Brazilian guitarist Rogério Souza to perform in NYC September 8

Posted on August 27, 2010

The great Brazilian guitarist Rogério Souza, whose swing and virtuosity have contributed to the groups of Paulinho de Viola, Época de Ouro, Nó em Pingo d’Água and Ivan Lins among others, will perform in New York City at Cornelia Street Café on September 8th from 8:30-11:00 pm. Accompanying him from Rio will be João Hermeto, pandeiro/percussion; they will be joined by Billy Newman guitarist/composer; Dennis Lichtman, mandolin/clarinet; and Rob Curto, accordion; from NYC.

One of the leading interpreters of choro and samba, Rogério’s guitar playing and composing is informed by a language and aesthetic rarely heard in New York City. More on Rogério’s music. . .

More on the performance at Cornelia Street Café . . .

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Hermeto Pascoal & Grupo at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival on Friday, August 6, 2010

Posted on August 3, 2010

Hermeto Pascoal is a visionary and prolific Brazilian musician born in 1936 whose compositions and performances evade categorization. A multi-instrumentalist, often taking extremely unconventional instruments and techniques as a basis, Hermeto pursues jazz-based experimentalism, heightened by grace and whimsy. He began his career playing on recordings for now-prominent Brazilian groups, and went on to play with jazz figures such as Miles Davis, whose album Live-Evil introduced Pascoal to a larger audience.

Also on the bill, the boundary-pushing, inventive Brazilian body-percussion group Barbatuques, and also Michael Rothner and Friends perform the music of NEU!

Come early to catch Hermeto, first on the program!

The concert takes place at 7:30 pm at Damrosch Park Bandshell, between 62nd and 65th Streets and Broadway, New York City. More information. . .

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Brazilian Day in New York, Sunday September 5, 2010

Posted on July 26, 2010

Started in 1984, this annual event commemorating Brazilian Independence Day has grown bigger every year. In 2010, the event will celebrate its 26th anniversary, starting on Saturday, Sept. 4, with the ceremonial Lavagem da Rua 46 — and then the main event, Brazilian Day, on Sunday, September 5, on 46th Street (also known as Little Brazil) and 6th Avenue, near Times Square. Presently the event takes over 25 blocks surrounding Little Brazil. Full information is available here in both Portuguese and English.

This year, in addition to the musical attractions from Brazil (including Carlinhos Brown, Zezé de Camargo & Luciano, and Margareth Menezes), one US-based band will be chosen to perform — the selection will be determined by popular vote, open to anyone who visits the website. To vote, click here, then click on “CLICK AQUÍ PARA VOTAR” which will take you to a page with a long list of bands. Find your favorite, and cast your vote! (Quite a few of them are bands we represent at Cantaloupe Music Productions!)

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Sarau para Paulo Moura

Posted on July 14, 2010

Cliff Korman, a longtime friend and musical collaborator of Paulo Moura, has shared this recounting of an emotional and beautiful last “sarau” (an informal musical gathering) at the clinic in Rio de Janeiro where Paulo Moura was being treated:

“The sarau at the clinic took place on Saturday (July 10), the last full day in which I can say Paulo was able to enjoy and participate. We brought instruments to a veranda overlooking the the view one finds in Gavea, Saõ Conrado, and Tijuca…hills of stone covered with luscious green of the national park, a stunning blue sky.

A good number of friends and musicians were there, amongst them Daniela Spielmann, Marcello Gonçalves, Paulo’s nephew Gabriel Moura, David Feldman, Humberto Araujo (a wonderful saxophonist, former student of Paulo, and now undersecretary of culture) and Wagner Tiso. We warmed up a bit with a Brazilian and American standards, (Embraceable You, which Paulo and I often included in our duo performances, a tune by Donato, a samba of Noel) as we looked for a common repertoire. Paulo soon came out to long and loving applause. In various and changing formations, we played Tarde de Chuva, Barão de Mesquita, and a few other pieces either by Paulo or associated with him. Wagner Tiso arrived, sat at the keyboard to play.  Paulo picked up his clarinet, adjusted it, wet the reed and blew a few notes to get oriented. Wagner asked him what he would like to play, then suggested Doce de Coco. Paulo nodded his agreement, Wagner started up, and by the time the first phrases were complete, Paulo had gathered his strength and musicality, and played. He joined the melody, improvised… and as we all looked on in amazement, we were joined on the veranda by doctors, while some of the other patients, who couldn’t fit  on the veranda, looked on through open windows, all with “boca aberta.”  When it was over, there were more than a few tears, and waves of applause.

That was his last time with the horn in his hands.”

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A sad farewell to the great Paulo Moura

Posted on July 13, 2010

The legendary instrumentalist/composer/arranger Paulo Moura died last night in Rio de Janeiro after a fight with lymphoma.  He would have been 78 years old on July 14th.

A virtuoso on both saxophone and clarinet, Moura was famous for his versatility, performing virtually all styles of Brazilian music, from choro, samba, jazz and folk, to classical orchestral.

He won a Latin Grammy in 2000 for the best Brazilian roots album and was nominated again in 2004 for best Latin instrumental album.

He was a vital and inspirational presence on the Brazilian music scene for many years.  He will be deeply missed.

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Brazil to play first game of 2010 World Cup on June 15

Posted on May 22, 2010

BRABrazil will play their first game in the 2010 World Cup against Korea on June 15 (televised on ESPN starting at 2 PM Eastern time).

The only country to have taken part in every edition of the FIFA World Cup, Brazil enters with other records in their history:

They are the only country to have won the title five times: amassing a total of 64 victories, 14 draws and 14 defeats in 92 games played.

They are preparing to contest their 19th consecutive FIFA World Cup finals.

Between 15 June 2008 and 11 October 2009, they went 19 games unbeaten.

“We have to learn to live with the favorites’ tag. We mustn’t let it turn into something negative, as it has done in previous years,” said Kaka, following the win over Argentina which clinched qualification.

Brazil is in Group G, which includes Korea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Portugal. Their first match takes place in on June 15 against Korea at 2:30 PM (Eastern time). Television coverage will be by ESPN starting at 2:00 PM

More at the official FIFA home page and on the Brazilian team profile

For Brazilians, soccer is part of their sense of national identity, and they celebrate their players, the team, and every game. Music is often a part of the festivities, and the New York area is proud to be home for some of the best Brazilian musicians outside of Brazil!

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Dona Ivone Lara to release her first DVD, “Canto de Rainha”

Posted on February 2, 2010

DonaIvoneLaraNovaThe great samba composer/singer Dona Ivone Lara, just recovered from a fall in which she broke her leg, will release her first DVD, “Canto da Rainha” with a series of performances starting in March. For those who read Portuguese, there is a wonderful interview with her on Bafafá Online. She talks about writing her first samba at age 12, gives her opinions about today’s sambas de enredo, and cites some of her favorite inspirations: Candeia, Cartola, and Paulinho da Viola.

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“Choro For Haiti” at Zinc Bar, Monday, January 25 at 9 PM

Posted on January 21, 2010

Members of the Brazilian instrumental group, Choro Ensemble, will perform a one-hour set at Zinc Bar New York, with all proceeds to benefit the American Red Cross disaster relief for the people of Haiti. Donation at the door is $10 (larger donations are welcomed). The performance features Anat Cohen on clarinet, Carlos Almeida on 7-string guitar, Dionísio Santos on cavaquinho, and Zé Mauricio on percussion. Zinc Bar is at 82 West 3rd Street (between Thompson & Sullivan), Greenwich Village, New York NY 10012. Tel. 212-477-9462.

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Rio artist Vitorino selected for the 2010 Austin “Carnaval Brasileiro” poster

Posted on January 13, 2010

CarnavalPosterSmallerMike Quinn, producer of the huge (and hugely popular) Austin carnaval celebration, has promoted the event with a colorful poster each year for its 32 (yes, 32!) years. For this year, he recounts:

“I can’t go to Rio without at least one visit to the fabled Feira Hippie that takes place every Sunday in Ipanema’s Praça Osário. This arts and crafts fair, which started “back in the day,” also features dozens of painters, some true artists, some hacks, gathered at the center of the feira displaying their works.

One of them is a fellow named Sebastião Vitorino Nunes, known as Vitorino. I met Vitorino back in 1999 when I bought a very large piece of his, maybe four feet by three feet. It is his version of the samba school Mangueira whose colors are green and pink. His style consists of repeating a handful of silhouetted figures in row after row, graduating from small to smaller from bottom to top. In the Mangueira painting, the figures, about a third of whom are playing drums, are in straight lines, and rendered almost like gingerbread men, as is his style, in silhouette. They are against a shocking green background, wearing dark green shirts and pink trousers. There are at least 150 figures in the painting.

I resolved then to somehow get Vitorino to create a poster for Austin Carnaval. I’ve only used two Brazilian artists in the past, the legendary Rede in 1985, and the master of xilogravura (wood block printing) from Pernambuco, Jota Borges, in 1994, and wanted to have another Brazilian-created work in the gallery of our posters. I discussed this with his wife at one point in 2000 or 2001, but, owing to the distance involved, and the fact that I had no way to look at proofs other than snail mail, I was dissuaded from pursuing this course.

Fast forward to 2009. On my recent visit to the cidade maravilhosa, I went to the feira twice. My first dip into that mayhem found Vitorino to be absent. Was he sick? Dead? Asleep? (His wife had told me on another trip that he tends to paint all night and sleep all day.) But interestingly, I saw more than a handful of what I’d call Vitorino imitators. Seems his style has caught on, and several painters were displaying inferior renditions of the Vitorino cookie-cutter technique.

But on my second trip to the feira, I was delighted to find his wife, showing new works exhibiting his familiar style, but imbued with more colors than his paintings I’d seen previously. I immediately saw one I thought would work as a Carnaval poster. This time the figures represented female dancers, male drummers, male dancers. The work exploded with color, energy and Carnaval. I had to have it. We started negotiating and finally agreed on a price. She wrapped it up. It was canvas secured to wooden stretchers, so I carefully packaged it to carry on the plane beside me. No way I was going to check that precious parcel.

So, I finally have a Vitorino poster. To preserve the integrity and vibrancy of the original colors, we chose to print it with two additional colors instead of the traditional 4-color offset process. It has been worth the wait and the expense. The poster is amazing, and I’m happy to have another Brazilian represented in our collection, and certainly a true work of art. Thanks, Vitorino!”

The poster is for sale on Austin Carnaval’s website, and the website is full of information about the event, which will take place this year on February 20 at the Palmer Events Center, and features our own fabulous carnaval musicians, “Beleza Brazil,” for the 8th consecutive year.

Feliz Carnaval!

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New Year’s Eve (“Reveillon”) Rio de Janeiro

Posted on December 30, 2009

New Year’s Eve is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most important celebrations, second only to Carnival in popularity. It attracts people from all over the world, and Brazilians from all states.

The festivities are concentrated in Copacabana, with 2 million people every year. There are four stages along the beach with live music shows starting at 8 p.m. featuring everything from traditional Carnival songs to rock and dance.

The fireworks festival starts at midnight, with fireworks stations located in boats anchored offshort from the beach. It lasts about 15-20 minutes, and two highlights are the fireworks cascades at Forte de Copacabana and at Le Meridien Hotel.

It is traditional to wear white, and many people bring flowers to throw them in the ocean before midnight as an offering to Yemanja, the deity of the seas. If you bring a bottle of champagne and shake it so it sprays around when you open it, it’s considered good luck. You may also be blessed by a Candomble priestess, and enjoy the traditional African dances and costumes.

Reveillon is a party where there are no class distinctions — you’ll run into socialites, working class people, transvestites, children, seniors, couples, teenagers — it’s a time for everyone to mingle in peace to welcome the new year.

Here’s a video to give you a taste of Reveillon in Rio.  Feliz Ano Novo!

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