Thursday, April 25, 2013

Direct from Brazil to Hartford: Dinho Nascimento and His Berimbau Orchestra

Dinho Nascimento and his Berimbau Orchestra. Photo: Courtesy of Trinity
Dinho Nascimento, an innovator in Brazilian music for 40 years, is bringing his Berimbau Orchestra direct from São Paulo for its US debut at Samba Fest. The Brazilian Ministry of Culture is sponsoring their appearance.

Samba Fest is a daylong celebration of music and dance from Brazil, Trinidad, and Puerto Rico. Now in its seventh year, it will take place on Saturday, May 4, from 11 am to 6 pm at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza, 300 Columbus Blvd. Admission is free to this family-friendly event.

The berimbau is now a global symbol of Brazilian national identity. This musical instrument of African origin consists of a long wooden bow, a metal string, and gourd resonator, and its pitch is produced with a small wooden stick and modified with a stone or coin. These sounds are accompanied by a palm-sized basket rattle.

Although the history of the berimbau has strong connections with capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art/dance/game, Dinho Nascimento has expanded the range of sounds produced on this instrument and illuminates shared roots between the berimbau and music of North America.

For general information about Samba Fest: sambafest.com; 860-297-2199. For directions and parking information, visit riverfront.org/parks/mortensen/.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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