242

Mart'nalia: New York, NY, June 19, 2011

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Mart'Nalia
Central Park Summerstage
New York, NY
June 19, 2011

A line of cajóns, played at the same time, ushered the entrance of Brazilian singer Mart'nalia, the featured artist on the closing night of the 9th Brazilian Film Festival in New York City, with films screened in Tribeca Cinemas throughout the preceding week. Backed by an eight-piece band, formed of six percussionist, an acoustic guitarist and a bassist, she started out with a selection of contemporary sambas from her Biscoito Fino CDs, Menino do Rio (2006) and Madrugada (2008).

One of the original tunes paid tribute to her father, Martinho DaVila, a singer and composer who is considered samba royalty in Brazil. Mart'nalia alternated between original material and classic tunes, often switching between playing guitar and percussion. Possibly aware that she was before an expat audience who might not be familiar with her current material, she included many of da Vila's hits, including "Mulheres," a slow-tempo number whose lyrics looked back at a long life of searching for a true love.

The audience responded well, singing along with every number. The band varied the rhythms, incorporating elements from Calypso and Latin music, within a samba format. One great moment was her bilingual take on Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy," played with a blend of salsa and samba. She also paid homage to her native Vila Isabel, a district of northern Rio de Janeiro, with "Kizomba Festa de Raca," a song written by da Vila that was the 1987 theme song for the samba school, Unidos de Vila Isabel, which won the annual competition that year.

The set closed with "E Hoje," the 1981 theme song for Uniao da Ilha and later a hit for Caetano Veloso. The Brazilian-dominated audience roared with approval, singing along and dancing with every beat.

Mart'nalia has great charisma onstage, and her low contralto fit the material to perfection. She had a very good band behind her, that kept the rhythm going almost without stopping between numbers. It was a great opportunity for fans to hear where samba is going to in Brazil—moving forward but always looking back at its traditions.

Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Vossajazz 2017 Live Reviews Vossajazz 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ Live Reviews Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights Live Reviews Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read Tallinn Music Week 2017 Live Reviews Tallinn Music Week 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: April 16, 2017
Read Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Bergamo Jazz Festival 2017
by Francesco Martinelli
Published: April 14, 2017
Read Miles From India at SFJAZZ Live Reviews Miles From India at SFJAZZ
by Walter Atkins
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Midge Ure at Revolution Music Hall" Live Reviews Midge Ure at Revolution Music Hall
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "The Billy Hart Quartet at the 21c Museum Hotel" Live Reviews The Billy Hart Quartet at the 21c Museum Hotel
by Joseph Boselovic
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers at City Winery" Live Reviews Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers at City Winery
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "T.S. Monk Sextet at Revolution Hall" Live Reviews T.S. Monk Sextet at Revolution Hall
by Tom Borden and Eric Gibbons
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Cyrus Chestnut Trio at Duc des Lombards" Live Reviews Cyrus Chestnut Trio at Duc des Lombards
by Patricia Myers
Published: August 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!