Migalhas de Amor will play a fine acoustic concert on Saturday, December 1st, at 7:00 PM.
Paul Klemperer - Clarinet, Daryl Robertson - Bandolim, Sergio Santos - Percussion, Charlie Parker - 7 string guitar
What is choro?
Choro ("sho-ro") originated in Rio de Janeiro in the late 19th century. Virtuoso mandolinist Mike Marshall, who has been a leader in bringing choro music to audiences in the United States, described it as follows:
"It's a fusion of European folk and classical music brought to Brazil by the immigrants of the late 1800's - Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and French music - and when it collided with the African rhythms and indigenous rhythms of Brazil, it created their own form of jazz, which is what I like to think of it as. It's the combinations of the African rhythms with the European harmonies and song forms. There's improvisation built into the music, and the groove is so amazing."
What does choro sound like? Choro features intriguing melodies, driving rhythms, rich harmonic structures and chord progressions like those of classical music and jazz, along with lots of syncopation, counterpoint, unexpected modulations, and improvisation.
Classical composer Radames Gnattali called choro "the most sophisticated instrumental popular music in the world."
Choro in Brazil is analogous to jazz in the United States in that it's been a part of their musical culture for over a century. Nearly everyone in Brazil has heard choro and recognizes it, but it's not the "popular" music of the day that's on the radio and leading in iTunes downloads.
Relatively few people in the United States are familiar with choro. There are probably fewer than ten choro groups in the U.S, mostly on the East and West Coasts, and only a half dozen or so choro CDs from U.S. groups. We believe we're the only active choro group in Texas. (Austin's Crying Monkeys were the first choro band in Texas and one of the first few such groups in the U.S.)
What is Migalhas de Amor?
The band name Migalhas de Amor is taken from a beautiful and poignant ballad by Jacob do Bandolim, one of the most famous Brazilian choro musicians and composers. Migalhas de Amor means "Crumbs of Love." Admittedly, not many bands would pick a name like "Crumbs of Love" - but it is memorable, not pretentious, and reflects the sense of playfulness and fun that's inherent in the music.
Migalhas de Amor is a classic small choro ensemble based on the superb acoustic blend of wind instrument (clarinet), Brazilian percussion (primarily the pandeiro) , and Brazilian-style stringed instruments:
Clarinet - the main melody instrument, also plays counterpoint melodic lines and fills to complement other soloists.
Pandeiro - the main percussion instrument. The unofficial instrument of Brazil, a pandeiro is a type of hand drum that resembles a tambourine, but is much more - in the hands of a master player a pandeiro can produce the fast, complex rhythms that are the heartbeat of the music.
Violão de sete cordas - seven string classical style guitar, with added low string to extend the bass range - plays rhythmic/harmonic accompaniment, counterpoint and fast bass runs that are characteristic of choro.
Bandolim - Brazilian mandolin, with brighter sound than American mandolins - used for both melodies and rhythmic/harmonic accompaniment.
Who are the musicians?
The musicians of Migalhas de Amor are Paul Klemperer (Clarinet), Sergio Santos (Percussion), Charlie Parker (Violão de Sete Cordas) and Daryl Robertson (Bandolim, Tenor Violão.)
Paul Klemperer was born in Boston. He discovered jazz at an early age, sneaking into smoky clubs by age 13, and studied with jazz legends Archie Shepp, Max Roach and Ray Copeland before moving to Austin in 1982, where he worked with blues greats Marcia Ball and members of the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Paul earned his master’s degree in Ethnomusicology at the University of Texas in 1991. He teaches private and group classes in clarinet & saxophone, jazz history & theory, and issues in music & culture.
Paul has toured nationally and internationally for over 20 years. He has produced three CD’s representing three groups he leads: PK Sax (original jazz and world music), The Klemperer Group (acid jazz & experimental), and Manteca Beat (classic R&B and international cabaret). He also plays with numerous other Texas bands spanning many genres:
- Motown/Soul/Funk: Memphis Train Revue, Hot Wax, River City Soul - Jazz/Blues: Marcia Ball, Mr. Fabulous, The James Hinkle Band, The Jitterbug Vipers, Larry Lange and his Lonely Knights, The Copa Kings
- World/Cabaret: Sangeet Millennium, Ivory Ghost, La Strada, The Classicats
- Experimental/Art Music: The Golden Arm Trio, Saxophonic
Percussionista extraordinário Sergio Santos was born and grew up in Brazil, where he learned the many genres and rhythms of Brazilian music and the numerous percussion instruments used in Brazilian music. In addition to the pandeiro, Sergio plays surdo, caixa, repinique, berimbau, tamborim, shaker, congas, triangle, and agogô. Since moving to Austin he has been a standout player over the past two decades in bands specializing in Brazilian and Latin American musical styles, including the Samba Police, the Crying Monkeys, Catavento, and the Purple Martins.
Charlie Parker has played classical guitar and bass for many years. After being bitten by the choro bug, he found the perfect instrument to combine both interests: the Brazilian 7-string guitar. He has studied classical guitar with Tony Morris, producer of the nationally syndicated radio program “Classical Guitar Alive,” and Brazilian guitar with the masters Douglas Lora and Henrique Neto.
Daryl Robertson has played bandolim for more years than he can remember, yet still finds it difficult to play choros. He has had the opportunity to learn choro first-hand from virtuoso Brazilian bandolim players Hamilton de Hollanda, Danilo Brito, Dudu Maia, and Almir Cortes, as well as study mandolin with Mike Marshall and jazz masters Don Stiernberg and Paul Glasse.
Which songs will be played?
At the concert we'll play choros by Pixinguinha, Brazil's greatest choro composer and musician, such as Carinhoso, Ingenuo, Cochichando, Naquele Tempo, and Um a Zero. We'll play choros by Jacob do Bandolim, such as Receita de Samba, Noites Cariocas, Doce de Coco, Assanhado, and Vibracoes, and choros by Paulinho da Viola, Ernesto Nazareth, Waldir Azevedo, K-Ximbinho, and Abel Ferreira.
If you like instrumental music but haven't heard choro, it may be the best music you've never heard. If you're already a choro aficionado, you may appreciate hearing a live performance of some classic choros.
We hope to see you at the concert.
Doors open at 7:00 and the concert is 8:00 to 10:00.
$10 suggested admission donation
BYOB and hors d'oeuvres are welcome!