Posts Tagged ‘Douglas Lora’
Douglas Lora and Dudu Maia (whom I have covered previously) were in town, this time at the Caffe Vivaldi and with Douglas’ brother Alexandre playing tambourine. The room was packed, so I only got this one good take out of it. But it’s a sweet one!
Choro is a kind of urban folk music that grew out of a merging of European and Brazilian sensibilities, and it calls on the player to be agile, inventive and swinging. The emphasis on improvisation makes people compare it to jazz, but if one is going to do that, let’s specify that it’s a lot more Django than Miles. It’s accessible music in every way.
Lora is a classically trained and plays a seven string guitar, and Maia also plays an altered instrument, a mandolin (called bandolim, in Brazil) with 10 strings, as opposed to the usual 8. Both are well respected musicians back home, and part of their tours generally consist of choro workshops. They are also part of a full-out band called Caraivana, so look out for that aggregate as well.
This is the follow-up on my last post, concerning a performance of choro music on New York’s lower east side. The “earnest young man” mentioned in that article is Eric Shenkman. At the choro concert, he and guitarist Douglas Lora invited me to another show at The Living Room; this one with Douglas backing up singer Verônica Ferriani. Both gave me glowing reports about this young woman who is part of a new generation of great singers in the tradition of Música Popular Brasileira, or MPB. Based on the quality of Mr. Lora’s last performance (and a gentle email nudge from Eric), I went to check it out.
Ms. Ferriani is a petite woman, but listening to her sing is a very large experience. Her voice is warm, precise and powerful, and she has an impeccable interpretive style. She is on the rise in Brazil — so remember, you saw her here first!
The evening’s repertoire drew from mostly well known sources, Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque, Luis Gonzaga, Tom Jobim, and Milton Nascimento, to name a few. And Ms. Ferriani even ventured into American jazz standard territory. But sticking to the Brazilian side of the program, I’ve chosen two songs: “Canção do Sal,” a soulful work song by Milton Nascimento that I was not familiar with, and the grand chestnut “Manha de Carnaval” also known as the Theme from Black Orpheus. Ms. Ferriani takes on this song that has been sung by just about everyone (No less an icon than Dinah Shore evidently did a cover in Portuguese!) and gives it an authentic and personal reading.
I was also fortunate to get an audio track off the board from the Living Room, as they were taping the show for “The Loft” series on Sirius Satellite radio, so the sound is nice and clean. And if you want to hear the whole show, mark your calendars, ’cause it’s airing Sunday June 5th at 7pm EST, on Sirius XM channel 30, “From the Living Room to the Loft” with encore presentations on following Tuesdays at 12noon, for two weeks.
Contact for Verônica Ferriani: firstname.lastname@example.org
To see an exclusive performance by Douglas and Veronica, go here.
I’ve traveled the world documenting music, but sometimes a chance meeting in my home town of New York City yields treasures. A couple of weeks ago, I was at the club Le Poisson Rouge and I bumped into an earnest young man who said he worked with some really great Brazilian musicians who were coming to town….and did I want to maybe do a shoot? When he said they played choro music, I figured it was worth checking out. Choro is a kind of urban folk music that grew out of a merging of European and Brazilian sensibilities, and it calls on the player to be agile, inventive and swinging. The emphasis on improvisation makes people compare it to jazz, but if one is going to do that, let’s specify that it’s a lot more Django than Miles. It’s accessible music in every way.
The choro was being performed at The Living Room, on the lower east side of Manhattan, a cozy club with two performance spaces. Dudu Maia and Douglas Lora were warming up when I met them. Lora is a classically trained guitarist, who plays a seven string axe, and Maia also plays an altered instrument, a mandolin (called bandolim, in Brazil) with 10 strings, as opposed to the usual 8. Both are well respected musicians back home, and part of their tour consisted of choro workshops. They are also part of a full-out band called Caraivana, but on this tour they were a duo.
The concert was well attended; people just seemed to drift in until the room was full. It was a great way to spend an evening, in a comfortable, intimate space enjoying excellent musicians at work. It’s what I love about New York; yes, the big, well known places may get the big, well known acts, but that doesn’t mean they are better. There are places like the Living Room presenting solid musicians without great fanfare; you just have to make it your business to find out about it. Maia and Lora turned in a stellar set, and at some point they will probably play venues where you have to fork over the big bucks — but that night, it was just about the music.
For more information about Caraivana, Dudu and Douglas, contact Eric Shenkman at email@example.com
Brazilliance Part 2 will cover a performance by singer Veronica Ferriani accompanied by Douglas Lora.