Ana Carolina and Fantcha, Town Hall

by Cameron Boyle

On September 17th, Ana Carolina (Brazil) and Fantcha (Cape Verde) gave a concert at Town Hall (NYC) as part of World Music Institute’s Lusophone Festival, a cross-cultural festival of artists from the Portuguese-speaking world.

Fantcha2Opening the night was the Cape Verde-born vocalist Fantcha, a protege of Cesaria Evora. Her music offers a unique blend of African, Cuban and Portuguese inflections, embracing a wide range of emotions. Her sensuous voice is as compelling when embodying the pathos of fado music as it is when delivering the raucous rhythms of carnival music. And her presence is mesmerizing as her tall, lean frame glides onto the stage with a full-length crimson evening gown and a huge mane of copper hair.

Next, Brazil’s sultry deep-voiced Ana Carolina enchanted as the headliner act. I have been listening to her music since 1998 when she first gained success. Her first album earned her a Latin Grammy only a year later. Today, she is one of the most important voices in Brazil, with over 5 million units sold. She is one of the most popular icons of the new MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira). She writes her own songs from life experience, drawing inspiration from artists such as Maria Bethany and Nina Simone. And she rocks electric and acoustic guitars and a pandeiro (Brazilian tambourine) like no other….. conveying as much feeling and energy through her instrument as through her lyrics.

My dear Brazilian friend, Ana Dooley, came with me to the show. Ana offered, "As a lover of Popular Brazilian Music (MPB), I simply adore listening to Ana Carolina's songs. I think she is an incredible composer and her distinctive voice amazes us in each of her songs. My favorite song is "E isso ai". I think it's one of Ana Carolina's favorites also! {Como amante da musica popular brasileira (MPB) simplesmente adoro escutar as musicas da Ana Carolina. No mes passado tive a oportunidade de poder escula-la de perto em seu show que foi realizado no Town Hall em NYC. Acho ela uma compositora incrivel e com sua voz marcante, nos deixa maravilhados com tantas cancoes bonitas. Minha musica preferida: E isso ai! Acredito que seja uma das preferidas da Ana Carolina tambem!}

Ana’s songs that most moved me were: Coracao Selvagem (Wild Heart), Milhares de Samba (Thousands of Samba) and Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar (I Know I’m Going to Love You). For the third we were awarded a huge gift….. Bebel Gilberto surprised the audience by joining Ana onstage for a duet! Bebel is also currently one of the most famous vocal talents from Brazil. Ana is a big-hearted romantic and a humanist; she puts all her heart and soul in her music. And she’s unpretentious and flirtatious with her audience. She just chatted with the crowd as she cajoled fans to please take their seats before she’d begin the concert. “It’s only fair so everyone seated can get a good view of the stage.” When a guy shouts, “Come home with me”, she grins coyly and says “I have to sing first. We can talk after.” This is a woman everyone wants to have a beer with after the show.

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