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Excellence Concerts Presents: Corcovado Band, “A Touch of Brazil”

April 18, 2010

Excellence in the Community

Corcovado: a mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, meaning “hunchback” in Portuguese, and most famous for the massive Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue which stands about 130 high and is visible from far distances.  It symbolizes joy and salutation for all who participate. What a perfect name choice for the Brazilian band I experienced tonight.  The Corcovado Band magnified a spirit of welcoming all spectators into their Brazilian culture and music.

The Corcovado Band consisted of both highly trained musicians and superb vocal artists.  Every instrument was manipulated to its fullest extent.  I noticed that the beat of the music consisted mostly of a steady upbeat tapping on the drums (mostly symbols), which were played by Renne Antunes.  The piano player; Valdir Antunes, the bass guitarist; Steve Camargo, and the acoustic guitarist; George Edgar Brown, each brought special elements to each of the songs that were played.  The three vocalists all exuded such passion and joy in their performances.  Although I cannot understand a word of Portuguese, these three vocalists did an excellent job of conveying the message of the song with their gestures and facial expressions.  They played off each other and complemented each other, not only in presence, but in harmony.

The music that the Corcovado Band mostly plays is called “Bossa-Nova” which is a Brazilian style of Samba.  Bossa-Nova has influenced many relevant Western jazz and music styles.  It can be recognized by some as “Cool-Jazz.” While I was sitting through this performance I imagined these songs could be on an “Ocean’s Eleven” type of movie’s soundtrack.  This type of music is not what you usually hear on the radio but it is definitely perfect for a night out to a Jazz lounge or a Samba club.  One of my favorite parts of the show was during their number titled, “Berimbau” (meaning, a single-string percussion bow instrument)   which incorporates the practice of the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira. Dell Ragone and George Edgar Brown put down their instruments to demonstrate their skills in capoeira.  It was a very lyrical dance involving lots of kicks and big movements.  Once the song started heating up, an actual performer of capoeira graced the stage and started showing the audience the more advance moves.  It was very mesmerizing and impressive.  I truly feel like I got to step away from my usually cultureless life in Utah, and experience an exceptional Brazilian concert.

Next Show:  Caleb Chapman and the Crescent Super Band.  7:30 p.m.  04.24.2010.  Grand Theatre.  1575 South State Street.  Salt Lake City, Utah.

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