Badi Assad, named as one of Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists, has released her latest album, Cantos de Casa, (Songs of Home) this week. This follows her Love and Luck CD of 2013 and it is the second one produced by her new independent label, Quatro Ventos.
Cantos de Casa includes a dozen of the fifty songs Badi has written after her move from São Paulo to the countryside, a creative flurry inspired by the birth of her daughter Sofia, who will be turning seven years old this year. “This was an intense period of songwriting for both myself and my daughter,” she says.
This album release culminates an especially productive time for Badi: this past January, she co-curated the second half of the 2014 New York Guitar Festival’s Guitar Marathon and premiered her score for Wu Yonggang’s 1934 silent film, The Goddess. The marathon included a diverse number of spirited, memorable performances by guitarists Douglas Lora and Joao Luiz of the Brasil Guitar Duo, Brazilian jazz guitarist Romero Lubambo, Peruvian classical guitarist Jorge Caballero and Uruguayan Cecilia Siqueira and Brazilian Fernando Lima of the Duo Siquiera/Lima.
adi performed her own mesmerizing lullaby, “The Being Between,” her guitar positioned as a prepared lap guitar as she tapped its strings with a drumstick. She also performed Luiz Gonzaga’s Villa-Lobos-influenced “Assum Preto,” with its haunting lyrics about a caged songbird. The concert closed with a spirited jam between Badi and Romero Lubambo, with her singing and strumming on her electric-acoustic Frame Works travel guitar as Lubambo’s exuberant playing and singing matched her in improvisational brilliance.
The younger sister of the acclaimed guitar duo, The Assad Brothers, it comes as no surprise that Badi started her musical career playing classical guitar. However, when symptoms of a motor disability arose, she completely revised her approach to playing and further developed her astonishing, Bobby McFerrin-esque vocal gifts, which allow her to sing and intone vocal percussive effects simultaneously with an otherworldly, ethereal effect. She has since made a complete recovery and performs her distinctive fusion of pop, jazz and Brazilian music the world over. She has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah McLachlan, Brazilian songwriter Seu Jorge and Brazilian jazz percussionist, vocalist and berimbau player, Naná Vasconcelos.
Immediately following her U.S. concert dates, Badi recorded Cantos de Casa at Studio D in Sausalito, California before departing for a European tour with concerts in Denmark, The Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Serbia, Spain and Sweden.
She also toured Cantos de Casa throughout Brazil this past spring with a children’s theatrical troupe production, complete with colorful costume changes and accompanying musicians who played instruments made from common household items, such as mops, a tambourine made of a saucer flower vase and a bass guitar built from a bucket and broom handle.
The album is gently whimsical and magical, appealing to all ages and features all of Badi’s musical inventiveness and playfulness. Each song on the album offers a colorful vignette that chimes universally between any parent and child. “O Chacoalho” captures the rhythmical, energetic spirit of a growing baby rattling inside his mother’s belly. Sleepyheads are cajoled to wake and prepare for a school day in “Salvador,” where the lyrics humorously convey the importance of taking care of one’s teeth, complete with brushing sounds. “Café da manha,” sung by Badi’s daughter Sofia, is a hilarious litany of her weekly morning snack indulgences, which includes her vow not to eat things that are bad for her though she does make an exception to taste a disgusting caterpillar.
The song “Corpinho musical” on Cantos de Casa urges the exploration of all the musical noises and possibilities one can make, as “your little body is a musical instrument.” “No colo do papai,” is a gentle lullaby that speaks of the strength given to a child through a father’s love and playfulness. And “Qual e a da agua?” which translates to “How is the water?” coaxes the reluctant toward the bath.
Discussing a range of topics, legendary Brazilian guitarist and singer Badi Assad stopped by to film an Acoustic Guitar Sessions video and play a song from her latest album, Between Love and Luck.
Assad, who will be the subject of a feature in the July issue of the magazine, discussed her musical upbringing and her shift away from classical and toward more avant-garde styles, as well as her preference for light, compact Frame Works guitars when touring.
See more at: acousticguitar.com
Luiz Guilherme Guerreiro produced a very sensitive video with my ‘Eu vim daquele lugar’ (Between Love and Luck). A new point of view. Loved it. Thank you Luiz!
Dear old and new friends,
“It looks so easy, but is oh so difficult. It does not matter what genre she is getting herself into; samba, blues, show – that jazz envelope is there all the time. It does not matter that half of the songs performed are in Portuguese, the feeling is still right for the large crowd. Being completely alone on stage and still be such a colorful kaleidoscope is great art and rewarded with heartfelt ovation”. Erik Süss (Gävle Dagbladet)
Episode 26 – A podcast by Bret Williams discovered
…” Badi Assad drops by and slaps me in my face, grabs my chin and says “don’t tell me what to do!” , slaps me again and then tells us about her journey from classical guitarist to brazillian pop princess”…
So much going on! I just came back from a wonderful tour in the US (see links to reviews below), and I’ll be flying again next week, this time to Europe: Holland, Portugal, Poland, Chech Republic, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and Denmark. I hope you can make it!
Check the complete list of tour dates here: badiassad.com/en/tour/
If you’re close by, come to say hi! I would love to see you again and share some music experiences together!
The release of my new cd ‘Love and Other Manias’ is scheduled for the end of March. Stay tuned! I’ll let you know when the date comes up!
