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Biography of Caratinga

Caratinga is a sextet of Brazilian and British musicians playing choro and other instrumental music by Brazil’s greatest composers from the 1900s to the present day, from early Brazilian tangos by Ernesto Nazareth, to classic choros from the 1930s and 40s by legendary figures Pixinguinha and Jacob do Bandolim, to contemporary greats such as Hermeto Pascoal, Guinga and Luciana Rabello.

The group’s performances have included the Brazil:Brasil festival at London’s Barbican Centre, the Royal Festival Hall Foyer, the Cheltenham Festival of Literature, the London Guitar Festival and jazz clubs and arts centres across the UK. In February 2005 Caratinga begin a tour of England in collaboration with UK musicians in a project which will draw together Brazil’s choro tradition with the folk music of the British Isles.

Choro is one of Brazil’s best loved, most beautiful and enduring forms of music, a tradition born in Rio de Janeiro and other cities over a century ago and remaining a vibrant part of Brazilian musical life to this day.

Choro originally grew out of musicians’ spontaneous “Brazilianising” of the polkas, tangos and waltzes of 19th century salon music, in many ways mirroring the evolution of ragtime and early jazz in North America.

Along the way choro absorbed popular rhythms that it shares with samba and other styles, and the musicians - including immortal figures such as Chiquinha Gonzaga, Ernesto Nazareth, Pixinguinha and Jacob do Bandolim - created a repertoire that has come to contain countless classics of Brazilian music.

Like jazz and folk music, choro constantly renews itself through improvisation, and is played in informal “sessions” as well as by established groups. Its influence runs through Brazilian music from the 1900’s to the present day; taking in the classical music of the great Villa-Lobos, Carmen Miranda’s hit “Tico-tico”, the work of great popular songwriters such as Chico Buarque, and modern choro groups both traditionalist and innovative.

Press quotes

“Fantastic!” Randy Morse Producer/Host “The Best of Brazil” KZUM 89.3

“Excelente” O Globo, Rio de Janeiro

“terrific music; terrific playing” Daniella Thompson - Brazil:The Magazine of Brazilian Music & Culture

About the musicians

Anselmo Netto Bandolim, Percussion Anselmo Netto was born in Salvador. Before moving to Europe Anselmo toured and recorded with samba group De Boca In Boca, hugely popular in Bahia and the Northeast of Brazil, as well as the nationally renowned Terra Samba. On moving to the UK he rapidly became one of the most sought-after musicians in London, playing at major venues across the country and across Europe.

Jonathan Preiss 7-string Guitar A versatile guitarist and composer, Jonathan Preiss plays frequently with award-winning melodeon player Luke Daniels and with classical group the London Guitar Trio, and has also performed with, amongst

others, the LPO, sitarist Dharambir Singh, baroque orchestra the Georgian Camerata.

Other current projects include Encontros Poéticos with Brazilian poet, singer and translator Natan Barreto, a group which explores themes in Brazilian culture through poetry, music and song.

Ben Davis Cello Ben has played and recorded with Huw Warren, Claire Martin, Robert Mitchell, Euan Parker, Dufay Collective, D-Influence, Jamiroquai, Christine Tobin, Jogleresa, Stuart Hall, Rare Mix and Louis Moholo. Most recently he has played with Robert Mitchell, Juliet Roberts, Steve Buckley, Seb Roachford, Evan Parker, Jacqui Dankworth and Chris Garrick, and in 2003 was part of Norma Winstone’s Wayne Shorter Project.

Allison Neale Flute, Saxophones Born in Seattle, USA, Allison grew up in the East Midlands and with the Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra she had the opportunity to perform with many leading international artists such as Adelaide Hall, Bobby Shew, Bud Shank and Lanny Morgan. The Allison Neale quartet can be seen playing at venues in London and throughout the UK. Allison’s debut album “Melody Express” was released earlier this year on 33 records to great critical praise including being named the Observer’s “Jazz CD of the week”.

Felipe Karam Cavaquinho, Violin. Felipe studied classical violin at Porto Alegre University, as well as learning popular music on violin and cavaquinho (the traditional steel-strung ukulele ubiquitous in samba and choro). Since arriving in the UK Felipe has already made a great impression, performing at venues including London’s Royal Festival Foyer and Spitz arts centre, and appearing regularly at one of London’s newest venues, Guanabara.

Adriano Adewale Itauna Percussion One of the most creative percussionists working in the UK, Adriano is a master of a Brazilian styles from choro and samba to baião and frevo, and instruments such as pandeiro, zabumba and repinique. From São Paulo, Adriano studied classical percussion as well as popular music. Amongst the many great artists with whom he has performed are Antonio Forcione, Madagascarn guitarist Modeste, Sambura and Monica Vasconcelos.

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