Winter Nite

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Once again, we bring the heat and good vibes to this Tdot winter of contentment in frigid temperatures. We have the very best djs and the real deal raw samba of Batucada Carioca. It all happens at Super Wonder Gallery right on College Street near Clinton. What makes this jam fun is the liberty of expression, come out and feel no shame and dance bc no one cares. Click the link above for your advance tickets.Batucada Carioca, are old school alumnae of Uma Nota dating back to the days when the jam was at the Gladstone Hotel. They are led by the effervescent Maninho Costa, a true samba percussion master, born into the tradition inn Rio de Janeiro. For this little gig he has brought together his "nove de ouro" or the "nine of gold," a small group of Batucada's ace players locked in a groove so tight that the surdos and repenique promise to pull you from within and create a bridge between earth and some other-wordily realm of pure bliss. Check our old school blog post that gives you a full breakdown of Batucada, including more pics and video.BatucadaJ Laijenny cutJennifer Laiwint, or better known these days as J Lai, is an artist through and through, dabbling in visual art, Capoeira Angola, and in the last few years making an impact as a dj that moves the dance- floor. She brings a dancehall tip, some baile funk, RnB, electro-tropical and global and Baltimore club mixes for all. Check her mix below.The indelible General Eclectic. General Eclectic is the resident dj and co-founder of Uma Nota, and one of the most popular and well versed djs in Toronto. His crates go deep and his ability to play across genres and always bring the crowd to a groove is legendary. We won't go on about him too much, but he's been called a million dollar dj.And.... (drum roll) debut-ing this jam... dj Win-win! Our homegirl Winnie is gonna show us what she's got and get the jam rolling. Mad styles Winnie, originally from Halifax, is known her fun house parties, playing with Maracatu Mar Aberto, hanging in Kensington Market, and generally cutting a rug on the dance-floor at a number of jams around the world. Let's call it global influenced electronic dance music. Come early and check out the Win-win situation. See you all at Uma Nota Winter Nite!The Win-win situation.  

Domingão do Samba! (Big Sunday Samba!)

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Music.Friends.Food.Dance.Drink

Once again, in the tradition of cultural fairs and Block Party, we present Domingão do Samba (Big Samba Sunday) an afternoon to evening event specially made into a Quadra de Samba, or Samba School rehearsal hall in Rio de Janeiro. Everybody is welcome. Bring the family, chill out, dance, play and hang while the Roda de Samba plays, or go wild as the Batucada plays the big stage!

There will be Brazilian feijoada and tapioca stands, an arts and food marketplace, children’s activities and games including face painting and mini ping pong. There will be incredible music from Rio's rich samba traditions:

Batucada Carioca with special guests (Bateria led by Maninho Costa)

Roda de Samba (Brazilian roots samba)

DJ General Eclectic (MPB, samba soul, samba-rock)

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Batucada Carioca (led by Maninho Costa) 7:30 pmBatucada Carioca is Toronto’s premiere Rio-style samba troupe. Led by Rio native sambista Maninho Costa ("Maninho z10"), Batucada has a raw uplifting style. After a spectacular 10th anniversary show last fall on the Great Hall stage, this time out the samba party includes a beefed-up bateria (samba drums) to give an extra-heavy swing on a selection of classic samba-enredos and other beloved sambas to guarantee a great time for all and singalongs for Brazilians and samba addicts alike. The show features Carlinhos Pernambuco on cavaco and Wagner Petrilli on seven-string guitar along with more special guest performers soon TBA, including Aline Morales among them.Roda de Samba (Brazilian roots samba) 4:00pmA ‘roda de samba’ or circle of samba, is a a gathering of friends who play and sing classic samba tunes with smaller instrumentation (as opposed to the baterias of big samba schools). In Brazil, a roda de samba can take place on market days or at bars with people gathering around a table of seated musicians eating, dancing, rejoicing and often singing along in chorus. In Toronto, Carlos Pernambuco has been at the forefront of this movement, with his infectious voice and cavaquinho leading the songs. The Roda de Samba will happen in the afternoon while the feijoada is being served and other activities happen around the venue.Uma_Nota_Fest_54DJ General Eclectic. Our resident and co-founder General Eclectic is up on the Ones and Twos. His record collection runs deep and his musical knowledge is beyond vast. As his name implies, his tastes are ‘eclectic’ and he can bring out ska/reggae, soul/funk, afrobeat/jazz, cumbia and the Brazilian rhythms, with a longtime love and knowledge of MPB and samba soul references. He will be bringing out great tunes for your dancing feet.

