Music

Magic of choro

Duo Violão Brasil musically connect Taos to Brazil for one night only

By Ariana Kramer
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 10/10/18

Duo Violão Brasil -- Rogerio Souza and Edinho Gerber -- are touring in the United States from their home in Rio de Janeiro. The guitar duo joins up with percussionist Ami …

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Music

Magic of choro

Duo Violão Brasil musically connect Taos to Brazil for one night only

Posted

Duo Violão Brasil -- Rogerio Souza and Edinho Gerber -- are touring in the United States from their home in Rio de Janeiro. The guitar duo joins up with percussionist Ami Molinelli from the San Francisco Bay Area for a special concert featuring works by composers Baden Powell, Pixinguinha, Radames Gnattali and originals by Rogerio Souza. Their performance is a presentation of the Brazilian musical form of choro.

Souza, Gerber and Molinelli present "A História de Choro" Thursday (Oct. 11), 7 p.m., at the Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux Street.

"Choro music is the traditional, authentic Brazilian music," Gerber said. He explained it is similar to ragtime in that it developed out of "influences of Irish and European dance music and African rhythms and Latin indigenous musical flavors."

"Choro is the precursor to other Brazilian music - samba and other styles," added Gerber.

Gerber was raised in the United States and Brazil and is fluid in the musical styles of both countries whether it is choro, jazz, samba or the blues. Gerber was based in Chicago for many years and was a sought after musician who played with many U.S.-based Brazilian groups. He has performed in festivals and concerts in the U.S., Russia and Japan.

Gerber met Rogerio Souza through a mutual friend in Chicago. For the last five and a half years Gerber has been living in Rio de Janeiro, which is also where Souza resides. The two musicians started to play together as Duo Violão Brasil to explore their love of the Brazilian guitar, or violão. They play both the usual six-string guitar and the less common Brazilian seven-string guitar, which is used in choro and samba music. The seventh string extends the bass range of the instrument.

Souza is a pioneer in developing "choro novo," a style that embraces new interpretations of traditional Brazilian music. Souza regularly performs in music festivals, concerts and workshops throughout Latin America, Europe, the United States and Asia. He has worked as musical director and producer for concerts, television, CDs and DVDs.

"The guitar is kind of like the national instrument of Brazil," said Gerber. "Everyone plays a little bit of guitar. You have a plethora of really great guitar players in Brazil. It's a complete instrument - it can be really rhythmic and melodic. It can be an accompanist (instrument), or it can be a soloist. There's a lot of versatility within the instrument, so when there's two of them together, you can really have a pretty full sound."

Molinelli is a professional musician and educator who specializes in Brazilian and Latin percussion. Her curriculum has been used by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The San Francisco Jazz Center, Los Angeles Music Center, California Brazil Camp, Jazz Camp West and many others. She also co-leads a Brazilian band that has been around for 15 years called Grupo Falso Baiano. The group has been featured on National Public Radio's California Report, Radio Latina and Pandora LIVE!

Molinelli met Souza through a Brazilian music camp for adults in the San Francisco area. Souza was teaching at the camp, and Molinelli was involved with the camp through her band. Molinelli said that Souza and Gerber have now been coming to the U.S. twice a year, and they have had a few previous opportunities to play together as a trio.

For the Taos show, Molinelli will be playing an instrument that looks like a tambourine - a frame drum with jingles - that she can use to make many different tones. She will also play a few auxiliary percussion instruments. The concert repertoire will take a look at choro throughout its early, middle and modern history. This will be the first time that Molinelli, Gerber and Souza have performed in Taos.

Molinelli is married to jazz drummer Lorca Hart. She said it is because of Hart's Taos connection - he grew up here - that she and Duo Violão Brasil will be coming to Taos to perform.

Tickets are $15, $12 for museum members. To purchase tickets or for more information call the Harwood at (575) 758-9826.

For more on the artists, visit duoviolaobrasil.com and amimo.com.

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