Once the word had spread among her American friends via the internet, folks from San Francisco to New York began to wonder how Cleveland had scored such a coup in booking Brazilian sensation Joyce for what would amount to be her only U.S. date so far this year. Truth be told, the singer/songwriter and her husband, drummer Tutty Moreno, were scheduled to play a private affair in Pittsburgh and the jaunt to Cleveland was of a reasonable length to make the whole thing plausible. And taking into account the crowd’s warm reception, chances are this won’t be the last time Cleveland gets an opportunity to samba to Joyce’s temperate Brazilian musings.
In a trio completed by electric bassist Kip Reid, a Cleveland native, Joyce, with her hybrid acoustic guitar and Moreno on trap drums, built the first set around a tribute to some of Brazil’s finest songwriters. Most familiar were Milton Nascimento’s "Morro Velho," Edu Lobo’s "Upa Neguinho" and Jobim’s "Aguas de Marco." Two pieces by Joao Donato were also on the bill, including the classic "Bananeira," which included a great jam at the end with a sly quote from "Mas Que Nada." There was also room for some of Joyce’s own trinkets, including "Essa Mulher," "Misterios" and "Feminina."
More of Joyce's distinguished works were part of the closing set, starting off with "O Chines e a Bicicleta," a tune which she introduced as being a Zen samba. With perfect intonation and an effortless delivery, Joyce was in superior voice, and her vibrant persona came through as she introduced each selection. Both Moreno and Reid provided excellent support to boot. After a fitting version of Ary Barroso’s "Brazil" brought the show to a conclusion, a fired-up crowd demanded an encore, which the trio provided genially.