Brazilian Music Friday Feature #39

This is going to be the last Brazilian Music Friday Feature for a while - not that I love Brazilian music any less, or am any less excited about sharing it, but it's starting to feel like an extra thing that I don't have time to seek out or research well enough on an ongoing basis.

I couldn't just quit though, because I have been eagerly waiting to feature music from this new album by Gaia Wilmer, a saxophonist, composer, and arranger from south Brazil, now based in Boston. I discovered her music because my teacher Vitor Gonçalves plays piano on her album, and instantly loved it - her compositions and arrangements are wonderful. This is Helen, an original performed live by the Gaia Wilmer Octet: 

If you're sad that the Friday Features are taking a break, you can still listen to past features! I've collected all of the songs into a playlist here: 

Enjoy the music, and your weekend!

Brazilian Music Friday Feature #38

This week's pick, continuing with my summer theme of featuring women musicians, is another powerful lady of axé (samba reggae), Daniela Mercury. She's a superstar in Brazil and has sold over 20 million records in her 25+ year career. I know this song, Swing da Cor, really well, since I've performed it with Batucada do Norte many times over the years - a classic!

Enjoy the song, and your weekend!

Brazilian Music Friday Feature #37

This week's pick, continuing with my summer theme of featuring women musicians, is Margareth Menezes, from Bahia. Embarrassingly, I didn't know what a legend she was until last summer when I showed up at California Brazil Camp and everyone was talking about taking her class. She's basically the queen of samba reggae! This song, Elegibô, is one of her most famous, and the lyrics make reference to the Afro-Brazilian religion candomblé, which has origins in West Africa. 

Enjoy the song, and your weekend!

Brazilian Music Friday Feature #36

Today's pick is Corta-Jaca, a maxixe written by the composer and pianist Chiquinha Gonzaga in 1895, and sung by Lysia Condé in this more modernized version. The maxixe (sometimes called Brazilian tango) was a dance that came from the Afro-Brazilianization of the polka after Europeans brought it to Brazil, and which eventually evolved into samba. Chiquinha Gonzaga wrote in many styles, and was also Brazil's first woman conductor of an orchestra, breaking many gender barriers at the time - an awesome lady! 

Below is a more traditional, instrumental version of Corta-Jaca, a recording from the early 20th century.

Enjoy the song, and your weekend!