Plus:

Kids activities! Samba dancers to help you learn your movesFace painting by skinfulARTMini Pong for all by VanGreyArtist Market

Food:Tapioca stand by Tapioca GourmetFeijoada DelightAçaí and Salgadinhos Chocolate, Choco Drink & Coffee by ChocoSol

The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. WestDoors 2 p.m.Schedule & Set times TBA$10 at the door (from 2 to 6 p.m.), $15 after 6 p.m.

Co-presented with Batucada Carioca 

Facebook event page 

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Global Rhythm w/ José Marquez

We are delving into the world of electronic ecstatic rhythmacism... also known as house music... check the vibes on April 11th, 201511115764_10153081308101609_1029642258267025686_o

Uma Nota & Solid Garage present Global Rhythm

 JOSÉ MARQUEZ (Tribe, Yoruba Records, Los Angeles)

YOGI (Solid Garage Toronto)

special live performance by:

BATUCADA CARIOCA

Sat April 11th 10pm Remix - 1305 Dundas St. W. Toronto

hosted by Pradeep & Bridgette

$10 Adv Tickets, $15 @ Door

Buy Tickets[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/users/124548" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="600" iframe="true" /]

Los Angeles DJ/Producer Jose Marquez’s musical influence is a result of being brought up on a stable diet of Latin and World Music. Always intrigued by electronic sounds, Jose's mission has been to fuse his love of world rhythms with the dance floor. Jose indeed succeeded when he burst onto the scene in 2010 with memorable remixes & edits of artists such as Celia Cruz, Nina Simone, Oumou Sangare and many others…In less than two years time, Jose was blessed with the opportunity to introduce his sound to the world by remixing for renowned Housemusic labels such as Tribe Records, Djoon Experience, Vega/Nulu Records, United Music, Yoruba Records, Wonderwheel and Deeper Shades Recordings. Since then, he continues to travel the globe uniting nations on the dance floor with his signature sound performing at major clubs and events such as Djoon (Paris), Global Fantasy (Athens), Solid Garage (Toronto), DEEP (Los Angeles), Crossroads (NYC), Mi Casa es su Casa (Mexico), Uhuru Afrika (Boston) Cachimba (Melbourne), Electrafrique (Nairobi) Voodoo (CasablancaOur partner in this production is DJ Yogi, the first purveyor behind UnitedSoul.ca, Solid Garage, Groove Institute and a crucible behind the scenes of the house music world’s underground warehouse sounds. Garage can be described as an extension of the Garage Sound born in the early '80's at The Paradise Garage (NYC). The musicplayed at this club by the Legendary Larry Levan, defined the term GARAGE and influenced the next generation of soulful dance music. Solid Garage's goal is to promote the many layers of this garage sound which is heavily inspired by the roots of soul, jazz, Afro-Latin, disco, techno and house.And of course... Batucada CariocaBatucada Carioca is the rawest form of samba bateria that you will ever see outside of Brazil. Batucada means drumming group and carioca means from Rio de Janeiro, and Batucada Carioca is the real deal. Led by the venerable Maninho Costa, born in Ilha do Governador in Rio’s Zona Norte and nephew of the great samba school master Odilon Costa, he is recognized as one of the most bad-ass players anywhere in the world. He brings the real samba flavour to our Global Rhythm party. They killed it at their 10th Anniversary Feijoda at last year's community cultural fair, this year they will bring the intense vibes to the our late night dance party.  

