Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Meu Brasil brasileiro

Trio Bruxo grew out of a love for Brazilian music, a passion I've been nurturing since 2005 (and which I've written about previously in this space). Modelled after the great Brazilian piano trios of the 1960s and 1970s, such as Zimbo Trio, Tamba Trio, Milton Banana Trio and Azymuth, it's been the vehicle of my exploration of what is loosely lumped under the term música popular brasileira (MPB), as well as lesser-known tunes from the samba and bossa nova songbook, Hermeto Pascoal's music, and forró. Befriending younger Brazilian musicians and Brazilian music fans in Montreal, as well as scouring the old intertubes, I got turned onto the music coming out of Brazil now - from the electro-samba of Domenico + Kassin and Céu to the hip-hop and R&B influenced Curumin and Ed Motta, to the brilliant amount of rock music coming out of Recife and other northeastern regions.

I was deeply inspired by the mix of electronics with traditional rhythms and the harmonic language I love from jazz and R&B. Working with producer heliponto at the 2007 RBMA, we created a track, "Algodão doce," that appeared on her album Eletronia. It was my attempt at a Milton Nascimento out-take, underpinned by heliponto's house beats and fly-by samples. At the time, we talked about pursuing that direction further - after all, traditional samba and house are both "four-on-the-floor." The idea of having a batucada of drum machines seemed intriguing, too.

After getting immersed in the Brazilian scene here in Montreal, specifically at Bobards' Brazilian Sundays, Rômmel Ribeiro and I started talking about all the fantastic music coming out of Brazil that nobody really knows about in Canada. We also talked about the spirit of collaboration on those legendary records of the 1970s - Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, Elis Regina and Zimbo Trio, Caetano and Banda Black Rio.

Thanks to l'Office Québec-Amériques pour la jeunesse, all these projects will be realized. As part of their Portfolio programme, Trio Bruxo will be travelling to São Paulo in September 2010. We will be finishing up an EP with heliponto for release on her label Tupy Brasil, as well as working with Liliane Braga and the Centro Cultural Rio Verde in Vila Madalena, among other partners, to create an artists' network between Montreal and São Paulo. The idea is to create a base of contacts, from musicians to venues, managers to festivals, to share with like-minded musicians in both cities to create year-round opportunities for performance.

Our first fundraiser will be this Sunday, March 28, 2010 at Bobards (4328 St-Laurent). All proceeds will be put towards our travel costs to make this trip happen. It also marks our debut in the Brazilian Sundays series. This is a real honour for me, as much of what I know about Brazilian music I have learned through the friendships made at Bobards. With your attendance and support, we hope to become part of the regular rotation of bands at the Brazilian Sundays (which have been running for over a decade now).

We sincerely hope to see you there. Trio Bruxo is: yours truly - keyboards/melodica/vocals; Nicolas Bédard - electric bass; Mark Nelson - drums/percussion.

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