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Brazzil - Music - August 2004

Brazilian Ivan Lins Back in the USA

Brazil's singer-composer Ivan Lins is not much of a showman,
but he has a lot of charisma, which definitely helps him carry the
show. He is also the writer of many huge hits. Some of them were
recorded by artists such as The Manhattan Transfer, Sarah Vaughan
and many others. The inclusion of most of those pleased everyone.

Ernest Barteldes


Picture It was around midnight on a very pleasant Friday when Ivan Lins, one of the most important names in Brazil's popular music scene for over three decades stepped on stage at Newark's Palacio Europa, a beautiful show venue located in the famous Ironbound Section of that New Jersey city that is home to a large Luso-Brazilian community.

Lins, accompanied by a incredibly competent five-piece band, opened with "Somos Todos Iguais" (We're All the Same), a song that dates to the early days of his career, and followed that with a very subtle rendition of 80s hit "Abre Alas" (Clear The Area).

The subtleness of Lins and his band was such that one of the show's producers, who was seated at the same table I was at repeatedly went to the mixing table to check if the general volume was too low.

After the second number, Lins paused to thank everyone for being there, and said that he was happy to be playing once more to an audience composed mostly of people from his own country.

He also mentioned that 2004 marks the 20th anniversary of his successful musical and business partnership with lyricist Vitor Martins (with whom he co-founded the Velas label in 1990) and then introduced "Atlântida," their latest collaboration, which is featured in the latest album by Brazilian pop singer Simone.

The new song was quickly followed by the 70s hit "Começar de Novo" (Starting Over), a song that was the theme of Malu Mulher, a highly successful 1979 Globo TV series that featured Regina Duarte as a very independent divorcée—a controversial theme for Brazil at that time.

At one moment, he announced that he was proud to be from Rio de Janeiro, the town that is also the birthplace of many musical legends, including Antonio Carlos Jobim and many others.

That statement drew steady applause from the other Cariocas in the audience as he began playing "Aqui É o Meu País" (Here Is My Country), a patriotic song with a romantic twist.

One of the concert's highlights was romantic ballad "Maravilhosa" (Marvelous), when the audience took over the singing while Lins happily played along on his Yamaha piano to a roomful of mostly female voices.

Another great moment was the lively samba "Desesperar Jamais" (Never Despair), in which Lins played mouth trombone during the long instrumental sections that showcased keyboardist Marcio Brito.

I was greatly impressed by the technique of guitarists Zé Carlos (acoustic) and Leonardo Bueno (electric). Both played beautiful solos and drew appreciative applause from all present.

After about 90 minutes of music, Ivan Lins left the stage momentarily and promptly returned for an encore that included "Madalena," his first big hit made famous in the voice of the late Elis Regina.

I felt that Lins is not much of a showman as the definition itself goes, but he definitely has a lot of charisma, which definitely helps him carry the show.

Apart from that, he is the writer of many huge hits (many recorded by artists such as The Manhattan Transfer, Sarah Vaughan and many others), and the inclusion of most of those during the set surely pleased everyone who forked over $40 to see this great Brazilian composer.

It was a great show, and it made me feel somewhat sorry to have missed his other appearances in the tri-state area in earlier years.

Ivan Lins
Palacio Europa
Newark, NJ
August 06,2004
For more information:http://www.newyorkbrazil.com

Ernest Barteldes is an ESL and Portuguese teacher. In addition to that, he is a freelance writer who has regularly been contributing The Greenwich Village Gazette since September 1999. His work has also been published by Brazzil, The Staten Island Advance, The Staten Island Register, The SI Muse, The Villager, GLSSite and other publications. He lives in Staten Island, NY. He can be reached at ebarteldes@yahoo.com

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