Yep, it’s official. New York has once again become an urban swamp, with the muggy, mosquito-filled realities of the tropics blending seamlessly with the stinking sidewalks of the city. It’s like a caipirinha with no cachaça. But fear not, for the key ingredient arrives tomorrow in the form of Brasil SummerFest.
Now in its fifth year, Brasil SummerFest claims to be the “largest and most important international Brazilian music festival in the world.” With last year’s attendance peaking at 22,000 and this year’s event extended to 10 days and spread out across the city from Lincoln Center to the South Street Seaport, it’s become a hard fact to argue.
Festival co-founder Petrit Pula describes the participating artists as reflective of the “diversity of the country’s musical landscape,” with musicians ranging in sonic scope from “traditional to contemporary.” Put another way, when it comes to music from Brazil, this means a whole lot of moving.
Below is our attempt at mere descriptions of a couple of the artists that’ll be playing around our area. Look, it may not be a trip to Rio, but for now it’s the closest you’re going to get.
Saturday, August 1st, 5pm at South Street Seaport: Free
Thursday, August 6th, 7:30pm at Joe’s Pub: $15
Erring on the side of traditional (or, dare I say “world music”), Coladera are what you expect to be playing when your boat docks on an undisclosed coastal paradise. The group – sprinkling samba, frevo and other hard to pronounce musical elements into their sound – is not unlike a refreshing sangria. Highly palatable, with the occasional surprising fruity chunk. Have enough of it and you’re likely to find yourself dancing on a table.
DJ Patrick Tor4
Monday, August 3, 10pm at Cielo Nightclub: $10/ Free before 11pm w eflyer
Closing Party, Saturday, August 8, 10pm at The Wick, $15
Now, if Coladero is a glass of polite sangria, DJ Patrick Tor4 is more a funnel of neon-tinged punch to the gut. To experience a Tor4 set is to hear the embodiment of the colorful multicultural array that defines the illusive term “Brazilian culture.” If there’s any connection to be made in his selecting, it’s the consistent primal beat. At their best his “baile tropical rhythms” have driven listeners to remove their clothes and at their worst, a twisted ankle from all that getting down.
Los Sebosos Postizos
Tueday, August 4, 6pm at City Winery; free
Los Sebosos Postizos’s sound offers a bridge to the 60s. Formed with the sole intention of celebrating the music of Jorge Ben Jor, the father of Brazilian Funk, Postizos fuse rare grooves and dub elements into an energetic performance that breathes new life into an old sound. Thought of another way, with Positizos playing at a wine bar on a Tuesday evening, there could be no better way to sooth you into forgetting there’s a rest of the week.
Monday, August 3, 10pm at Nublu: $10
While lyrics typically comprise at least half of a singer-songwriter’s arsenal, watching the beautiful Ana Cañas, you’re likely to forget that you don’t speak Portuguese. Catch Cañas performing songs off of her newly released fourth studio album, Tô na Vida and see why she’s been garnering praise from all across her native Brazil.
Regional De NY
Wednesday, August 5, 6pm at the Brooklyn Public Library: Free
Regional De NY, as their name might suggest, are a New York-based group of Brazilian musicians playing a traditional sound known as “choro.” Blending a classic island sound with a catchy twist a la Caladera, here’s another band to be listened to, alighting a distant exotic beach bound vessel. But, don’t take my word for it. In the band’s own terms: “We bring a deep love for the history of [choro] together with a modern attitude towards arrangement and performance to create a style that reflects our time, place, and backgrounds.”
Thursday, August 6, 9:30 at Joe’s Pub: $15
Marcia Castor brings some serious clout to the table, having performed with Brazilian greats the likes of Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Tom Zé. Castro’s stirring vocals will make you pine for a place and time familiar, yet all too distant. Fortunately, just for one night you can marinate in her musical melancholy in the comfortable quarters of Joe’s Pub.