Live Concert Photography: Brasil Summer Fest at SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield 8/6/16 feat. Monobloco with Cabruêra, and Boogarins
Founded three years ago, Brasil SummerFest is a week long music and art festival specifically designed to showcase the diversity and richness of Brazilian music and culture hosted at a number of high-profile venues across town. Earlier this month, SummerStage’s Rumsey Playfield stage hosted three contemporary Brazilian acts, who have developed both national and international attention for sounds that offer unique takes on traditional — and in at least one case, modern — Brazilian music.
Formed in 2000 and featuring members of well-regarded Brazilian rock band Pedro Luís e A Parede in as an educational project, Monobloco, whose name is derived from their practice of recording the entire band using one microphone, is a Brazilian bloco (street band), famously known for playing during Rio de Janeiro‘s Carnival — and as a professional touring act. Unlike most of Rio’s blocos, which tend to be play genre of music — most typically samba — Monobloco has become popular with a younger audience because of their willingness to incorporate a wild number of traditional Brazilian rhythms and genres including coco, miranda, marcha, vote, samba-charme, samba-rock, as well as American genres including funk, pop and soul; in fact, during their immensely crowd pleasing set at SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield earlier this month, they covered Stevie Wonder‘s “Superstition,” and Daft Punk‘s “Get Lucky.” And as a result, the members of Monobloco are at the forefront of a Carnival bloco resurgence in Rio — with the act being among the most popular and well-regarded contemporary blocos. The act’s public “rehearsals” at Fundição Progresso in Lapa, central Rio de Janeiro’s nightclub distract have been known to regularly attract up to 4,000 paying fans and spectators on the Friday nights leading up to Carnival, and those “rehearsals” are famously known for featuring over 100 percussionists, as well as vocalists and a cavaquinho player. And those shows are also known for featuring a number of famous musicians and vocalists as guess. Adding to an incredibly growing national profile in their hometown, the collective during their 2009 Carnival appearance drew over 400,000 people.
Over the past few years, the band has released a couple of albums and have toured internationally with stops in the UK, Portugal, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand and have collaborated with members of Sargento Pimenta and British bloco, Bloco Sol Nascente to celebrate the passing of the Olympic torch from London to Rio.
(Photo Caption: Monobloco performing at SummerStage Rumsey Playfield earlier this month.)
Currently comprised of Arthur Pessoa, Edy Gonzaga, Leonardo Marinho and Pablo Ramires, the Paraíba, Brazil-based act Cabruêra have developed a reputation for a sound that seamlessly meshes samba, funk, psychedelia, ska, hip-hop and Afrobeat — and for being one of the few contemporary Brazilian acts, who frequently use the melodica in their incredibly danceable material.
Opening the afternoon was Brazilian psych rock quartet Boogarins, who with the release of their excellent 2015 sophomore effort Manual quickly became a JOVM mainstay artist. Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year you’d likely know that the internationally renowned psych rock quartet can trace their origins to when its founding members, Fernando “Dino” Almeida and Benke Ferraz started playing music together as teenagers in their hometown, the central Brazilian city of Goiânia. The music that Almedia and Ferraz began to write and then eventually record was a unique vision of psych pop that drew from their country’s incredibly rich and diverse musical and cultural history — but with a decidedly modern viewpoint. Unlike a number of the contemporary rock bands in their homeland, Boogarins were one of the first bands, who wrote and sun lyrics completely in Brazilian Portuguese and as a result their debut effort As Plantas Que Curam was a massive critical and commercial success in Brazil — without the support of a major label or a publicity firm pushing the album. As the band rose to national prominence, they started to receive larger international attention, and as a result they’ve played some of the world’s largest and most popular festivals including Austin Psych Fest, Burgerama, Primavera Sound Festival, as well as playing headlining shows in clubs in London, Paris, Barcelona and New York.
The material on the band’s sophomore effort Manual was specifically meant to be viewed as a diary or as a sort of dream journal, and it gives the album’s material a deeply personal feel; but it’s also the band’s most sociopolitically conscious as the album’s lyrical content also draws from the socioeconomic and political issues that affected their homeland before, during and after the 2014 World Cup; in particular, as entire neighborhoods and communities were razed for massive commercial developments that helped global corporations and their interests making even more money, instead of uplifting those who desperately needed economic uplift. Their SummerStage show consisted of songs from their excellent sophomore effort.
(Photo Caption: Boogarins playing at SummerStage Rumsey Playfield earlier this month.)
(Photo Caption: Some lovely concertgoers at SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield earlier this month.)