Did you go to the Chicago Brazilian Music Festival that was held last June 2nd? Everybody was there! Certainly, it was a unique opportunity to see six of the most popular local Brazilian bands at the same time and those of us who love Brazilian music did not want to miss the chance to be part of it. The bands performing during that memorable night were A Cor do Brazil. Bossa Tres, Beaba do Samba, Sergio Pires, Chicago Samba, and Luciano Antonio and Planeta Azul. Congratulations to Ed Gerber for organizing this! Here are some pics, audio and video of that night (thanks to Todd Beauchamp for sharing his pictures with me).
A few days ago I had the pleasure to have an open-heart conversation with Chicagoan singer and composer Patricia Ortega from Las Guitarras de Espana. I met Patty during my flamenco studies at Wendy Clinard’s Studio. I had the chance to dance to her beautiful singing during Wendy’s open houses, but I had no idea that she was also a composer. I was greatly impressed when she told me she is about to release a CD that is featuring her work in collaboration with Las Guitarras de Espana. The album is titled “Tantas Cosas” (So Many Things), and as the title indicates, this CD has many musical styles that reflect Chicago’s rich cultural diversity. Patty took the forefront on this CD, and taking Spanish guitar as the foundation, the compositions are spiced up with touches borrowed from African, Brazilian, Arab, Indian, Funk, and Rap genres. Patty herself is the product of cultural fusion: She was born and raised in Chicago, but her mom is from Mexico and her dad from Cuba, and as a child, the family parties were infused with Mexican Folk music, Cuban Son, and Flamenco. She mentions that pop, rock, R&B, Mexican ranchera, and artists such as Cafeta Cuba, Ojos de Brujo, Chambuco, Concha Buika, Lila Downs, and Michael Jackson are the inspiration for her compositions.
Patty also borrowed excerpts from her own personal journey during the last two years to write the songs for this album. She has lived “tantas cosas” so intensely during this time that she had plenty of inspiration to create. The CD is a journal in which love is the main protagonist. Patty has poured her heart in these compositions and writes about the joy of being in love, of the sadness of unrequited love, of the pain felt when a relationship ends, of the tender love that a mother feels for her daughter, and also about learning to love unconditionally and live in the present moment. Here are some songs from the CD for your enjoyment:
You can buy the CD at www.the guitarsofspain.com. Also, if you would like to be part of the CD release party, then go to Mayne Stage this Saturday June 4 at 7:30 pm. The show promises to be amazing. There will be 25 performers on stage, including Las Guitarras de Espana large ensemble, dancers and guest artists such as Satya, Silvia Manrique from Beaba do Samba, and New-York based Alfonso Cid and his flamenco rock band Dientes de Caramelo. You can get tickets to the show here.
Wanna win a Free CD of TANTAS COSAS? Then visit my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chicagourbanite), post “I LIKE CHICAGO URBANITE” on my wall, and have your friends comment on your post saying that they were referred by you. Winner is the one getting the most comments. Contest ends tomorrow June 2nd at 10 am. Good luck!