An Evening in Rio with the Best of Brazil

Honoring Antônio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto and Stan Getz
The Newman Center for the Performing Arts at DU, September 15th, 2022 – 7:30 pm ~

By Miriam Singer ~

The September concert at The Newman Center is not the first time Singer & Simpson Productions is doing a tribute to the great Brazilian composer Antônio Carlos Jobim. The last time was in 2014, in Whitefish and Bigfork, Montana and at Jazz Alley in Seattle. People said those concerts were the best we ever produced. And there were some great concerts over the years including Herb Alpert, Peter Nero, Michel Legrand and Judy Collins. John Simpson wanted to do Brazilian music again because he appreciated the mastery of these musicians and the importance of bringing them to you. Sadly, John passed away in May. This concert’s for you, John. Your great spirit and vision of world-class music survive. Your love made it happen!

Bossa Nova can be thrilling when it is performed by musicians like the ones coming to Grand Junction. But what is Bossa Nova? And who are these artists?

Beautiful Brazilian finger picking guitar is at the center of Bossa Nova. Grammy-winning guitarist Romero Lubambo tours regularly with Dianne Reeves. Flutist Herbie Mann said, “Romero is the best Brazilian guitarist there is.”

Legendary tenor saxophonist Harry Allen’s style is big and warm, and inclined to swing, like Stan Getz. Guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli said, “Harry Allen’s playing is nothing less than perfect.”

The alluring Brazilian singer Maucha Adnet performed with Antônio Carlos Jobim.

Pianist Helio Alves was featured on the 1996 Grammy-winning recording “Joe Henderson’s Big Band.” In 2003, he was the pianist on cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s Grammy-winning releases.

Bassist Nilson Matta performed with João Gilberto and Luiz Bonfá. Matta also worked with Yo-Yo Ma who said, “Nilson is a virtuoso bass player.”

Drummer Duduka da Fonseca accompanied Antônio Carlos Jobim who said, “Duduka is a fantastic drummer…I love the way he plays.” 

Samba, with its African origins, is the sound and dance rhythm of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. When you grow up in Brazil samba rhythms are in your blood. 

In the 50s, many of Brazil’s youth were listening to jazz records coming from the US. And something deep and wonderful was stirring as jazz began to flirt with samba.

A few creative Brazilian musicians, moved by the sophistication of American jazz, began to elevate their art to add rich harmonies and lyricism building on the samba and changing it. The artist who worked relentlessly at coaxing the samba rhythms to match the sound he heard in his head was guitarist and singer João Gilberto. 

The name Antônio Carlos Jobim has come to symbolize Brazil to the rest of the world. Like George Gershwin, Jobim contributed an extensive repertoire of beautiful songs to the jazz repertoire. He heard what João Gilberto felt and had the gift to put it in the songs he wrote like “Chega de Saudade” (No More Blues) and “Desafinado” (Out of Tune). They called this new music Bossa Nova (New Wave).

With Luiz Bonfá, Jobim composed the music for the 1959 movie “Black Orpheus” based on a play by poet Vinícius de Moraes who wrote the lyrics for many of Bossa Nova’s best songs. The movie won the 1960 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and includes the beautiful theme song by Luiz Bonfá “Manha da Carnival” (“A Day in the Life of a Fool.”)

One can only imagine how excited American saxophone legend Stan Getz felt when he fell in love with the gentle sophisticated sound he heard coming from Brazil. 

The 1964 Album “Getz/Gilberto” with João Gilberto on guitar, composer Antônio Carlos Jobim on piano, Stan Getz on tenor saxophone and singer Astrud Gilberto was nominated for seven Grammys and won four including the 1965 Grammy for Record of the Year for “The Girl from Ipanema,” one of the most popular songs in history.

The sextet coming to The Newman Center for the Performing Arts is modeled on the band on that recording.

Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta and Duduka da Fonseca are part of the Brazilian supergroup Trio da Paz. Helio Alves, Nilson Matta and Duduka da Fonseca make up The Brazilian Trio. 

Tickets for An Evening in Rio on September 15th can be purchased at The Newman Center for the Performing Arts Box Office 303-871-7720 or NewmanTix.com.

We are also producing the concert in Grand Junction on September 14th at The Historic Avalon Theatre on Main Street. Tickets are available at their Box Office 970-263-5757 or TicketMaster.com.

Brought to you by Singer & Simpson Productions – SingerandSimpson.com

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