Posts Tagged ‘antonio zambujo’
La Linea Festival returns to London, featuring Orkesta Mendoza, António Zambujo, Totó La Momposina and more
Orkesta Mendoza, António Zambujo and Totó La Momposina are set to appear at this year’s La Linea Festival in London
The London Latin Music Festival, La Linea, founded by ¡Como No! has built a firm reputation as one of the world’s most unique celebrations of South American music since its inception in 2001. The annual event returns for its 17th year this April, hosting an eclectic range of artists in a number of venues spread out across the capital.
The festival will feature the fiery Orkesta Mendoza, who will bring their unique cultural fusion of cumbia, mambo, indie and rock’n’roll to Rich Mix on April 21. Portuguese singer and guitarist António Zambujo is also set to make a welcome return to La Linea, bringing the Chico Buarque songbook to London for the first time; catch him at Cadogan Hall on April 21. The legendary Totó La Momposina will also take to the stage at Cadogan Hall on April 28 in a rare UK appearance, representing the music of Columbia’s Caribbean coastline.
La Linea will take place between April 18-29 2017.
Michael Macaroon speaks to the Portuguese singer and guitarist who will make a welcome return to London in April for La Linea
The title of António Zambujo’s latest album, Até Pensei que Fosse Minha (Until I Thought it was Mine), could stand as the tag line for his whole musical career. His extraordinary popularity as a singer and guitarist, both in his native Portugal and abroad is founded on a seemingly effortless absorption of musical influences ranging from fado to bossa nova, taking in Chet Baker, Serge Gainsbourg and Bulgarian folk choirs on the way.
This latest outing is a tribute disc to Chico Buarque, the Brazilian singer whose 50-year career has encompassed dozens of albums, as well as plays, poems and novels, not to mention political protest. Buarque’s samba and tropicália roots may not seem obvious material for a fado singer, though the points of cultural connection are there, and in any case, Zambujo is not exactly a fadista from central casting.
Zambujo’s own roots are in the Alentejo region in the south of Portugal, and he’s steeped in the social and musical traditions of cante alentejano – choirs of men and women who sing of the land they work, local saints and lost love. Cante has an austere harmony built up in parallel thirds, pregnant with Arab influence from centuries back. By his teens, however, Zambujo had discovered the fado of Amália Rodrigues and before long made the move to Lisbon. Mentored by guitarist and composer Mário Pacheco, it was four successful years in the role of Amália’s husband in the eponymous musical that gave him his big commercial break. The recording and touring career that’s followed has charted an individual’s cultural coming of age – a transition from local to international fame, yielding in the process some wonderful tunes, poetry and albums.
His early discs are noted for bridging cante and fado – notably 2004’s Por Meu Cante – though wider interests soon emerge, and a passion for Brazilian music in particular receives the full Zambujo treatment in albums such as Outro Sentido (2007) and Guia (2010).
Now on his eighth disc, Zambujo is established enough to follow his personal enthusiasms without compromise. This is a fan’s tribute: “Chico Buarque is one of the biggest poets of the Portuguese language and I love him,” says Zambujo. Unlike an ordinary fan, though, he has drawn on his idol’s help in whittling down a long list of a hundred songs to create this personal playlist of 16.
What’s more, Buarque, together with the likes of Carminho and Roberta Sá, perform alongside Zambujo on some of the tracks. This dynamic of collaboration is no doubt important morally as well as musically. If you are reinterpreting a classic protest song such as ‘Cálice’ – written in the face of government censorship following the Brazilian military coup of 1964 (cálice or ‘goblet’ is a near homophone for cale-se or ‘shut up’) – then direct engagement with its author helps reconcile a 21st-century perspective with the authenticity of the original (not to mention avoiding the pitfalls of cultural appropriation).
For future projects, Zambujo claims not to have any plans: “I just want to sing and play my guitar… I know that we will tour this year with this album, then we’ll have a live album being released around September, and after that we’ll see…” It doesn’t take much probing, however, to get him to admit there are other enthusiasms he’d like to explore further: “Tom Waits, Caetano Veloso, Agustín Lara, Chavela Vargas, so many…”
Words by Gonçalo Frota
Up to this point, António Zambujo had been gradually climbing a ladder that meant both more international recognition, establishing a firm and personal way of addressing fado music. Even if it was apparent from the very beginning that his voice was not vaguely interested in abiding by the rules of traditional fado, he spent years testing what his music could actually sound like. With Outro Sentido (2007) Zambujo started to show some consistency, but it was Guia (2010) and Quinto (2012) that finally tied together all the various influences upon his singing: Chet Baker, João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Chavela Vargas, Cesaria Evora, Amália Rodrigues and Maria Teresa Noronha, to name a few.
