BossaCucaNova

BossaCucaNova, Esplanade Concert Hall Sep 9

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BossaCucaNova cut out 3

Latin Grammy Award nominee and pioneers of the nu bossa scene in Brazil, BossaCucaNova promise to put Singapore audiences in a Brazil state of mind with their lush fusion of bossa nova with beats at their debut concert here.

Come and soak up the Brazilian feeling, the Brasilidade (Bra-ZILI-dazhe, meaning Brazilitude or Brazilianness) that this exuberant group have in abundance.

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Dubbed “One of Rio’s coolest bands,” BossaCucaNova or “bossa with a new mind” remains unique, partly because the trio’s approach continues to treat bossa nova as the main dish and the embellishments as garnishes, rather than the other way around.

It is a perfect illustration of the way Brazilian musicians incorporate outside influences and of the way they can turn those elements into music that is both freshly modern and deeply, traditionally Brazilian — not to mention arm-wavingly, butt-swingingly, irresistibly danceable.

Bassist Márcio Menescal – son of first generation bossanovista Roberto Menescal – joined his friends DJ Marcelinho DaLua and keyboardist Alexandre Moreira burst onto the international music scene in 1999 with their milestone debut Revisited Classics (Six Degrees), a collection of classic bossa nova songs given new vigor through the skilfull and adventurous application of funky beats.

Bossacucanova Group 2

Their music has taken them around the world to share stages with the likes of everyone from DJ Cheb I Sabbah to Carlos Santana and their songs have become the soundtrack for everything from Woman on Top (starring Penelope Cruz) to a Spanish telephone company’s commercial. In fact, the band were invited to be part of the famed concert on Rio’s Ipanema beach in March 2008 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of bossa nova, starring pioneers of the style and which attracted 80,000 fans.

In Singapore, the threesome will be joined by flame-haired husky voiced regular BossaCucaNova singer Cris Delanno, Flavio Mendes on guitar and Dado Brother on percussion.

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BossaCucaNova – the story

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BCN trio

DJ Marcelinho DaLua, bassist Márcio Menescal and keyboardist Alexandre Moreira started their BossaCucaNova project in 1999 with their milestone debut Revisited Classics (Six Degrees), a collection of classic bossa nova songs given new vigor through the application of funky breakbeats, skillful turntablism, electronic manipulation and adventurous mixology.

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Revisited Classics_Album

Arguably the first electronic take on bossa nova to come out of Brazil, it also happened to be the first release from the Beco Dranoff (Red Hot)/Crammed collaboration Ziriguiboom, laterto become the home of Brazilian songstresses Bebel Gilberto and Cibelle.

It all started at the Albatroz studios, where the trio were studio technicians in charge of recording sessions for remarkable bossa artists such as Carlos Lyra, Wanda Sá and Roberto Menescal (Marcio’s dad). “We loved those songs, but we were also listening to funk, hip hop and acid jazz”, says Márcio.

The idea of fusing the smooth sounds of well-bred classic bossa nova recordings with up-to-the-minute electronic elements wasn’t exactly new — Brazilian musicians had been combining Brazilian music with modern influences for years, and European DJs had already figured out that bossa nova’s laid-back, free-flowing rhythm could add a crowd-pleasing spice to their own material. Regardless of their good intentions, however, many of them incorporated Brazilian elements in simply decorative forms.

Uma Batida Diferente_Album

Brasilidade_Album

Their sophomore effort Brasilidade on which they paired up with first generation bossanovista Roberto Menescal was nominated for a Latin Grammy award in 2002 for Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album. Next up was Uma Batida Diferente (“A Different Beat”), which like their predecessors is full of party-ready gems as well as gentle jazz.

Their most recent CD/DVD combo “Ao Vivo” (January 2009), comprising tracks recorded live at Rio’s Canecão concert hall as well as songs from a series of acoustic sessions at Nara Leão’s apartment in Rio. It features the beat-heavy crackle folks have come to love from BossaCucaNova, but also includes some gentler, mellow and insightful moments.

Ao Vivo 2009_Album

Samba de Verao / So Nice – Summer Samba

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Perhaps the best known bossa tune after The Girl From Ipanema, having been recorded by over 180 artists by the year 2000.

Read more about this definitive song here. It was also covered by Spice Girl Emma Bunton in 2004 and released as a b-side on the commercial CD single to her single Crickets Sing For Anamaria, also a Marcos Valle composition, taken from her critically acclaimed sophomore album Free Me. Crickets reached number one on the UK club charts.

Samba de Verão/So Nice (Summer Samba)
(Marcos Valle & Paulo Sérgio Valle/English lyrics: Norman Gimbel)

Você viu só que amor
Nunca vi coisa assim
E passou, nem parou
Mas olhou só pra mim
Se voltar vou atrás
Vou pedir, vou falar
Vou dizer que o amor
Foi feitinho pra dar
Olha, é como o verão
Quente o coração
Salta de repente
Para ver a menina que vem
Ela vem sempre tem
Esse mar no olhar
E vai ver, tem que ser
Nunca tem quem amar
Hoje sim diz que sim
Já cansei de esperar
Nem parei nem dormi
Só pensando em me dar
Peço, mas você não vem
Deixo então
Falo só digo ao céu
Mas você vem
Você viu só que amor
Nunca vi coisa assim
E passou, nem parou
Mas olhou só pra mim
Se voltar vou atrás
Vou pedir, vou falar
Vou dizer que o amor
Foi feitinho pra dar
Olha, é como o verão
Quente o coração
Salta de repente
Para ver a menina que vem
Ela vem sempre tem
Esse mar no olhar
E vai ver, tem que ser
Nunca tem quem amar
Hoje sim diz que sim
Já cansei de esperar
Nem parei nem dormi
Só pensando em me dar
Peço, mas você não vem
Deixo então
Falo só digo ao céu
Mas você vem…

Someone to hold me tight
That would be very nice
Someone to love me right
That would be very nice
Someone to understand
Each little dream in me
Someone to take my hand
And be a team with me

So nice, life would be so nice
If one day I’d find
Someone who would take my hand
And samba through life with me

Someone to cling to me
Stay with me right or wrong
Someone to sing to me
Some little samba song
Someone to take my heart
And give his heart to me
Someone who’s ready to
Give love a start with me

Oh yeah, that would be so nice

I could see you and me, that would be nice