The Live Element: Bands at Uma Nota Fest

cover pics bands copyHere is the rundown of the Live acts featured at this year's Uma Nota Fest (#UmaNotaFest for the social media savvy). Lots of talent and creativity in the mix to move your body and stimulate the pleasure zones of the mind.The Human RightsUma Nota alumni The Human Rights (formally Friendlyness & The Human Rights) have spent 6 years honing their unique style of uplifting and ultra-heavy reggae music. The ten-piece band has recruited Toronto soul man Tréson and have re-united as The Human Rights. Tréson brings a whole new level and dynamic to the band, his powerful voice the perfect compliment to Friendlyness' style. After two Canadian tours, CBC recording sessions, opening slots for reggae legends Gregory Isaacs, John Holt and Beres Hammond, and a feature in the new Trailer Park Boys movie, The Human Rights are gearing up to release their 2nd LP and are touring in support of their latest single "Old School Track." On Oct 17th at the El Mocambo they bring us back that old school feeling. (FB event)

Heavy Soundz (Montreal)

Heavy Soundz come to us from Montreal and embody the alter-Latino scene there. Solidly anchored in a merry multicultural melange, the members of Montreal collective Heavy Soundz kick it with crazy rhythms that get any party started. What do these 5 musicians and 5 MCs from Québec, Haïti and Latin America have in store for us? A caliente whirlwind of Latin urban music spiced with reggae, cumbia and hip hop, as heard on their latest album, “Tumba Parlantes”, a sound that gets everyone in the room moving, grooving and sweating … We are pleased to welcome Heavy Soundz to the El Mocambo  On Oct 17th. (FB event)Flavia Nascimento and BandFlavia won hearts and fans in Toronto with her whimsically romantic forró during last year’s Uma Nota Festival. She is now proud to launch her self titled EP in Toronto. Recorded in Brazil over the winter (Brazil summer) of 2014, the CD is a mixture of original compositions and original takes of some classics from her homeland. The distinct regional style of her native state Minas Gerais is heard as some songs harken the congados (African processions from Minas) and a distinct, almost Milton Nascimento vibe in her arrangements. Her live performance is warm and festive, with a touch of romance. Flavia is the most enchanting start to our festivals. Flavia plays the festival launch at Touché Lounge on Oct 16th at 9pm. (FB event)

Wagner Petrilli  

Brazilian guitarist and composer Wagner Petrilli, originally from São Paulo, is one of Toronto’s most prominent Brazilian musicians. Wagner plays the very best MPB or musica popular brasileira, which is a very Brazilian way of saying the work is made with influences from the entire spectrum of Brazilian national music, including samba, choro, afro-derived forms and classical music. His recently released CD Confissão (“confession”) received critical acclaim and his cd launch at Lula Lounge was a memorable evening for all there. Expect a lively and powerful show from a great band. Wagner plays at 6pm at The Great Hall. (FB event)

Wagner Petrilli [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158141444" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Batucada Carioca (led by Maninho Costa)

Batucada Carioca is Toronto’s premiere Rio-style samba troupe. Led by Rio native sambista Maninho Costa (Maninho z10) Batucada has a raw uplifting style. For their 10th anniversary Maninho has prepared a special set of all new material, and beyond the regular bateria (samba drums) the show features Carlinhos Pernambuco on cavaco, Wagner Petrilli on 7-string guitar and Christopher Butcher on trombone, with special guests performances by Tio Chorinho and Louis Simao. Batucada Carioca plays at 7:30 at the Great Hall on Oct 19th. (FB Event)This one is an oldy, not high def footage, but it shows Batucada Carioca in 2009, so it has wicked historical value and you can see see Maninho killing it.

Roda de Samba (Brazilian roots samba) 3pm

A ‘roda de samba’ or circle of samba, is a a gathering of friends who play and sing classic samba tunes with smaller instrumentation (as opposed to the baterias of big samba schools). In Brazil a roda de samba can take place on market days or at bars with people gathering around a table of seated musicians, and eating, dancing, rejoicing and often singing along in chorus. In Toronto, Carlos Pernambuco is at the forefront of this movement, with his infectious voice and cavaquinho leading the songs. The roda (circle) will happen in the afternoon while the feijoada is being served and other activities happen around the venue. Roda de Samba will play throughout the day starting at 3pm at The Great Hall. (FB event).An example of roda de samba in Brazil:

Yes yes Uma Nota Fest

The fourth annual Uma Nota Festival of Tropical Expressions  running October 16th to the 19th brings fresh bands, more DJs, more Brazil and more global citizenship. Four days of music, dance food and culture for your senses. Ok so this is just a temporary post before we get all the write ups on the artists etc.. check the posters and the schedule on the Festival page. So please check back here for updates, videos, dj mixes etc etc...umanota_festival2014_eflyer3

