Friday, December 05, 2008

Yamandú Costa - Wizard of The Violão de 7 Cordas

One of the highlights in Mika Kaurismäki's 2005 documentary film on choro in Rio, 'Brasileirinho', is the scene with Yamandú Costa playing Pixinguinha's 'Carinhoso' alone on stage fronting an audience of hundreds of people spellbound by Yamandú's engaging stage appearance and little by little joining in singing Braguinha's lyrics and thus making the performance a mutual experience - a true spiritual community tied together by the magic of Yamandú's guitar, exposing the soul of choro to the spectator of the film.

Yamandú's stage appearance is pure magic , a spontaneous explosion of aristic vitality that is not often seen in entertainment nowadays where every step and lift of an eybrow by the performer on stage seems to be studied in advance and a conscientious gimmick applied to gain the wanted success. Not the issue regarding Yamandú - the magic is a natural effect of the simple fact that he is an authentic artist, not just another pretender. This does not mean, however, that Yamandú does not do work-out to gain success during performance, of course he does - but his stage appearance comes naturally from the heart and soul of a true artist, I'm convinced.

Yamandú Costa (b.1980) is from Passo Fundo in the Southern part of Brazil and he started to study the violão at seven years of age with his father, Algacir Costa, leader of the group Os Fronteiriços, and he mastered the instrument after studying under Lúcio Yanel, an Argentine virtuoso rooted in Brazil. At fifteen he studied the folk music of Southern Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. After hearing Radamés Gnattali, he began to study the music of other Brazilians, such as Baden Powell de Aquino, Tom Jobim and Raphael Rabello. At seventeen he played in São Paulo for the first time and he was soon to be recognized as the musician to revive Brazilian guitar music. At that time Yamandú had decided to make the violão de 7 cordas his main instrument, and he has since evolved as a true virtosic master of this Brazilian instrument, both as a soloist and as an accompanist. He has performed together with the cream of Brazilian MPB artists, leads his own trio and has toured worldwide besides recording, composing and arranging. Learn more about his career from the official website, click here

The shown cd by Yamandú Costa,'Mafuá', has been released recently by the German label Acoustic Music and this is the first cd fully devoted to Yamandú's skills as a composer and soloist. The cd has 13 tracks of music composed, arranged and played by Yamandú on the violão de 7 cordas, a tour-de-force exposing his virtuosic skills as a performer of different styles, but all with a touch of genius that is his very own. You can hear elements of choro, samba, bossa and Argentine roots music mixed with inspiration from Bach and even the flamenco tradition. The title tune, 'Mafuá' (- meaning 'shambles' in English), is a choro that shows off Yamadú's mastering of the genre in a convincing and engaging performance of the tune. Other titles, like i.e. 'El negro del blanco' mixes elements of Argentine roots music (chammamé and milonga) with Brazilian elements applying a breathtaking technique that borrows from both flamenco and gaucho tradition, also present in the last track on the cd, 'Tipo bicho'. Tunes like 'Samba pro Rafa' and 'Bostempornea' pay tribute to the inspiration from Raphael Rabello and Baden Powell, and you'll probably detect other influences as well when listening to the cd. Do not hesitate to get a copy of this fabulous album, which may rank as the record of the year 2008, if you like high quality guitar music. Definitely recommended! - Learn more about tracklist and listen to audioclips clicking here

YouTube has several upoloaded videos featuring Yamandú Costa, I found a lengthy excerpt of a recorded live-performance in Tel Aviv, Israel, from November this year. Yamandú plays three tunes, the first is a part of 'Bachbaridade', the next is the title tune of the mentioned cd, 'Mafuá' and finally you'll have a rendition of Nazareth's 'Breijeiro' - enjoy Yamandú in action!


This blogpost will be the last on a regular weekly basis in 2008, from 2009 I've decided to post only once in a while.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jo for all those weekly surprises - I'm sure everybody understands that laying an egg each week is a hard job even for a chicken .......
Of course I hope that once in a while will be at least every two weeks :-)

Keep swinging

BTW: I like Yamandu Costa's music very well.

05 December, 2008  

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