New England Choro Festival Presents:
Choro das Três &
Saturday, June 29
Academy of Music Theater
(Tickets go on sale soon!)
In a country known for the richness of its cultural traditions, choro (pronounced SHOW-roo) is one of the most precious jewels in Brazil‘s musical crown. Its roots stretch back at least as far as 19th century Rio de Janeiro, where the music of the Portuguese court was reinterpreted by the Afro-Brazilian instrumentalists of the day. The resulting musical genre – still vibrant and vital – offers alternating hints of classical, ragtime and jazz music, and yet remains uniquely, exquisitely Brazilian.
In 2019 Northampton hosts the inaugural Choro Camp New England which—like its elder cousin, Django in June—will draw musicians from across the country for a week of study and jamming with masters of the genre. At week’s end, locals are invited to join us for our grand finale concert featuring the world-class artists we’ve invited for the occasion. You can learn about them below and on the Artists page this website.
Choro das Três
Choro das Três is indeed a “family band.” But if that conjures up images of the Partridge Family for you, these three sisters are about to give your mental palate a thorough cleansing: Corina on flute and piccolo, Lia on seven-string guitar, and multi-instrumentalist Elisa on (mostly) the Brazilian mandolin, called a bandolim. Their father Eduardo accompanies them on percussion, primarily the Brazilian version of tambourine called a pandeiro.
The sisters Meyer-Ferreira have been performing together as Choro das 3 since 2002, when the oldest of them was only 14 years old. 17 years and 9 CD’s later, they are seasoned professionals. They have performed extensively in Brazil, of course, but also in France, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Portugal—and the US, where Choro das 3 has introduced choro to countless North Americans and built a nationwide fan base the old-fashioned way: town by town, gig by gig in the course of an annual US tour.
This video was filmed at one such gig at the Nashville Jazz Workshop in 2016. Choro is played in many different rhythms and this original, the title track to their 2014 CD, “Boca de Goiaba”, is in a Northeastern style known as “frevo.”
The members of Choro Brasil have played together in different groups for many years, but join us in this particular configuration to teach at Choro Camp New England—and to perform for you! All hail from Brazil’s capital of Brasilia, and all are associated with two institutions that have long established that city as a center of choro: the Clube do Choro de Brasília, where the best of Brazil’s musicians play when they are in town, and its Escola Brasileira do Choro Raphael Rabello, a music school devoted to choro that this spring celebrated its 20th anniversary. We invited each member of this group to join our teaching staff because of specific skills they would bring to our attendees. Those skills come together tonight as Choro Brasil.
This first video features two members of Choro Brasil, Henrique Neto on 7-string guitar and Márcio Marinho on cavaquinho. The tune is “Escorregando” (“Slipping”, or “Sliding”), composed by one of the giants of early choro, Ernesto Nazareth (1863 – 1934.)
This second video includes all the members of Choro Brasil and may require just a little explanation for those unfamiliar with the history of the genre. The elderly gentleman seated in the center of the group is one of the most renowned flutists of the 20th century and one deeply associated with choro, Altamiro Carrilho. This performance at the Clube do Choro in Brasilia was part of an evening celebrating his life and work. He passed away just a few months later.
The flutist you see standing center stage here is Sérgio Morais, one of our flute instructors at Choro Camp New England. Sérgio was a long-time student of Carrilho’s and now plays one of the master’s flutes. In this video he performs one of Altamiro Carrilho’s own compositions, “Deixa o Breque Pra Mim” (Leave the Break for Me). The other musicians are Henrique Neto and Marcio Marinho (whom we saw above) and another member of Choro Brasil, Valério Xavier on pandeiro. The other guitarist, who will not be here this year, is Rafael dos Anjos.