admired Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha with an original score for the 1930 Dovzhenko silent film, Earth.

Tickets to the 2017 festival are available online at savannahmusicfestival.org, by phone at 912-525-5050 and in person at 216 E. Broughton Street in Savannah.


Dazzling French Nordestino Amalgam

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.