Videos: Uma Nota Festival 2012

Toronto, you rocked it at our festival and we have the video to show for it!Previously posted: our review of this year's Uma Nota Festival of Tropical Expressions, including lots of photos and a little report on what made the festival extra special this year. Uma Nota Festival 2012 - World Funk flagship event at Great Hall (photo: Jackie Atlas)Here's the first of the two videos from that night (pictured above). This one comes courtesy of Patric McGroarty of Mar Aberto SoundSystem, Yuka and his own amazing mobile recording services outfit Saint Clarens. Tbe music in the video is a custom mix by General Eclectic!Fun stuff, eh?Here's the video our own editor Danny Alexander (who cut our festival preview and Uma Nota Experience videos) prepared with the great footage from our documentation team. Check out the performances and dance floor goings-on, all set to the music of Sound One, recorded live on the night.We hope that keeps your appetite up for coming events in the new year! Stay tuned for more about our events in 2013, including next year's Uma Nota Festival of Tropical Expressions.

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. 

QuiQue Escamilla Crosses All Bridges

It was at The Dakota tavern that I first saw Quique Escamilla play, and he killed it. People were bumping to his songs and his band was in the pocket. Jose Ortega, the artistic director/owner of Lula Lounge, was also there, and he noticed me grooving to the sound. I said to him that I was really impressed with Quique's style, fresh, familiar, yet somehow not pretentious or cheesy,  and he even seemed to have a hipster following! Jose looked at me and responded "yeah, he crosses all the bridges." At that moment I knew it would be wicked to have Quique on board for an Uma Nota show.In our world, almost no one has just one form of musical influence. It's basically impossible. In a city like New York, São Paulo, Paris, Toronto, or any multicultural city, we may all have our frame of musical reference, but we can appreciate and take the best of all the musical forms that cross our paths. We in the big urban centres of the world are highly internationalized. We have reggae. We have Latin rhythms like cumbia  and son. We have the global influence of Brazilian music. We have rock & roll and we have blues music. We hear music through our national references, our friends, the radio, parties, the internet, etc. ...And every once and a while a musician comes around that "crosses all those bridges" and brings the sounds together for a fine mix and audible feast that can be appreciated by all. We have seen this with many great troubadours, from Bob Marley and  Calle 13 to Manu Chao. In the Tdot, we have Señor Escamilla and we are now in the "summer of Quique." He recently opened up for Spearhead  at the Luminato Festival and has developed quite a name for himself with his musical talent and the ease in which he speaks with the crowd, switching it up from Spanish to English without any problems.Quique's story is a beautiful one. He started singing at age four in Chiapas at family reunions and away he went. Now  he is in TO and we are happy to have him."In spite of the distance from his homeland and his people, he still remains very attached to his roots, culturally and musically influenced, and very much inclined to support through his music diverse social causes such as; human and civil rights, immigration reform, global conservation, anti-racism, discrimination and other political issues." - Quique's bio on the CBC Music website. Wicked. You can also listen to some of his songs here. Quique performs July 27th at the Uma Nota 5 year anniversary party. Check out an interview (in Spanish) at the recent Luminato show; the sound of his band is also wicked.