The project

The chance brought us together in Spain - Galicia - A Coruña.

Having performed in many opera houses, concert halls and auditoriums, festivals and renowned artistic meetings, especially in Germany, and in recent years also in Spain, Carmen Duran, lyric spinto soprano, a prizewinning singer of solid technical and musical education, and the author of these lines, decided some time ago to look for new fields of artistic activity... and therefore we came into contact with the well-known jazz pianist and composer Alberto Conde, a distinguished professor at the Conservatory of Music A Coruña.

We were welcomed with open arms, great spontaneity, enthusiasm and a huge disposal to immediately begin organizing a musical project together. For obvious reasons related to our personal taste and previous experiences with the warm reception by the public and critics, especially in Germany, our primary purpose was to explore the rich field of Brazilian music, if possible with a modern jazz approach, other than classic style we were accustomed.

Already during the first contacts in search of suitable repertoire and for obvious musical reasons linked to interpretation and the enormous proliferation of existing work in this area, we began to reject the idea of entering the field of bossa nova and similar genres.

In Germany we had participated (Carmen Durán and I) in many classical concerts and recitals including Villa-Lobos, Lorenzo Fernandez, Francisco Mignone, Camargo Guarnieri, Osvaldo Lacerda, Valdemar Henrique, Cláudio Santoro, as well as Luis Bonfa, Tom Jobim, Chico Buarque, Toquinho and other sacred monsters of this great species.

The program

  • XANGÔ (H. Villa-Lobos)

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Ritual “macumba” chant, solemn “nagô” invocation of one of the most popular and powerful orixás of Candomblé and other African cult variants popular in Brazil: Xangô, lord of storms, thunder and lightning, lord of fire.

The rhythmic power of the stylized and striking melody with its rhyme changes on a Yoruba text of pure onomatopoeic character serves to accentuate the conjuring effect of the voice, accompanied by the vigorous and ostinato pace that suits it.

Arrangement of a singing melody with theme A, presenting the 'a cappella' theme for solo voice with the tabla to then introduce the piano and double bass in a evocative arc solo that sets the scene. Introduction to development with a period of ostinato style repeating with variations the main theme cell till the beginning of the piano solo with a pronounced Afro-character. Re-exposure of the theme following the arrangement under jazz aesthetic to the final with chromatic ascending key retaking the plot produced by the ostinato.

Why Villa-Lobos? And why this project here and now?

Heitor Villa-Lobos, born in 1887 (March 5) in Rio de Janeiro, left a rich and multifaceted work in all its aspects and genres deserving surely the attention of any musician, music player or singer, arranger or composer, interested in exploring the vast possibilities of creative performing his songs, melodies, variations and all his musical forms.

Our work is intended to be an international tribute to the great figure of the most emblematic Brazilian composer of the twentieth century, joining the worldwide musical homages to celebrate the 125th anniversary of his birth.

So we’ve chosen some of his most significant compositions, arranged for jazz trio and soprano, with four original pieces inspired by his motives or musical cells that remember Villa-Lobos’ creative zeal in his explorations of national folklore and folk melodies with texts in Portuguese (by a Brazilian author), written especially for this project.