Samba in Toronto: O Encontro de Baterias

Toronto's samba bateria (drum corps) history dates back about 20 years. It's said the first samba drumming performance group evolved by way of a desire from within the Brazilian community to represent during the city's summer festivities. Many of the original players from the first project in the early '90s, Viva Brazil, remain active in samba groups in the city today.Throughout the early 2000s a few new baterias formed, and for about the last 10 years, four different groups in the city have co-existed as Toronto's interpreters and representatives of the Brazilian samba bateria tradition.This past April 7, the four groups came together to play as one bateria in a historic encontro, or meeting.Chocalhos and agogôs (shakers and bells) near the front of the formation at the Encontro de BateriasNegin Bahrami on surdo de terceira and cuíca at the April 7, 2013 Encontro de Baterias (Photos: Dave Burke (left); Avital Zemer (right)The event was instigated by Negin Bahrami of Batucada Carioca, who was inspired by a bateria encontro between various samba schools in Rio.(Video below: TV news item in Portuguese)Bahrami -- who has traveled to Rio several times and has paraded in a top-level samba school bateria and with several samba blocos --  explains what inspired her to initiate the Encontro:

                   "The reason behind the event was to give people here who have never been to Rio a chance to experience a taste of what it feels like to be a part of a large bateria rehearsal the way it's done there  -- generally between 150 - 300 players rehearsing one song [the school's Carnaval anthem] for the parade that year.

                  "In Rio, the samba schools and mestres are all friends (not rivals) and they invite each other to their quadras [rehearsal halls] as guest to perform. It is very common for players to play in more than one group and get together. It is a massive samba community and the only time they are in competition is when they parade through the Sambódromo (and even then it is in friendly competition).

                   "Samba is a passion there; it is community and unity. This is what I wanted to promote in Toronto, and by uniting the four groups, everyone was able to experience that vibe and energy that gives you goosebumps, with the heavy and powerful sound of a bateria made up of 100+ players."

After much gestation, the idea took flight with an initial meeting in fall 2012 between the four directors and some other key players. (Jon Medow, who is my co-director for Samba Elégua on this project, says it all reminded him of a mafia meeting -- a clandestine coming together of Toronto's samba bateria bosses!).The group leaders show off the four t-shirts of the four Toronto samba bateria groupsThe group leaders together at the EncontroThe agreement was struck: They would participate in an Encontro de Baterias, the leaders agreeing to create a musical project everyone could work on to prepare something for all the groups to play together.The four samba bateria groups of Toronto that participated in the event and came all together for the first time are:Escola de Samba de Toronto (a.k.a. Toronto Samba School or TSS)Led by Alan Hetherington, the city's bateria pioneer who started things up for that first group, the "Escola" was the first Toronto outfit organized instruction in the samba bateria style. Many of Toronto's samba heads have participated, and the classes are offered through the Royal Conservatory of Music, where Hetherington also teaches other styles of samba percussion. Under his direction, the group has traveled to Brazil several times, and as an ensemble have performed, studied and recorded with professional Brazilian artists. The group mostly sticks to the samba-enredo and bateria styles, which Hetherington teaches with encyclopaedic knowledge and years of technique. They play some other Brazilian rhythms as well, and in fact have performed complex arrangements and time signatures, but for the most part this Escola de Samba keeps the rhythms traditional.Samba Squad As we have mentioned, Samba Squad are not samba purists. Founded and led by percussionist and teacher Rick Lazar, another old-schooler, Samba Squad is a powerhouse of diverse rhythms and perhaps the group that most represents Toronto's cultural diversity in its repertoire of rhythms. Samba Squad's projects are wide-ranging, from elaborately arranged recordings and stage shows like their recent CD release party (and turns performing with Jesse Cook) to an entire youth arts and music non-profit wing; Drum Artz studio, the org's home base, hosted the Encontro, and Samba Kidz, the youth performing/workshop group, incorporates entire steel pan racks into arrangements for samba, soca and more. Samba Squad has taught and nurtured many local players and samba addicts as well, and to the general populace of Toronto is one of the most visible samba baterias around. For more, read our recent article about Samba Squad and their latest album.Batucada CariocaThis group came onto the scene around 2003, a few years after Hetherington, while visiting Brazil, met Maninho Costa through samba school rehearsals. A native of the Ilha do Governador (Governor's Island) area of Rio de Janeiro, Costa has played in baterias since the age of seven -- his uncle, Odilon Costa, is one of Brazil's most respected bateria masters -- starting in the kids' baterias and moving to the elite levels as a teenager. Following an invitation from Hetherington, Costa visited Toronto in 2000 and 2001 as a performer for the annual Brazilian Ball fundraiser; after the 2001 event, he stayed, later starting his own project. Batucada Carioca began as a smaller group in 2003, and in 2004 grew into a larger bateria; the band plays samba music with an emphasis on the heavy percussive swing of the Rio bateria tradition, performing famous Carnaval anthems along with popular Brazilian tunes and a few other grooves. Check out more about Maninho Costa and Batucada Carioca in our previous article here.Samba EléguaPerhaps the most community-oriented samba project of the bunch, Samba Elégua was founded in 2001 as a free-to-join music group by Itay Keshet, then a student at University of Toronto (who directed the project's first five years or so), and to this day it has managed to survive without anyone paying for classes or rehearsals as a kind of volunteer-based samba percussion collective. Of the four groups, it is the one whose leadership and repertoire have likely changed the most over the course of its history (more than 10 individuals including Jon Medow, David ArcusRaphi Roter and myself have led the group in performance). Like Samba Squad,  Samba Elégua plays both Brazilian grooves and a number of fusion rhythms that represent the sounds of multicultural Toronto. In recent years, the group has reworked and developed a stronger bateria samba groove along with other expanded repertoire pieces. We posted about Samba Elégua's sound in a video-based blog entry here.Tamborims (small frame drums that deliver a high cracking sound essential to the feel of samba, played in a specific turning style) -- this section has the most complex arrangement, including for this first Encontro projectWith participation confirmed from the four groups, the "samba mafia bosses" agreed to try a samba-enredo arrangement for the Encontro, one that all groups could learn ahead of time.Eventually the tune was chosen: Araxá (full title: Araxá - Lugar Alto Onde Primeiro Se Avista o Sol), which was the Carnaval anthem performed in 1999 by Rio samba school Beija-Flor de Nilópolis.Once videos of the arrangement were posted online and made available to all, the groups had a few months to practice.Allow me to speak from my experience: for Samba Elégua at least it was the first time many players had performed samba in this format, the way it is in Rio and São Paulo's samba schools -- not just a samba groove, but everything fitting around a song. We spent months encouraging players to review the videos as posted for each instrument, and rehearsed the whole thing several times; this even meant incorporating amplified singing in Portuguese along with the rhythm, which was also a new experience for many group members.Maninho Costa calling a bossa (percussion break)Finally the erratic spring weather seemed to clear a little for the big Sunday, and by the time everyone was assembled in the Drum Artz studio, we had more than 100 players, making it the largest samba bateria ever in Canada. (We are pretty sure! Did anyone call Guinness?)Among the many drummers, several of the original Viva Brazil players were on hand for the big day, including Rick Lazar, Alan Hetherington, and musicians and members of Samba Squad, Batucada Carioca and a range of other projects like Tony Pierre, Trevor Yearwood, Lyba Spring, Janet McClelland and Gord Sheard.Negin Bahrami lays down a beat on the surdo along with guest musicians, from left: Avital Zemer (seven-string guitar), Carlos Cardozo (cavaquinho) and Wagner Petrilli (guitar). The day involved warming up the bateria, playing the arrangement's breaks, and then getting into the song with guest musicians Carlos Cardozo on cavaquinho and Wagner Petrilli on guitar, plus another guitarist, Avital Zemer, who also photographed part of the event. Maninho Costa was the day's interprete or samba vocalist.Alan Hetheringto calls the bossa (break) for the bateria while Maninho Costa sings.After organizing the bateria into a formation, the leaders directed a successful run-through for over an hour or so, each section of instruments playing its parts of the arrangement, and everyone playing the arrangement's bossa or break together through several repetitions of the song (I would guess around 20-25 times).Samba group leaders from Toronto baterias, from left: Jon Medow, Alan Hetherington, Maninho Costa, Rick Lazar (Photo: Avital Zemer)Things then moved to call and response breaks with the leaders of the groups calling on repeniques (the high-pitched drum played in the bateria style with one hand and one stick, which takes on the role of calling the bateria into the groove and hitting the loud call notes for the bateria to respond).Rick Lazar of Samba Squad leading during the closing procession at the Encontro de Baterias (Photo: Avital Zemer)The afternoon was nearly over, but it wouldn't have been complete without a parade, so everyone marched outside with their instruments and made a loud block party to finish the Encontro in true Brazilian samba bateria style.Happy samba drummers! (Photo: Dave Burke)All in all it was a greatly successful event: Happy people with a new collective experience, new friends made and a samba bateria community that wants to make it happen again.This first Encontro was a hit for sure, and with everyone asking when the next one is, we say: Summer is coming, anything is possible and it seems it may only be a matter of time before the next Encontro de Baterias.All photos used with permission of photographers: Dave Burke and Avital Zemer

