Brazilian Music Get Together: Revisiting Black Orpheus – Orfeu Negro 1959

Orfeu Negro – Black Orpheus is one the most influential films related to Brazil by the French director Marcel Camus. The main actors were Marpessa Dawn and Breno Mello. The film is based on the original play Orfeu da Conceição by Brazilian poet, diplomat and singer, Vinicius de Moraes. Orfeu is an adaptation of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice and this time set in a favela, shantytown in Rio de Janeiro during the carnaval festivities. The film, made in 1959 as co-production of Brazil, France, and Italy became an international success winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1959, the 1960 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 1960 the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film and the 1961 British Academy Film Awards. The film inspired people, artists, and musicians the world over. The fine artists Jean Michel Basquiat mentions the music of Black Orpheus to have been one his first musical influences. It was Barack Obama’s mother’s favorite film. The soundtrack of the film and some of it’s themes were recorded by numerous musicians and singers like Vince Guaraldi, Paco de Lucia, Al Di Meola & John McLaughlin, Astrud Gilbeto, Bola Sete, João Gilberto, Gal Costa to name a few.

The actors:

Marpessa Dawn was not from Brazil, but Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.[5]

Breno Mello was a soccer player with no acting experience at the time he was cast as Orfeu. It is said that Breno Mello was walking on the street in Rio de Janeiro, when director Marcel Camus stopped him and asked if he would like to be in a film.

Da Silva, the actor who played Death, was a triple jumper who won two Olympic gold medals, in 1952 and 1956.[8]

A young boy who dances across the screen playing pandeiro (tambourine) and flying a kite grew up to win a national pandeiro-playing contest and play his instrument around the world. Currently, Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro teaches in Los Angeles and performs with local Brazilian groups.

The soundtrack became an enormous success; it was the beginning of the Bossa Nova movement in Brazil and the world. Two young Brazilian composers wrote the music, Antonio Carlos Jobim also known as Tom Jobim whose song “A Felicidade” opens the film and Luiz Bonfá whose “Manhã de Carnaval” and “Samba de Orfeu” have become Bossa Nova classics. The songs sung by the character Orfeu were dubbed by singer Agostinho dos Santos and the female voice by Elizeth Cardoso.

It is interesting to note that it was Elizeth Cardoso who recorded the first Bossa Nova album titled “Canção do Amor Demais” released in Brazil in 1958.

Orfeu da Conceição the play by Vinicius de Moraes premiered in Rio de Janeiro in 1956 and it became the basis for the film and the musical Orfeu presented on Broadway.

Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim was born in Rio de Janeiro on January 25, 1927. Tom Jobim was a pianist, songwriter, arranger, and singer. Widely considered as one of the great exponents of Brazilian music, Jobim is the artist who internationalized Bossa Nova and, with notable American artists, he merged Bossa Nova with jazz to standardize in the 1960s a new sound whose popular success was very remarkable. Jobim is widely considered one of the great composers of popular music of the twentieth century.

He was a primary force behind the creation of the Bossa Nova style, and his songs have been performed by many singers and musicians within Brazil and internationally.

Jobim became prominent in Brazil when he joined forces with poet and diplomat Vinicius de Moraes to write the music for the play Orfeu da Conceição in 1956. The most popular song from the show was “Se Todos Fossem Iguais A Você” (“If Everyone Were Like You”). Later, when the play was turned into the film: Black Orpheus”, producer Sacha Gordine did not want to use any of the existing music from the play. Gordine asked Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim for a new score for the film. Vinicius Moraes was at the time away in Montevideo, Uruguay, working for the Itamaraty (Ministry of Foreign Relations of Brazil) and so he and Jobim were only able to write three songs, primarily over the telephone – songs such as “A Felicidade”, “Frevo” and “O Nosso Amor.” This musical partnership became very successful.

One of their most famous compositions is “The Girl from Ipanema.” Jobim’s compositions have been recorded by legendary singers and musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Toots Thielemans to name a few.

Jobim was an innovator in the use of sophisticated harmonic structures, simple beautiful melodies in popular song.

