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Brazil Celebration: Dori Caymmi and Claudia Villela

Claudia Villela  

We're in Santa Cruz, California, in a flower-filled courtyard under an avocado tree at 320 Cedar Street, entering the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, home to music since 1975. Kuumbwa is a Swahili word meaning "the act of creation." On this JazzSet, the creativity continues, Brazilian style.

Our featured artist grew up in Rio de Janeiro. Her music takes us deeper and deeper into her country's experience. Claudia Villela sets the opening scene in a crowded marketplace. It's a crossroads for people from all over the world, and the occasion for a fast Brazilian frevo, entitled "Inverse Universe," music and lyrics by Claudia Villela and guitarist Ricardo Peixoto.

There's a difference between Brazil and Brasil, Claudia says. "The S is indispensable for your concept of Brasil. Before Brasil, there was the land of the parrots. Then came Santa Cruz and Vera Cruz. When the Africans came in those big boats, they didn't know what they were going to find; now we know what they gave us." Her music is a journey through the essence of Brasil.

Claudia moved to California in the 1980s. Kuumbwa is her home away from home. Dori Caymmi is another Brazilian singer now relocated to California. He's a prolific composer. One of his many songs is "Like a Lover," with words by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Dori also wrote those gorgeous arrangements on the 1970s Sarah Vaughan CD, A Brazilian Romance.

Caymmi and Villela represent two generations of Brazilian vocalists. We close the show with their duets, exclusively on JazzSet.

Marcos Silva, keyboards
Dan Robbins, bass
Paul Von Waginengen, drums

SONG LIST (Villela Band)
"Inverse Universe" (Villela/Peixoto)
"Nativa" (Villela/Peixoto)
"Brasil com S" (Villela/Peixoto)
"Bachianas" / "Caravana" (Villa Lobos/Villela/Peixoto)

SONG LIST(Villela and Caymmi)
"Ponta de Areia" (Nascimento)
"Desafinado" / "Aquarela" (Jobim)


  • Claudia Villela and Ricardo Peixoto Web Site
  • Claudia Villela and Ricardo Peixoto at Adventure Music
  • Dori Caymmi on the Web
  • Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA - A Nonprofit Performance and Education Organization since 1975

    Tim Jackson, Director of Kuumbwa, suggested this program, with Bobbi Todaro and the rest of the Board of Directors of the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz. Julie Rix - house sound engineer. Phil Edwards - recording and remix engineer. Great job! Sandy Sloan - recording assistant at Kuumbwa.

    JazzSet's Becca Pulliam produced this program with technical director Duke Markos, Ginger Bruner, recording engineer at KUNV in Las Vegas, Mark Schramm, and executive producer Thurston Briscoe III of WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark.