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PREMIÈRE: Alessandra Leão Unites Brazil and Colombia In New Continental Collaboration

By 26 October, 2017

In her latest video Brazilian singer, musician and composer Alessandra Leão teamed up with an ensemble of Colombian and Brazilian musicians for a live performance that shows that there really is no need for there to be a divide between the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in Latin America. In fact, it only highlights what they have in common.

“I believe that the relationship between Latin American artists should get closer,” says Leão, “and I have tried to take every opportunity to work in this direction. I met Orito on my first trip to Barranquilla when I participated in the Festival Carnaval de Las Artes in 2009. We met again in 2012, when I toured Colombia. Then this year, she and Jenn spent some time here in Brazil and I decided to take advantage of them here in São Paulo, where I live, and bring them together with musicians I admire and whom I have worked with.”

For the performance Leão, who sings and plays the ilu drum, is accompanied by the two Colombians, Orito on vocals and percussion and Jenn del Tambor also on percussion, as well as the Brazilians Guilherme Kastrup on berimbau, Rafa Ella Nepomuceno (from the group Coco de Oyá) on drums and vocals and Leonardo Mendes on guitar. Kastrup has been a regular collaborators of Leão’s for some time, working on her Língua trilogy of EPs, though he has become better known more recently as the producer and musical director for Elza Soares’ last album The Woman At The End Of The World.

In the video, the group perform two songs, Orito’s “Ahí Viene La Negra” and Leão’s “Varanda”, which originally appeared on her album Dois Cordões. What’s startling about the performance is how easily the group transition from Orito’s Colombian tambor composition to the north-eastern Brazilian rhythms of Leão, showing that despite the difference between the two regions they also share many characteristics. There is talk of Leão and Kastrup working on many similar Latin American collaborations in the future. Let’s hope they come to fruition.

You can find out more about Leão and download her previous releases from alessandraleao.com.br

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