Vinicius de Moraes, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1913, was known as “poetinha” – a term of endearment meaning the little poet. Vinicius’ venture into writing started in the 30’s when he wrote two poetry collections, “Caminho Para a Distancia (“Path into Distance”) (1933) and Forma e Exegese (“Form and Exegesis”). In 1943 Vinicius de Moraes entered the Brazilian Foreign Service working at the Brazilian Consulate in Los Angeles. He continued writing and releasing several books, such as Caminho Para a Distancia (“Path into Distance”) (1933) and Forma e Exegese (“Form and Exegesis”). As a diplomat, he also served in Paris and in Rome. In the 50’s Vinicius de Moraes wrote film reviews for the newspaper “A Última Hora.” In 1956 he returned to Paris as a diplomat and co-wrote his first samba “Quando tu passas por mim” (“When You Go By Me”) with Antonio Maria, a writer, chronicler and radio personality.

In 1956 Vinicius de Moraes met pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim and started writing songs that later became known as Bossa Nova. In 1958 singer Elizeth Cardoso records the album “Canção do Amor Demais” with several compositions by Vinicius and Tom. Many consider it to be the first Bossa Nova album. Songs by Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim were all-time hits recorded by numerous singers and musicians worldwide such as “Garota de Ipanema” (The Girl From Ipanema).

 

Luiz Bonfá was born on October 17, 1922, in Rio de Janeiro. Bonfá studied in Rio with Uruguayan classical guitarist Isaías Sávio from the age of 11.

Bonfá first gained widespread exposure in Brazil in 1947 when he was featured on Rio’s Radio Nacional then an important showcase for up-and-coming talent. He was a member of the vocal group Quitandinha Serenaders in the late 1940s. Some of his first compositions such as “Ranchinho de Palha”, “O Vento Não Sabe”, were recorded and performed by the Brazilian famed crooner Dick Farney in the 1950s. Bonfá’s first hit song was “De Cigarro em Cigarro” recorded by singer Nora Ney in 1957. It was through Farney that Bonfá was introduced to Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. Bonfá collaborated with Tom and Vinicius and with other prominent Brazilian musicians and artists in productions of the anthological play Orfeu da Conceição.

In the burgeoning days of Rio de Janeiro’s thriving jazz scene, it was commonplace for musicians, artists, and dramatists to collaborate in such theatrical presentations. Bonfá wrote some of the original music featured in the film, Black Orpheus including the numbers “Samba de Orfeu” and his most famous composition, “Manhã de Carnaval.”” which has been among the top ten standards played worldwide, according to The Guinness Book of World Records.

As a composer and performer, Bonfá was at heart an exponent of the bold, lyrical, lushly orchestrated, and emotionally charged samba-canção that predated the arrival of João Gilberto. Samba-canção influenced the development of Bossa Nova.

With the success of Black Orpheus, Luiz Bonfá became a highly visible ambassador of Brazilian music in the United States beginning with the famous November 1962 Bossa Nova concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Bonfá worked with American musicians such as Quincy Jones, George Benson, Stan Getz, Frank Sinatra. Elvis Presley sang a Bonfá composition, “Almost in Love” with lyrics by Randy Starr in the 1968 MGM film “Live a Little, Love a Little.” Also notable is Bonfa’s “The Gentle Rain” and “Sambolero.”

Interesting enough, in 2012 the Belgian born musician Gotye sampled the guitar playing of Luiz Bonfa’s song “Seville” creating the world smash hit “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Featuring vocals by Kimbra. The song sold close to 4.5 million copies. The video of the songs has been seeing by over 900 million people.

Luiz Bonfá was one of the pioneers and creators of Bossa Nova.

 

Brazilian Music Get Together | November 29
Revisiting the soundtrack of the film “Black Orpheus” and the play “Orfeu da Conceição”

 

Program:
Orfeu da Conceição

Overture – uma parte pequena
Se todos fossem iguais a você
Um nome de mulher
Mulher, sempre mulher
Eu e o meu amor
Lamento no morro

 

Orfeu negro – Black Orpheus
Manhã De Carnaval
A Felicidade
Frevo
O Nosso Amor
Samba De Orfeu

 

Musicians:

Paulinho Garcia – guitar and vocal
Mark Isbel – alto and soprano saxes
José Marino – bass
Ana Ribeiro – percussion

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Brazilian Music Get Together | September 21

Revisiting Classic Brazilian Recordings | Os Afro Sambas by Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes

 

Join us for a live performance celebrating the 1966 recording of the album “Afro Sambas” by the guitarist Baden Powell and poet Vinicius de Moraes. This will be a rare opportunity to hear songs such as “Canto De Ossanha, Canto De Iemanjá, and Tempo de Amor, performed live in an intimate setting. This album played a role in bringing about aspects of afro Brazilian culture into Popular Brazilian Music. The two

musicians, brilliantly explored the Afro Brazilian religious music of Candomble, and as a result, made it accessible to the Brazilian mainstream.

