Friday, April 23, 2010

Choro and Pixinguinha Day

On the 4th of September 2000 an official document of the Brasilian government announced that the 23rd of April every year shall be marked as Dia Nacional do Choro - National Choro Day. The 23rd of April was deliberatly chosen in honor of Alfredo da Rocha Viana Filho - better known as Pixinguinha (April 23, 1897 - February 7, 1973), choro composer, arranger, flautist and saxophonist. Today it is Pixinguinha's 113th birthday - and Choro Day, all over Brazil and elsewhere music events are scheduled to celebrate choro and Pixinguinha. We also want to mark the day by inserting some videos below featuring music by Pixinguinha - Here is first a short film fragment of the Maestro with his regional recorded in the 1950s playing "1X0" - Enjoy!

From a live concert arranged by Instrumental SESC Brasil earlier this year featuring Zé da Velha (trombone), Silvério Pontes (trumpet), Alexandre Romanazzi (flute), Charlles da Costa (violão), Alessandro Cardozo (cavaquinho), Netinho Albuquerque (pandeiro) and Rodrigo Jesus (percussion) here is a rendition of Pixinguinha's "Ainda me Recordo"

From the same concert, here is Pixinguinha's "Os Oito Batutas"

Finally, to end this small celebration of Pixinguinha, here is a magnificent rendition of the tour-de-force for any flautist, "O Gato e o Canário", from the same concert - Enjoy!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Choro Rhythm Patterns For Violão/Guitar

If you are a guitarist excelling in choro and want to learn more about the various rhythm patterns in choro and how to accompany them on your instrument in a choro ensemble, then there is good news for you. An accomplished choro guitarist, Abdallah Harati, has prepared and uploaded several pedagogical examples on his website to teach you the right approach. - I'll insert a couple of examples below of the short videos (- also available at YouTube) to give you an impression of Abdallah Harati's lecture on the different patterns in accompanying choro on the violão/guitar. Each example has text in English to reach also non-Portuguese speaking learners, an excellent service to spread know-how and prepare you for Choro Day events later this week, I think. Learn more about Abdallah Harati at his website (- both in Portuguese and English) by using the link above or click here

Here's an example of the basic rhtyhm in choro and how you can accompany on the guitar, the chords used here are Dm and A7 and it will work with Pixinguinha's 'Ingênuo'

Here's an example of the tango brasileiro rhythm pattern, the chords used are G and D7, the key Gm - the accompaniement fits with Nazareth's 'Brejeiro'

Last example here covers the maxixe, the chords used are F6 and C7 and the music that fits the shown pattern is “Flor do Abacate” (Alvaro Sandim)

More examples at Abdallah Harati's website


Monday, April 05, 2010

Choro Bandido, An English Choro Ensemble

In recent years the popularity of choro has spread outside Brazil, musicians worldwide have opened their ears to the spellbinding sound of this original music of Brazil and now devote their chops to learning and playing choro. - An example of this movement is the English choro ensemble, Choro Bandido, located in Surrey, UK. In 2008 Choro Bandido got together to explore Chorinho. The members of the quartet have been involved in various musical genres in their time. Classically trained violinist Alison Hopper cut her teeth on classical and folk music. Multi-instrumentalist Dave 'the hat' Anthony has played in many contemporary rock bands. He plays keyboards, violin, bass & percussion but for Choro Bandido has added cavaquinho to his instrumental armoury. Guitarist and teacher Brian Bull, a huge Django Reinhardt fan, has a long background playing Gypsy Jazz. Having added a seventh string Brian is now studying the works of the great Yamandú Costa and Dino 7 Cordas. Percussionist Mick Pyke's musical path has been from blues rock through reggae into African music and has now finished up in Brazilian music. He co-founded the samba bloco, Bloco do Sul, (in Surrey, UK) more than 21 years ago and still runs it with Dave. - In 2009 Choro Bandido travelled to California Brazil Camp (CBC) where they spent a week learning from Ted Falcon who is now professor of violin at the "Escola Brasileira de Choro Raphael Rabello" in Brasilia.

Choro Bandido have just completed a 6 track EP CD, shown above. There are just a handful of Choro groups in the UK where choro is little known, so they have chosen some classic tracks to introduce choro to their ever growing audience.

The cd is available from the website of Choro Bandido where you also will find further info on the group including several uploaded videos and audio tracks. - To give you an impression of Choro Bandido in action I insert a couple of videos from live-performance below. The first was recorded recently and features a rendition of Jacob do Bandolim's 'Vibracoes' - enjoy!

Here's a rendition of Waldir Azevedo's 'Brasileirinho' from the same live-performance as above

More music by Choro Bandido in streaming audio available by clicking here