Carnaval da comunidade brasileira em TO!

This translates to "Carnival of the (Brazilian) community in Toronto."Where, pray tell, does the great majority of the Toronto Brazil community congregate for fun and frolic at carnival time? Usually at an event organized by Angela Mesquita and Luiz de Castro. Their shows are big -- extravagant, fun, packed with entertainment and colour -- and are a major current of the Brazilian community in Toronto, uniting all segments from across the GTA.A little context: Our Uma Nota events have a very strong Brazilian musical influence (as well as Caribbean, Latin, American Funk, Afrobeat etc.) and our public is very much that of the multi-cultural Toronto -- lots of fun and  very diverse. And, of course, a great deal of our public is Brazilian.Beyond loving the music and creativity, Brazilians bring a certain liberty of self-expression. Now imagine a whole event with 90% Brazilians. That is a whole lot of fun. If you want to be with Brazilians dancing, socializing and having a good time to warm up your winter, do not miss this year's Carnaval event. Every year the theme for the party is from a different carnaval hotspot in Brazil. Recent years have featured Pernambuco, Amazonas and Bahia, and this year the spotlight turns to the cidade marvilhosa (marvelous city), Rio de Janeiro. The night features live music from Uma Nota favourite samba group Batucada Carioca, and new-ish roots samba group Tem Gringo na Roda, as well as Bracatum featuring songstress Cibele Iglesias.Check out some pictures from previous years in this collage.The Carnaval Brasil 2013 event this weekend is multi-generational, genuine, and like we said: fun. The party starts at 7 p.m. and goes till the bar closes and people stop dancing. You might read the event info and think "OMG! It's in Vaughan!" Well, do not panic. There is free transportation. Yes, free transportation.Here is a vid from last year so you can get an idea.Angela Mesquita, one of the event's producers, is the owner operator of Brazil Remittance, a remittance company on Dundas Street West. A successful business woman, she is also a pillar in the Toronto Brazil community, offering her support to a myriad of events and helping many people out as they adjust to cold Canada. She produces events for  community charities, for New Year's Eve and for Carnaval. Brazil Remittance also offered community assistance to the Uma Nota Festival in our inaugural year (2011).Como sempre ... as always ... "Carnaval da Angela" is a can't-miss festa brasileira and cultural spectacle.

