Brazilian Cello-bandolim Duo Ian and Kely Bring Brazil Groovy Tunes to the US

A Brazilian duo composed of two of the country’s most talented and promising young artists were recently featured in a video series at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

Mandolinist Ian Coury and cellist Kely Pinheiro, who together form Pinheiro & Coury, played a bright and energetic rendition of “Ponteio” by Edu Lobo, as well as a moody version of “Carinhoso” by Pixinguinha for the latest installment of Two Track, which premiered on August 3rd on Berklee’s YouTube channel.

The Two Track project gives Berklee students an opportunity to perform in an intimate, minimally-staged setting with a single microphone. Through this recording session, Pinheiro & Coury were able to share a taste of their infectious and groovy Brazilian stylings, modes rarely performed in a cello-bandolim configuration.

The Two Track series, which emulates NPR’s world-renowned Tiny Desk concerts, also gives artists a chance to engage with a different monthly theme through their choice of songs and a brief storytelling interlude. In this case, Coury & Pinheiro addressed the concept of the ‘journey.’

“I remember when I was 7 years old…in school, everyone was learning an instrument,” relates Coury in the video. “I asked my father…’what should I learn?’ He said, ‘try the Cavaquinho.’ It’s like a Brazilian ukulele.

“After six months, I went to a show of a guy…[who] plays this beautiful instrument of a mandolin with ten strings. …When he arrived on stage, he played the open strings. And that just took me out of my mind. I said, ‘oh my god, I want to play this instrument.’ Since that day, I began my journey.”

Coury’s journey with the ten-string mandolin, also known as the bandolim, has been nothing short of incredible. The Brasília-born 20-year-old is already one of the most accomplished bandolim players in the world, having mastered the Brazilian genre known as Choro, a style originating in the 19th century that combines European and African influences.

By age 12, he had shared the stage with Brazilian choro legends Armandinho and Hamilton de Holanda. He has also performed with many renowned Latin American jazz musicians like Paquito D’Rivera, Claudio Roditi, and Toninho Horta, and was awarded “Best Instrumentalist” in the National FM Radio Festival in 2020, as well as second place in Brazil’s eFestival in 2021, both for performances of original compositions.

Meanwhile, Pinheiro is making her own mark as one of Brazil’s most talented multi-instrumentalists and arrangers based in Boston. After receiving a full-tuition scholarship to Berklee College of Music and moving to the U.S., she has gone on to be a featured performer in a number of high-profile Berklee events, some of which have showcased the band which she leads known as Nebulous Quartet.

Pinheiro is a classically trained cellist but grew up in a music-loving family that encouraged her to explore a variety of musical styles, as reflected by the string Quartet’s diverse range of musical elements and cultural influences.


You May Also Like

Carnaval in the US

Is Brazilian Carnaval becoming an American institution? You can count on a myriad of ...

High Abstention in Brazil Shows an Angry and Frustrated Electorate

The first round of municipal elections in Brazil having transpired with no major incidents, ...

Silhouette of Indigenous leader Tereza Arapium in the famous Copacabana beach sidewalk. Image by Mongabay

Indigenous People Are Close to Brazilians in the Big City. But People Don’t Know It

During a presentation for Indigenous People’s Week, celebrated in April in Brazil, at his ...

Brazil’s Neighbor Blurs Boundaries

When American cellist-composer Joan Jeanrenaud left the Kronos String Quartet in 1999 after two ...

Two Brazilian classics just translated into English.

New Translations Introduce Brazil’s Lobato and Leminski to U.S.

New London Librarium, a premier publisher of translations of Brazilian classics, has just released ...

An Embraer airliner. Photo by Embraer

Boeing Close to Take Control of Brazil’s Embraer, But There Are Still Some Hurdles

Embraer has certainly been making the headlines as of late. After finally reaching an ...

Favela Reclaims for All Brazilians Flag Colors Hijacked by Former President Bolsonaro and His Followers

Brazil’s flag served as an emblem of Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right populist politics. Now designers ...

Guatemalan women fleeing their country

In Brazil, US VP Sends Message: Build Your Lives in Your Homeland

US Vice President, Mike Pence, said that Latin American migrants who “cannot come legally” ...

Brazilians celebrate the canonization into sainthood of Sister Dulce, "mother of the poor"

Sister Dulce, the “Good Angel of Bahia,” Becomes Brazil’s First Female Saint

Tens of thousands of Catholic faithful flocked to a football stadium in Brazil on ...

WordPress database error: [Table './brazzil3_live/wp_wfHits' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed]