Vera’s Heartbeat presents two icons of Brazilian music: singer Mônica Salamaso and master composer, guitarist Guinga in concert for two evenings at Blue Whale in Los Angeles. Guinga is widely considered Brazil’s greatest and most important living composer. Mônica Salmaso has emerged as one of the top singers and interpreters in Brazil. Salmaso considers Guinga’s compositions to be essential, beautiful and challenging. Guinga considers Salmaso one of the most perfect singers he knows. “I think I’m going to cry on stage” says Guinga.
“His [Guinga’s] tunes can go hopscotching through arpeggios that sketch subtle harmonic motion, yet seem like something anyone could whistle. They dart and zigzag, stopping and starting and veering at odd angles, yet still sound as if they’re dancing” – Jon Pareles, New York Times
“Monica Salmaso has a gorgeous, quintessentially Brazilian voice: quietly lustrous and sustained, suffusing each liquid note with languid secrets” – Jon Pareles, New York Times
In 2014, Salmaso released Corpo de Baile, featuring 14 songs composed by Guinga and Paulo Cesar Pinheiro, several of them never recorded before. Through the album Salmaso was awarded the 26th Prêmio da Música Brasileira, in the Best MPB Female Singer category. A song from the album titled Sedutora, also won a Best Song Award.
For their Blue Whale show, the duo will perform songs written by Guinga in partnership with Paulo César Pinheiro, Aldir Blanc, José Miguel Wisnik and Chico Buarque, and a few surprises.
Widely considered Brazil’s greatest and most important living composer, Guinga’s songs have been recorded by stars including Elis Regina, Michel Legrand, Sergio Mendes, Leila Pinheiro, Chico Buarque, Clara Nunes, and Ivan Lins. As a guitarist he has played with artists such as Clara Nunes, Beth Carvalho, Alaíde Costa, João Nogueira and Cartola. He has composed in collaboration with Paulo Cesar Pinheiro, Aldir Blanc, Chico Buarque, Nei Lopes, Sergio Natureza, Nelson Motta, Simone Guimarães, Francisco Bosco, and others.
Guinga was born in Madureira (a neighborhood in the north side of Rio de Janeiro city) in 1950. He began composing at age 16, and at 17 appeared at TV Globo’s Second International Song Festival in 1967. He studied classical guitar under Jodacil Damasceno for five years.
According to KPFA DJ Daniella Thompson (quoted by Andrew Gilbert here), there have been more than 155 recordings made of Guinga’s music on at least 100 albums in addition to his own. Almost as pervasive as his music is his own urban legend; Fulfilling his father’s wish, Guinga graduated from dental school and, in 1975, opened a Rio de Janeiro dental practice with his then-wife Fatima, who is also a dentist. For years Guinga made his living as a dentist, and lived through his music, performing and composing a deep and sophisticated bench of songs connecting his love of jazz to Brazilian forms including samba, frevo, modinha, bossa nova and rural baião.
In 1991, songwriter Ivan Lins created the Velas label to release Guinga’s 1991 debut album Simples e Absurdo. Its success led to a series of albums which allowed Guinga to compose, play and teach full time.
His album Rasgando Seda, in partnership with Quinteto Villa-Lobos, released in 2012, was nominated for Latin Grammy as Best Instrumental album of the Year. Roendopinho, released through Acoustic Music Records, was a critical success and was nominated for the “Prêmio da Música Brasileira” as Best Instrumental CD of the Year (2015).
Also in 2015, he released the album Porto da Madama (Selo SESC) with singers Esperanza Spalding, Maria João, Maria Pia de Vito and Mônica Salmaso; featuring arrangements for Popular Brazilian songs (canção brasileira) including compositions from Tom Jobim, Luiz Gonzaga, Dorival Caymmi and others. On Mar Afora (2016, Acoustic Music Records), he performs a guitar in duet with Portuguese singer Maria João. In 2017, he released Canção da Impermanência and Avenida Atlântica (with the strings quartet Carlos Gomes).
About Mônica Salmaso
“She is an artist to be watched, one with extraordinary potential” – Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times
Mônica Salmaso started her career in the play “O Concílio do Amor”, directed by Gabriel Villela in 1989. In 1995 she recorded her first solo album Afro-sambas, accompanied by classical guitarist Paulo Bellinati, who also made the arrangements and produced the album. It was a re-recording of the eponymous album composed in the 1960s by Baden Powell and Vinícius de Moraes.
In 1996, she recorded with Paulo Bellinati the song “Felicidade” (Happiness) by Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes for the album “Tom Jobim Songbook”, by Lumiar Records and was nominated for the 1997 Prêmio Sharp in the category of música popular brasileira.
Salmaso released in 1998 her second album, Trampolim, produced by Rodolfo Stroeter, with guest participations of Naná Vasconcelos, Toninho Ferragutti and Paulo Bellinati, among others. In 1999 she was the winner of the second Prêmio Visa MPB – Vocal Edition.
In the same year she recorded her third album, Voadeira, also produced by Rodolfo Stroeter. Guest participants in the album were, among others, Marcos Suzano, Benjamim Taubkin, Toninho Ferragutti, Paulo Bellinati and Nailor Azevedo. The São Paulo Association of Art Critics (APCA) considered it one of the ten best albums of the year, and she was awarded the APCA Award as Best Female Singer.
In 2000 she was finalist of the Festival da Música Brasileira (Brazilian Music Festival) promoted by Rede Globo, main Brazilian TV broadcaster, singing “Estrela da Manhã” by Beto Furquim.
Her albums Trampolim and Voadeira were also released in Europe, Japan, the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The 2007 album Noites de Gala, Samba na Rua, dedicated to the music of Chico Buarque, was nominated for Best MPB Album at the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards.
In 2011 the album Alma Lírica Brasileira (Lyric Brazilian Soul) was released, the work was conceived with her husband Teco Cardoso (saxophones and flutes) and the conductor Nelson Ayres (piano). It was nominated for Best MPB Album at the 2011 Latin Grammy Awards, and Salmaso won the 23rd Prêmio da Música Brasileira Award as for best Brazilian Music singer.
In 2014, the album Corpo de Baile was released, containing 14 songs composed in partnership by Guinga and Paulo Cesar Pinheiro, several of them not recorded before.
Sunday August 25, 2019
9:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Blue Whale, Guinga & Mônica Salmaso, Los Angeles