Maninho Costa and Batucada Carioca

In Toronto, there are many agitators in the Brazilian music scene. A great figure and a reference in this scene is the leader of Batucada Carioca, Maninho Costa.  It's crazy, because we don’t realize how lucky we are to have a man like Maninho Costa or ManinhoZ10 (pronounced mah-knee-n-yo-zé-des). He is a true link between our world and Brazil. A sambista through and through, he is the real deal  and his feel in the rhythm is unparalleled. Even in Brazil it would be rare to have the opportunity to study and learn from a man like Maninho.Maninho (a term of endearment meaning "little bro") started playing in the baterias of Rio de Janeiro in his early youth. His uncle, Mestre Odilon Costa, is one of the most recognized masters of the big Rio samba schools. Among 100 hand-picked musicians, Maninho was chosen to record the solo repinique parts on the Sergio Mendez record Brasileiro, for the song Fanfarra. He has played and is recognized in all the major samba school baterias. He ended up in Toronto in the early 2000s after being invited to play for the annual Brazilian Ball. And so it goes -- he has been here ever since, punctuated by the yearly trips to the homeland, Rio de Janeiro.A little preview of what will come when Maninho Costa and Batucada Carioca hit at Uma Nota: Here's ManinhoZ10 as a featured guest with Monobloco. Be prepared for a full-on show.While involved in a number of musical projects in Canada, including Tio Chorinho, Aline Morales, Jesse Cook and Sinal Aberto, Maninho's own samba project in Toronto is Batucada Carioca. What evolved from an informal jam group became the city's premiere Rio-style samba troupe. The foundation of Batucada Carioca's music is a heavy percussive swing, with the melodic accompaniment of cavaquinho, guitar,  and even trombone, as well as various singers singing enredos (traditional styled Carnaval samba anthems).Batucada first played at Uma Nota in 2009, one of the heaviest shows we ever put on at the Gladstone. We recently saw  Batucada play in Montreal to a pumped-up crowd at Parc Jean-Drapeau. A sneak peak of their rehearsal last week impressed the hell out of me. They are cooking up some new stuff and their energy at the moment is pretty hype. Batucada Carioca play the Uma Nota 5-year anniversary at the Great Hall Friday July 27. 

Carnaval 2012 is here, from Rio to Salvador to Toronto

The famous, wild and irresistible "clima do Carnaval" has already been heating up all over Brazil for weeks.  From Friday until this coming Ash Wednesday, all bets are off, pleasure and hedonism rule and the world's most famous giant party takes over.Rio de Janeiro bloco 2012 Me Beija Que Sou Cineasta Fotográfos FoliõesOne member of the Uma Nota community taking part in this year's festivities is Jon Medow, the musical director of  Toronto's Samba Elégua and a drummer in samba master Maninho Costa's Batucada Carioca. He's been in Rio since early February on his first trip to Brazil (following a trip to Argentina), and he's arrived tearing it up on the samba front at just the right time.  A talented drummer who plays several instruments from the escola de samba bateria tradition like a hard-hitting Carioca himself, Jon has managed to get right in there with some of the Rio street blocos and now, we can confirm, in the bateria of an escola de samba.Jon Medow G.R.E.S. Inocentes de Belford Roxo Rio Carnaval  Escola de Samba Carnaval Rio de Janeiro  Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí Sambódromo Batucada Carioca Samba Up there with Rio, another of the most popular Brazilian cities during Carnaval -- for sheer music and joy overload, not to mention the definition of "multidão" (huge, packed to the gills crowds) -- is of course Salvador da Bahia, the birthplace of the "trio elétrico" (among countless other Brazilian cultural manifestations, predominantly Afro-Brazilian ones!). This year, worldwide viewers and social media-happy Brazilians can watch live streaming video of the many shows around Salvador on a new YouTube channel created to showcase the festivities and allow people to interact online to comment on them. (More from the Google Blog here, hat tip to Electric Joshua.)   [tubepress video=nEVzpKFxodQ]   Meanwhile back in "terras frias," Toronto isn't missing its turn to party down. This year the annual Brazilian community's Carnaval bash, produced by the lovely and talented (and "Brasileirissima") Angela Mesquita, also puts Bahia in focus as the region of Brazil selected as the theme of this year's festa. Local stars Banda Bracatum rock their mix of samba-reggae, funk, horns and Afro-Brazilian tunes along with Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder adaptations, all led by Contra-Mestre Bola of Capoeira Camará and more in the action-packed band. Singer Cibelle Iglesias and Adrianna Yanuziello's dance troupe Dance Migration will also perform a special piece prepared for the Bahia-themed party. And Maninho Costa, freshly arrived from his hometown Rio (where he just finished a performance run of the show A Febre do Samba, on the history of the samba-enredo), will lead Batucada Carioca in a set of classic Carnaval anthems by the great escolas de samba including two giants, the heavily Afro-influenced Vila Isabel and the often-Bahia-themed Mangueira. Toronto-bound (revelers) can get their fix this Saturday night. Details here. Feliz Carnaval a todos! Happy Carnaval to all!