Brazilian Guitar Masters Festival featured in Washington City Paper

Yamandu Costa + João Bosco

Thanks to Steve Kiviat at Washington City Paper for featuring our Brazilian Guitar Masters Festival this week! Kiviat writes:

This weekend offers an opportunity to hear Brazilian masters of guitar from two different generations, who each bring their own unique songcraft touches: Yamandu Costa and João Bosco. Costa, 44 is a Latin Grammy-winning instrumentalist who plays a seven-string acoustic guitar rather than the customary six-string model. Raised in the southern grasslands area of Brazil, not far from Uruguay and Argentina, Costa, who initially was taught by his dad, has become acclaimed for his speedy, high-pitched finger work on tuneful, leisurely Brazilian samba and bossa nova, as well as on upbeat tango, Roma jazz, and swing jazz. Costa—who has played with orchestras, but will be solo on Friday at Miracle Theatre—is fond of flashy staccato runs up and down the strings with his fingernails moving in multiple directions. While such pyrotechnics helped establish his reputation, his playing is often most affecting when he slows down and lets the melodies sink in. On his recent duet album, Helping Hands, his picking and strumming alongside that of his classical guitarist wife, Elodie Bouny, is downright pretty.

Bosco, now 77, has a college degree in civil engineering, but his passion was singing and playing guitar. Bosco was raised in a family of musicians, and in college he began listening to Miles Davis alongside the samba and bossa nova he was already familiar with. Soon after, while living in Rio de Janeiro, he began writing gorgeous and passionate songs with acclaimed lyricist Vinícius de Moraes. For decades now, Bosco has been writing joyous sing-alongs, busy but beautiful rhythmic sambas, and tender slow songs. Bosco is adept at playing percussion-like rhythms on his guitar as well as sweet, picked notes. On an early composition of “Vida Noturna,” his sentimental guitar chords are joined by jazzy piano and a romantic melody that he whistles and sings. Some of his compositions have taken on a greater meaning in Brazilian culture. He and the recently passed psychiatrist turned lyricist Aldir Blancwrote a song “O Bêbado e a Equilibrista” that served as an amnesty anthem calling for the return of the Brazilians who were forced into political exile by Brazil’s then-military government. Bosco will be appearing with a band featuring RicardoSilveira on electric guitar, who will only enhance the lushness of some cuts and the bouncy cadence of others. 

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