Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Choro Day - Dia do Nacional do Choro

In September 2000, president Fernando Henrique Carsoso signed an official document to announce 23 April the National Day of Choro in Brazil in honor of Alfredo da Rocha Vianna Filho, Pixinguinha, who was born 23 April 1897. Every year since then choro has been celebrated officially on the 23th of April through countless events in Brazil and around the world where Brasilian culture is a part of the local community. Let's follow this tradition and celebrate the day by playing some choro music. - I insert three video performances below to relive the spirit of Pixinguinha and his musical legacy to the world.

At a private roda de chora Conjunto Som Brasileiro performs "Naquele Tempo"

From at concert in Rio de Janeiro here is a performance of Pixinguinha's "Cochichando" featuring David Ganc & Márío Sève on tenor and alto saxophone

Finally, from another live concert, Alessandro Penezzi (g) & Sérgio Napoleão Belluco (fl) with members of Conjunto Som Brasileiro perform "Um a Zero"


Friday, April 18, 2008

Young Talent - Nicolas Silva

During the 1950s and early 1960s choro was out of vogue in Brazil, this kind of music was considered old people's music not worth giving exposure in radio and TV or being promoted by the big record companies. Only a handful of well known choro artists - like Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim, Waldir Azevedo, Abel Ferrari to name a few - still had work, but were often forced to share their talents in musical contexts outside choro to survive. However, things luckily changed during the revival of choro during the mid-1970s, and today choro seems to be as strong as ever, both in the public opinion and among musicians devoting their talents to this great music tradition of Brazil. New talents are surfaced every now and then, last night I was lucky to spot one of them on YouTube, the 10 years old Nicolas Silva - an accomplished young master of the violão. The only technical problem Nicolas seems to meet is the full size of the instrument he is using in performance, anyway, he has his time ahead and the whole world on a string, I hope. - Enjoy Nicolas Silva in three video performances of well known choro tunes.
From a concert performance Nicolas Silva plays "Brejeiro" by E. Nazareth

From the same live concert Nicolas Silva performs "Tico tico no fubá" by Abreu

The last performance by Nicolas Silva inserted here is a rendition of Pixinguinha's "Carinoso" - remember to celebrate choro day on April 23th!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Choro Guitar Books

Some time ago I promissed to search the field of published choro music for guitar/violão, the following items mentioned below, however, are just a small selection of what has been issued recently and is still available for purchase from the publishers.

If the guitar choro playing is new to you, the shown book by Carlos Almada may be a good way to get started. As the title states, it contains 13 exercises of choro pieces arranged for solo guitar/violão. From the publisher's notes: "It has 13 studies (in the 13 more commonly used keys for the choro guitar) written in a reduced form and in the principal stylistic choro variants: besides real choros, there are polkas, maxixes, Brazilian tangos and xotis. The more used and characteristic rhythmical figurations are present in each of the studies as the principal. Also aiming at the simplification of execution, all studies were composed with only two voices (melody and bass) and with no chords (although harmonies are quite evident due to the choro melodic particularities). A CD with all 13 studies is included." Click on picture to learn more about the contents.

To expand your knowledge of the roots of the Brasilian guitar styles besides choro the shown anthology by Henrique Medeiros & Carlos Almade may be of interest. From the publisher's notes: "The main goal of this anthology for solo guitar is to put several styles together--the lundu, the polca, the maxixe, the valsinha, the quadrilha, the choro, the xótis, and the samba--to display the Brazilian musical scenery (especially from the city of Rio de Janeiro) of the last half of the 19th century and first years of the 20th century. The five composers chosen for inclusion are among the most important of that period: Francesco Manuel de Silva, Chiquinha Gonzaga, Joaquim Callado, Patápio Silva, and Anacleto de Medeiros. All twelve of the selections appear here in notation and tablature." More info, click on picture.

Duda Anizio and Nelson Caiado, two highly accomplished classical guitarists, have recorded a cd exclusively featuring compositions by Sérgio da Pinna, professor of the violão and father of Marco da Pinna. According to available info, "Sérgio de Pinna continues a tradition of brazilian classical guitar school descending directly from João Pernambuco and Dilermando Reis. His compositions are a combination of melodic simplicity and harmonic surprises." The music has been transcribed and is available in a seperate book, learn more by clicking the picture above.

Guitarists interested in playing the challenging arrangements of pieces recorded by the renown master of the violão, Raphael Rabello, may find inspiration in the shown book by Fernando Presta. The book has 11 arrangements included of the tunes "André de sapato novo", "Anos dourados", "O bem e o mal", "Conversa de botequim", "Dindi", "Luiza", "Modinha", "Samba do avião", "Samba de verão", "Samurai" & "Todo sentimento" - arrangements written in music and tablature for solo guitar/violão. Click picture to learn more.

You cannot dig into the Brasilian tradition of the solo violão without having knowledge of the compositions by Garoto. Paulo Bellinati's transcriptions of the guitar works by Garoto in two volumes are indispensable, if you'll try to master Garoto's compositions. The books are still available and so is the cd recorded by Paulo Bellinati of Garoto's guitar works.

These few items mentioned above are just an appetizer for guitarists interested in getting started with a challenging study of the Brasilian choro guitar.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Marco de Pinna - Ginga de um Bandolim

Master of the bandolim and tenor-guitar, Marco de Pinna was one of the founders of the group "Nó em Pingo D'água" in 1977. He recorded his first LP in 1985 which featured guest appearances by Radamés Gnattali and Orlando Silveira.
Since 1997, Marco has been teaching in the Brazilian music course "California Brazil Summer Camp", in San Francisco (USA). In 1999 he participated in the CD "Velha Guarda da Mangueira", indicated for the Grammy 2000 Premium, and in the soundtrack to director Zelito Viana's film "Villa Lobos: A Life of Passion".
Marco de Pinna has performed with numerous stars of MPB and since 2000 he has been a member of the group Feitio de Oração that specializes in a repertoire of samba and choro, performing both in Brazil and abroad. Learn more about Feitio de Oração from their official website, to be reached clicking here
More about Marco de Pinna at MusicExpress, including free downloads of music in mp3, click here
Several videos featuring Marco da Pinna are uploaded at You Tube, click here
I insert a performance of 'Ginga de um Bandolim' below