real real - Bruno Capinan - Progress Festival

Bruno Capinan_by Filipe Catto

Bruno Capinan_by Filipe Catto

Special blog post by Kristyn Gelfand

Last fall, when we were approached by Laura Nanni, Artistic and Managing Director of SummerWorks Performance Festival, about curating a performance as part of the 2019 edition of Progress, we knew right away that we wanted to work with Bruno Capinan. This was in November 2018, in the time right after the right-wing extremist Jair Bolsonaro was elected as president of Brazil. Capinan had just published a widely distributed OpEd in The Globe & Mail titled “In Jair Bolsonaro, we are seeing a truer reflection of what Brazil really is”. The piece is gut wrenching and eye opening, detailing some of his story as a young, gay, Afro-Brazilian growing up without acceptance and eventually fleeing to Canada as a refugee.Now… we’ve known Bruno both personally and professionally for many years. In fact, Uma Nota has worked with him a number of times in the past, in both his solo project and during his time as lead singer of Mar Aberto Soundsystem. Most recently we booked him as the opening act for our sold out concert with Liniker e os Caramelows last July. His unique voice and style have been intriguing to us both on and off stage. But this article, with it’s glimpse into his personal history and politics made us want to delve deeper into his performance as an act of creative resistance in the face of rising populism, both in Brazil and here in Canada.As it happens, Capinan was in the final stages of recording his upcoming album ‘real’, and was eager to give Toronto audiences a first listen, so our presentation of ‘real real’ was born. We teamed up with VJ Notivago (currently on tour in Brazil doing video for Anitta!), to create original video for the show tying in some of the themes that he explores in his music and through his own narrative.Bruno will be performing with João Leão (synth and guitar) and a three piece string section featuring Tanya Charles (violin), Mariel Gonzalez (cello), and Brielle Goheen (viola). The show plays one night only, Saturday February 16th at The Theatre Centre as part of the fourth edition of Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas that brings together progressive performance work from across the globe and expands the conversation around possibilities for performance and form. A bit more about Progress...Innovative in its programming model, Progress is collectively curated. Abandoning the traditional notion of singular, top-down artistic direction, the Festival brings together a different collection of curatorial partner organizations each year, enabling a diversity of perspective and representation that reflects the complexity and diversity of contemporary society. 2019 curatorial partners partners include the red light district, Native Earth Performing Arts, Uma Nota Culture, The Power Plant, FADO Performance Art Centre, SummerWorks Performance Festival, The Theatre Centre, and Why Not Theatre.Uma Nota will also be partnering with Progress on the festival’s closing party. The party starts at 10 (right after real real), at The Theatre Centre and features DJ Hadara (formerly J.Lai), and a live performance from Toronto’s best hidden secret, Nego Mozambique. We’ve been wanting to hear some new music from Nego Mozambique for a while now!! This party is free and not-to-be-missed. Stay tuned here for more on the party later this week!Tickets: $25To learn more.. Check out this interview in yohomo with Zymbul Fkara.

The year that passed and the year to come

Liniker presented by Uma Nota & LMAC. pic: ANna Encheva

Liniker presented by Uma Nota & LMAC. pic: ANna Encheva

This year that passed was awesome. Many cool productions, collaborations, and artist residencies made 2018 special. Let's break it down…

We started the year with our Winter Nite, giving props our Brazil-phile roots with the real deal samba troupe Batucada Carioca. Speaking of which, this year's Winter Nite is the awesomest. Check the link.One of the early highlights in April was a full on reggae explosion with the Human Rights 10 year anniversary. The night was an indoor, fully packed block party, self produced at the restored Vaudeville theatre The Redwood. The Human Rights rocked it along with special guests Ammoye, Exco Levi, Kultcha Ites and so many more...

HR Ammoye

HR Ammoye

For a couple weeks in July, we had our first visiting Artist in Residence with the return to Toronto of the indelible, ultra charming (and equally frustrating hehehe) Jerusa Leão, who came presenting her solo show Saraváh  as well as a re-boot of everybody's favorite forró rabecado, Maria Bonita & the Band, of course, with Jerusa in the front, killing it. To say her vibe is infectious would be an understatement. She also guested with Maracatu Mar Aberto singing alongside Flavia Nascimento on several occasions, including at Guelph's super awesome Hillside Festival.

jerusa 2018

jerusa 2018

Perhaps our most memorable show was presenting together  Lula Music & Arts Centre and Polyphonic Ground, the great Liniker e os Caramelows. The show went OFFFFF! Soooooo much fun and groundbreaking for Toronto and the Brazilian community here. The soulful sounds kept us vibing all night long

Liniker all intimate. pic: Anna Encheva

Liniker all intimate. pic: Anna Encheva

.Beyond these great shows, on contract working with Small World Music, UN artistic director, Alex  assisted in programming several acts as part of their incredible festival, (including Tdot Batu w/ special guests, Las Cafeteras AMAZING 100, Soukustek & Baobá). UNC also worked closely with RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) during the Manifesto Festival, and to top it off, we rocked Vox Sambou's CD release at the Baby G in Toronto! Again, these last two were co-productions with Polyphonic Ground.

