Singer Daniella Lubisco and The South Bossa Project plan delivers a powerful, understated gift to The Velvet Note audiences in a reintroduction to Brazil’s Bossa Nova music.
Think, “Girl From Ipanema,” “Dindi” or“Corcovado.” Such songs performed by artists from Kenny G to Frank Sinatra were popularized in the1950s through composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and guitarist Joao Gilberto, who passed away this year.
“What we’re doing is rescuing this music, although it will never go away really,” says Daniella. “It had been laid dormant. In a modest way we want to bring to Americans the experience of Brazilians.”
The Brazillian singer performs Oct. 11 with her husband Vlamir Abbud on electric bass guitarist, XX on piano, XXX on percussions and XXX on guitar.
Bossa Nova is a blend of samba and jazz. Daniella describes it as having a distinctive sound and feeling for the guitar with very soft vocals. “Even though you don’t understand the words [when they are in Portuguese], they blend with the notes and become so beautiful,” she says.
Joao Gilberto’s passing in July, at age 88, speaks to Daniella’s calling to remind people of this wonderful part of Brazil’s music culture and history.
It’s been difficult, she says, to watch musicians, who dedicated their lives to great performances and art, struggle to survive in a culture where the lines between good musicians and great musicianship are blurred.
“I think [Gilberto] was super lonely in his apartment,” she says, of where he died. “I think Bossa Nova was really generated by him. And the way he played the guitar and sang Samba was not conventional. It became Bossa Nova as it is now.”
Daniella’s South Bossa Project at The Velvet Note promises to be a timeout from the noise of the day. Latin music speaks to the heart in a way that is sweet and quiet, the singer explains, and her goal is to move people to a place within themselves that allows for engagement with the musicians in the moment.
“It’s about identifying that sweet space in your heart,” she adds.
Daniella and Vlamir, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, moved from Boston to the Atlanta area in 1996. Vlamir is also Brazillian and was a member of the house band at Loca Luna restaurant for 15 years. He’s currently a music composer for The Weather Channel, and the mastermind at Brazilian Voiceover Studio.
Daniella grew up in a musical family. “I was always around musicians,” she says. “My father and mother had classical training; my mother on piano, and my father on violin. He could play any instrument. He taught me to play piano by ear, and then I picked up the guitar.”
Fitting for Bossa Nova, Daniella has a soft singing voice, unlike the powerhouse vocals of some vocalists. But, again, she reminds us that she’s not trying to slay the audience.
“Sometimes we just have to listen to music for music’s sake,” she says. “For just the present moment and being in a place to enjoy it.”
Showtimes: 7:30pm and 9:30pm Admission: $29.