Writing already from Brazil…
My tour in the US was meteoric. Marks were left, luckily positive:)
I performed at the Merkin Hall, got a great review at the NYTimes, played live the 72 minutes of the silent film ‘The Goddess’ in NY (standing ovation!), rehearsed and recorded with the amazing blues player Roy Rogers, met wonderful people … Want more? Yeah, but those were the peaks of joy
I am writing to share some of those moments. This press is already result of the campaign I run with Indiegogo. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
TV station NY1 (in spanish- solo)
TV station NY1 (in english- with kaki king)
Thank you for being there. Sharing is always a pleasure…
Several Chefs Cooking a Latin Recipe, Blending Melodies and Genres
Badi Assad Is a Headliner at New York Guitar Festival
Folk, pop and classical music meet in unlikely places in South America. That was one recurring motif, along with nimble fingers, attention to detail and a sense of humor, in Monday night’s concert at Merkin Concert Hall. It was the evening half of the New York Guitar Festival’s free pair of concerts, “Guitar Marathon: Las Americas,” which was recorded for WNYC’s Soundcheck. The afternoon show had featured North American music, down through Mexico. The evening concert was a quintuple bill largely chosen by its headliner, the Brazilian guitarist Badi Assad, with musicians from Brazil, Uruguay and Peru and a repertoire that also embraced Argentina and Venezuela.
Ms. Assad was the least classifiable musician in the lineup. Years ago, she started making albums as a classical guitarist like her brothers, the duo Sérgio and Odair Assad, but recently she has featured her singing. On Monday, she arrived with a headset microphone and an electric guitar (which could simulate acoustic-guitar tones) that had a drumstick under the strings, lifting them away from the frets. The first sounds she played, in “The Being Between,” were sliding pitches suggesting a koto; soon she was plucking and tapping ethereal chords on both sides of the drumstick and then cooing, in a voice like affectionate baby talk, about innocence and mysticism: “The human’s journey/A cactus flower in a father’s hand.”
She continued with Brazilian pop songs transformed by her imaginative virtuosity, moving from gauzy delicacy to vigorous propulsion, from dreaming to dancing and back. One song summed up the concert. Ms. Assad had discovered that the chords of a Brazilian standard about a caged songbird, Luiz Gonzaga’s “Assum Preto,” matched the harmonies of “Estudio No. 1,” by Heitor Villa-Lobos, with its cascading arpeggios. So she merged them, singing mournfully and then mimicking birdcalls.
Romero Lubambo, a Brazilian guitarist based in the United States, brought classical-guitar meticulousness to his jazzy solo improvisations; he was also the concert’s most puckish presence. He made tunes materialize out of quick-changing chords, and his samba and bossa nova rhythms could ease their way from subliminal pulse to the center of attention. He toyed with buzzing textures and insistent dissonances in a brisk version of “Aquarela do Brasil,” and in his “P’ro Flavio,” a whirlwind of dissonance and pointillistic picking coalesced into yet another upbeat melody.
Jorge Caballero, a masterly classical guitarist born in Peru, chose the concert’s prickliest piece: the Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s Sonata (Op. 47), which splinters Argentine folk elements into stark modernist declamations on the way to a final movement that picks up the momentum of a folk dance. With his meticulous balance and chameleonic timbres, he also played more ingratiating reflections on local heritage: the Venezuelan composer Antonio Lauro’s “Suite Venezolano” and two Chopinesque waltzes by the Paraguayan composer Agustin Barrios.
The concert also included two guitar duos. The Brasil Guitar Duo — João Luiz Rezende Lopes and Douglas Lora — concentrated, naturally, on Brazil. Their intricately shared arrangements sooner or later found their way toward warm melodies and pinpoint dance rhythms, particularly in a medley of Egberto Gismonti pieces. Duo Siquiera Lima — Cecilia Siquiera, from Uruguay, and Fernando de Lima, from Brazil — were more geographically diverse in pieces as finely detailed as a Fabergé egg. Hugo Fattoruso’s “Candombé,” drawing on Afro-Uruguayan rhythms, gathered as much percussive momentum from their plucked chords as from their tapping on their guitars.
As their set ended, Mr. Lubambo — claiming they were too much competition — confiscated Mr. de Lima’s guitar, and they finished the set playing the speedy “Tico Tico” on one guitar, four hands.
The New York Guitar Festival continues through Jan. 30 at varied locations, with Badi Assad appearing on Thursday at Merkin Concert Hall as part of the Silent Films/Live Guitars series; newyorkguitarfestival.org.
Badi is co-curating and performing at the 2014′s Guitar Marathon!
January 20, 2014 at 7-10 PM
Las Americas, part II: South America
… For the second part of the Marathon, Badi Assad has crafted an evening of propulsive rhythm and sensuous melody from South America. The award-winning Brazil Guitar Duo will open the evening with pieces by Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, Gismonti and others. Samba master Romero Lubambo will bring his technical fireworks and serious Brazilian groove to a set of popular pieces by Jobim, Garoto and others.Jorge Caballero will return to the stage to present some of the most important South American compositions for guitar, including works by Barrios, Antonio Lauro, and the seminal Sonata by Ginastera. Making their NY debut, the incredible Duo Siquiera/Lima will present fiery duets by Brazilian, Argentinian and Ecuadorian composers. The grand finale of the Marathon will be the inimitable Badi Assad, who brings a lacily feminine sensibility to her stunning world-beat fusion of pop, jazz and Brazilian music.
January 23, 2014 at 7:30pm
2014 New York Guitar Festival’s Silent Films/Live Guitars Series
Badi Assad / Kaki King
Merkin Concert Hall
129 W. 67th Street
New York, NY 10023
(between Broadway & Amsterdam)