Finally, this year we went to España (and Catalunya), to Barcelona, Andalusia and Islas Canarias for WOMEX, the World Music Expo, where we met with like minded artists and presenters, including our friends Liniker e os Caramelows and a crew of peeps from Latin America, Brazil, and beyond. We learned lots and made mad connections there. One special encounter was with Jabu Morales, a super talent, an old friend and the sister of Toronto's own Aline Morales.

WOMEX with tha cool peeps. From left to right: Tamar Ilana of Ventanas, Kristyn Ann from Uma Nota, Alex from Uma Nota, Jabu Morales and DJ Mukambo (Benjamin Tollet)

WOMEX with tha cool peeps. From left to right: Tamar Ilana of Ventanas, Kristyn Ann from Uma Nota, Alex from Uma Nota, Jabu Morales and DJ Mukambo (Benjamin Tollet)

So a lot of good stuff this past year with Uma Nota... look out for 2019! Including our first event of the year, Winter Nite, and something groundbreaking as part of the Progess Festival: real real  with Bruno Capinan, plus a new festival in July. Keep your ear to the ground to hear the rumblin's a-comin'! Much love and happy new year! May all our dreams and aspirations move forward!All the best Toronto and beyond! One love! 

Feb 16 at the Theatre Centre in Toronto, co-pro with Summerworks

Feb 16 at the Theatre Centre in Toronto, co-pro with Summerworks

in/future Transformative Art Experience

in-future-ben-watt-meyer-fb-crop-photo-bryne-mclaughlin-1024x538in/future is totally awesome. The arts & music festival brings together a whole lot of beautiful ingredients for a truly innovative and art-inspiring experience. Here are three reasons to go for the final weekend.It’s at Ontario Place. For Torontonians (especially over-30 peeps), it is super nostalgic, and regardless, this ‘70s/’80s on-the-lake world of the future, park of revelry, even in its current abandoned state, is an inspiring setting. In last week’s NOW Magazine cover story on the festival, one of the festival programmers, Layne Hinton, said: "We're taking all our cues from the West Island and Ontario Place and its history. It's interesting because they built the space with all these futuristic ideas and utopian models, but they were also referencing something from the recent past. So we've been interested in that relationship, the play of time the site seems to hold." We are talking instant romance for those on an alternative-style date night. Art Spin, the wonder adventurists of Toronto, have curated some beautiful installations from various artists (you have to see it). Led by Hinton and Rui Pimenta, they teamed up with Small World Music Society, who have put together a wicked musical programme removed from commercial glitz, wholly diverse and eclectic and of the greatest musicianship. (It also helps our ego that many of the artists have in the past been presented by Uma Nota!) The fourth element for this art bending experience this Friday? Uma Nota presents three incredible Brazilian live acts and a roving DJ that take your after-work transformative art experience to the next level. Check out what’s on offer below. Oh yes, and we also must say that the best part is the crowd that comes out: Diverse, fun, and beautiful people who love adventure and artistic inspiration.Luísa MaitaA Sao Paulo cool kid whose music fuses downtempo electronica, a bit of Ceu’s vibes, some Vanessa da Mata flavour and a bunch of urban Cumbancha feels. She is one of the more accessible contemporary Brazilian artists, and while the US media like NPR have caught onto her, but she is still flying under the radar here in Canada. Her sound is kind of a soul vibe, some pop even, very urban and cool. Now Mag wrote: “Coaxing imagery from Brazil's inimitable culture, [Maita] expands on the traditions of classic samba with modern influences that include Feist and Cat Power.”Bruno CapinanBruno’s sound is maturing like mad. He is leaving us doing the groovy head-nod with his new directions. Our homeboy Jonathan Rothan had this to say about Bruno Capinan in a recent NOW magazine piece: “Singer/songwriter Bruno Capinan's personal, exploratory songs have an epic indie feel that matches his equally epic stage wear. He released Tudo Está Dito, his third album, in 2014, and has since performed and recorded in Brazil with Gilberto Gil's son Bem Gil. He [was] part of a "new music of Brazil" showcase at the Rio Olympics in August, and his next album arrives in the fall.” It’s coming out very soon and for that we are also excited.Maracatu Mar AbertoMar Aberto is our maracatu of choice in Toronto [albeit a little biased!]. This show features, direct from Brazil, Garnize from Tambores de Olokun and the lead vocals of Zeca Polina and Quebec based songstress Flavia Nascimento, Mar Aberto's show promises emotional upliftment and ecstatic performance translating directly to the dancers and audience.Over the last seven years, Mar Aberto has developed Toronto-bred Maracatu language -- creating a distinct Maracatu style that is rooted in a Toronto vibe (a band of bohemian agitators linked to different underground cultural events) while learning and respecting traditional maracatu nations, expanding from original school of influence, the venerable Maracatu Estrela Brilhante of Recife in Pernambuco, Brazil. garniDJ General Eclectic on the Boom BikeGroove with one of Canada's finest DJs, and resident Uma Nota selector, who will be performing live on his newly created Boom Bike! 1500watts of pure awesomeness all contained on a hand crafted specially built tricycle setup!boom-bike