 

 

Honoring the work of Adenor Gondim

Adenor started in the art of photography around the age of 20. Among his interests is the interrelationship between photography and people’s way of being, of recording what he sees, especially the cultural manifestations of the Bahian people. He did extensive work on the city of Cachoeira / BA, focusing mainly on the festive-religious manifestations linked to the”Irmandade da Boa Morte.” He participated in the exhibition Black memories, memories of blacks, realized by SESI-SP (Social Service of the Industry) and already exhibited in the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology, Oxford (England). It is part of the long-lived collection of the Afro Brasil Museum (São Paulo).

 

 

Photography Exhibit | Irmandade da Boa Morte

Also on that evening an exhibit by the renown photographer Adenor Gondim. This exhibit focusses on “Irmandade da Boa Morte” of the State of Bahia, Northern Brazil. Irmandade da Boa Morte was founded in 1821 has as its goal the preservation of Afro-Brazilian traditions

 

September 21st, 2017
Brazilian Music Get Together
Hosted by: The Brazilian Consulate Los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Sector
Location: 8484 Wilshire Blvd. 3rd floor, Suite 300, Beverly Hills, CA. 90211
Photo Exhibit opens at 6:30PM, Music performance begins at 7:00PM

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Brazilian Music Get Together | Fabiano do Nascimento (guitar/violão) and Sam Gendell (saxophone) | June 22 at 7pm

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Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1983, Fabiano do Nascimento studied classical piano and music theory as a young boy. From the time he played his first notes on the guitar at age twelve, he devoted himself to that instrument. Fabiano was born into a musical family, a lineage that goes back to his great-grand-father “Ladario Teixeira”. Who was a Blind virtuoso saxophone player, who contributed to the creation of the instrument itself, re-inventing the saxophone, adding more keys to the older “Aldolph Sax” version of the saxophone. More about Ladario Teixeira can be found in the encyclopedia BARSA. Fabiano Studied with Dalmo Motta at the Conservatorio de Musica Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro, and with his Uncle, the Late Lucio Nascimento in his early teenage years.

Always fascinated by Brazilian music and American jazz. Self-taught, through intense research and practice, developed exceptional skill. In 2000, Fabiano left Brazil for California, Los Angeles, where he soon became in demand for his authentic sound. Connected early with the Woodwind player Pablo Calogero, and Percussionist Tiki Passillas, forming “Triorganico”. Brazilian flavored, Latin Jazz trio, recording their first album Triorganico – Convivencia under the Label of “Stonesthrow and Now-Again”. Also recorded and worked with many artists including Airto Moreira, Mia Doi Todd, Aloe Blacc, Sumiko Fukatsu, Ted Falcon, Arthur Verocai, Draco Rosa, Justo Almario, Ronaldo Freitas (Carioca), Pablo Fagundes, Sam Gendel, and many more…

Fabiano’s latest works is his Duo Album “SUL” with young brilliant Saxophonist Sam Gendel and with Singer songwritter Mia Doi Todd on her new Brazilian album “Floresta” and now a brand new release through Now Again records titled “Dança dos Tempos” featuring legendary Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira.

Address: 8484 Wilshire Blvd. #300, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Time: 7PM – 8:30PM
THE EVENT IS AT CAPACITY. PLEASE SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL LIST TO LEARN ABOUT OUR UPCOMING SAMBA CENTENNIAL!


Sambadá | June 10th at LACMA!

Part of the Latin Sounds series

Based on the rich musical traditions of Brazil, SambaDá also references salsa and cumbia, and blends them playfully with funk and reggae beats. Brazilian natives Papiba Godinho and Dandha da Hora bring profound knowledge and respect for Brazilian music, and together with the entire band, they present a unique musical sound with a universal appeal.

LACMA | Hancock Park
Free and open to the public
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This concert is supported in part by the Consulate-General of Brazil in Los Angeles with additional support from the Brazilian Hour Radio. In-kind media support is provided by KJAZZ 88.1.