Rua da Emenda sounds as if Zambujo is moving sideways, taking the time to enjoy the place all that work took him to. It sounds effortless and it maintains a loose pace, maintaining the African, Brazilian and South American flavours without making a big fuss. It’s clear that he has proven himself and is claiming the right to lay back a little bit and sing like he would do among friends. He’s telling us that this time it’s just for fun. The fact that he’s so good is all the justification he needs.
Now in it’s 13th year, La Linea – the London Latin Music festival – returns this April. Brimming with the best contemporary Latin music, it aims to bring contemporary Latin music to a broader audience, to celebrate and champions new artists, collaborations and innovative projects.
BRASS BAND BATTLE – MEXICO vs BALKANS: Banda Estrellas de Sinaloa de Gérman Lizarraga vs Boban & Marko Markovic Orkestar (Barbican, April 14)
In the first corner there’s Mexican Banda Estrellas de Sinaloa de Germán Lizarraga, whose career spans over 60 years with an impressive output of 194 records. Starting in his father’s band in Sinaloa, Germán Lizarraga later – in a bid to modernise Latin music – developed a new concept called ‘Sonido Turbo.’ In the process of collecting musicians for his new sound, Banda Estrellas de Sinaloa de Germán Lizarraga was born.
The opposition are Balkan big-guns Boban & Marko Markovic Orkestar. The father and son led 13-piece orchestra hail from Southern Serbia, and have existed since the 80s. They remain true to their own gypsy lineage, whilst consistently acknowledging other related cultural and musical traditions within their music.
Perhaps not an obvious choice for a brass band battle, historical context aptly proves the reverse. Yugoslavia in the 50s was no longer shackled to Stalin’s rule and, at a loss for a frame of cultural reference, they strangely turned to Mexico. Imported Mexican films were full of musica ranchera, which perfectly matched the Yugoslavian mind-frame at the time and inspired a multitude of Yugoslavian imitations. Meanwhile, in an act of unconscious symmetry across the world, an ever-increasing love of Balkan music spread into Mexico. In fact, the day before this brass band-off is the Festival Balagan Balkan 2013 in Mexico City.
WIN a pair of tickets to the show. Click here to enter.
A CURVA DA CINTURA: Toumani Diabaté, Arnaldo Antunes & Edgard Scandurra (Union Chapel, April 12)
Originally a one-off festival collaboration, A Curva Da Cintura, composed of Malian kora legend Toumani Diabaté and Brazilian musicians Arnaldo Antunes and Edgard Scandurra, will be performing at Union Chapel, April 12.
Antunes and Scandurra had been playing together for a number of years, touring and performing at various concerts, during one of which – the 2010 Back2Black Festival in Rio de Janiero – they performed with Diabaté. Struck by their achievements, Diabaté invited them to Bamako to record an album. In 2011 the Brazilian musicians arrived in Mali with a collection of new songs and the intention of expanding them under rock’n’roll, African roots and blues influences. The result – recorded primarily on electric and acoustic guitar and kora – is a stunning Afro-Brazilian fusion. A rich complex sound, where Diabaté’s kora provides a mesmerising contrast to the sombre tones of Antunes’ voice.
WIN a pair of tickets to the show PLUS a signed copy of the album from all three artists. Click here to enter.
HAVANA D’PRIMERA + Cuban salsa DJs Javier La Rosa, Dr Jim & DJ Rich
Friday, April 12, 9pm-3am
Electric Brixton, Town Hall Parade, London SW2 1RJ, http://www.electricbrixton.com
A CURVA DA CINTURA: Toumani Diabaté, Arnaldo Antunes & Edgard Scandurra
Friday, April 12, doors 7pm
Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, London N1 2XD, http://www.unionchapel.org.uk
BRASS BAND BATTLE – MEXICO vs BALKANS: Banda Estrellas de Sinaloa de Gérman Lizarraga vs Boban & Marko Markovic Orkestar
Sunday, April 14, 7:30pm
Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS, http://www.barbican.org.uk
BUIKA + The London Lucumi Choir
Thursday, April 18, doors 7pm
Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, London N1 2XD, http://www.unionchapel.org.uk
MALA RODRIGUEZ + Wara
Thursday, April 18, doors 8pm
Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3PQ, http://www.villageunderground.co.uk
LA RAZA: London Latin Hip-Hop Festival
Featuring Street Souls + Los Ministros de la Habana + Proyecto Viva Cuba + Indio Lyrico + Sangre Latina and more
Friday, April 19, 8pm-1am
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA, http://www.richmix.org.uk
MARCELO BRATKE – Bach and Bachianas + TangOpera
Wednesday, April 24, 7:45pm
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road London SE1 8XX, http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk
MERIDIAN BROTHERS + Chancha Via Circuito + El G + Tourism DJs
Thursday, April 25, 8pm-1am
Cargo, 83 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY, http://www.cargo-london.com