Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

6

Maira Freitas + Lenine at Central Park Summerstage

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Maira Freitas + Lenine
Brasil Summerfest at Central Park Summerstage
New York, NY
July 19, 2014

For her New York City debut, Maira Freitas traveled lightly, backed solely by a drummer on stage. She did the first few songs on piano, beginning with a jazz- inflected samba and then moving on to a very personal rendition of "Dream A Little Dream," her voice a clear soprano with great range. After introducing herself to the audience, she switched to an electric piano attached to a laptop, using lots of effects to enhance songs with a strong Afro- Brazilian feel.

Possibly aware that she was playing to a crowd who had probably never heard of her, she mixed originals with covers—one highlight was a bossa take on Michael Jackson's "Beat It" that had many audience members singing along with the chorus. She also paid tribute to her father, famed samba composer Martinho DaVila in a highly personal manner and remembered the late Dominguinhos with a beautiful take on his "Tenho Sede," freely improvising on the piano with the backing pre- programmed sounds and her live drummer.

Freitas worked the crowd skillfully, often stepping away from her keyboard to do a few dance steps. She ended her set with a medley that included Joao Gilberto's bossa classic "Eu Quero Um Samba" and "Voce Abusou," a tune recorded by countless artists, including Ella Fitzgerald.

After a brief intermission, Lenine came on stage backed by Martin Fondse's orchestra, who played many of the singer- songwriter's hits with an improvised orchestral approach. Many tunes were extended by highly improvisational solos—during some moments, soloists would stand up and join Lenine, and Fondse would sometimes switch to a melodica for some highly original moments. Lenine seemed to cherish these stretches, going on with the extended versions of his songs and adding a few guitar riffs in between.

The audience received the songs well, often singing along to those they knew— Lenine has penned many hits for Brazilian singers such as Milton Nascimento and Maria Beth, so the moment fans recognized a tune they just sang along. The orchestra was highly skilled, and used unusual resources like dropping chains on the snare drums and other odd percussive options. One of the best improvised moments came when a violinist got to his feet and did a solo duel with Lenine, who went right with it and let things flow freely for quite a while.

It was a magical evening that allowed audiences to appreciate artists who many had probably heard about, listening to familiar tunes from a completely different point of view, hoping the other musicians presented at Brasil Summerfest would be this surprising.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Diane Schuur at Birdland Live Reviews Diane Schuur at Birdland
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Pat Metheny at Belfast Waterfront Live Reviews Pat Metheny at Belfast Waterfront
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Crosscurrents at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor Live Reviews Crosscurrents at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "Ted Ludwig Trio at Little Rock's South on Main" Live Reviews Ted Ludwig Trio at Little Rock's South on Main
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017
by Francesco Martinelli
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Balé Folclórico de Bahia at Zellerbach Hall" Live Reviews Balé Folclórico de Bahia at Zellerbach Hall
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Omar Sosa Residency at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Omar Sosa Residency at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: May 8, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor