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

On the trail of Jerus Nazdaq

Somewhere near Boipeba Island, Bahia, Brazil.We had just sat down at a beachfront restaurant. It was actually more of a simply built wooden 'A' frame structure. The area behind it was a campground and in the front there was a covered kitchen and a few tables with benches looking out towards the ocean. The vibe was very traveler summer backpacker styles. Very remote, no cell phone signals, no internet anywhere close.She walked right by me and went up to the counter to order. "Jerusa!"She didn't even notice. She was focused on her mission to place an order with the very relaxed and nonchalant restaurant/campground owner. I came up close and put my hand on her arm. "Jé! Tudo bom?" The Jerusa smile and wide eyes, a huge hug. "I can't believe you are here!We had talked fleetingly a few times over email. She had said she would be traveling in Bahia, south of Salvador. This encounter was chance.For those of you who don’t know, Jerusa Leão, also known as Jerus Nazdaq, is a musician and DJ that gained a certain underground notoriety in Toronto. She is an electronic DJ and track selector, with varying styles ranging from dubstep, techno, reggae, and complete mash-ups often tinged with a certain tropical flavour. She often produces her own tracks taking elements from just about anywhere. She has played diverse parties such as Om Re:union, Promise, Cherry Bomb, the Brazil Film Fest opening and of course Uma Nota. As a singer and instrumentalist she was the Maria in Maria Bonita & The Band, a rootsy forró band that created some waves for those in the know. She was an active agitator in the Fedora Upside Down Collective alongside the likes of the Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Freeman Dre & the Kitchen Party. She also regularly moonlighted singing and playing with Maracatu Mar Aberto. All of this and as a solo guitar and voice act, she fluttered lotsa hearts around town.Well, a few months ago she kinda disappeared from the scene. Feeling the call of her native Bahia, she left Toronto to travel a bit.And here she was, right in front of me, a few hours after our random meeting, guitar in hand, playing and singing samba and forró songs.Even here, in a remote fishing community spread out over a few kilometers of beach, occupied by several hundred travellers, many of them musicians, she had gained a certain notoriety.

After a few days Jerusa was off to Itácaré down the coast to play in the numerous surfer bars. From there she is going to play the Ressonar festival in Chapada Diamantina.She also has plans to come back to Canada in the not too distant future but for now she is focusing at this very moment in making things happen in her Brazil.