By Michael DeLeo, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Ben Harper will perform at HSBC Arena in Barra de Tijuca to promote his new album, “Give ‘Till It’s Gone.” The album was just released in May and he has been touring throughout Brazil, making his way to Rio on Saturday, December 10th.
Benjamin Chase “Ben” Harper (born October 28th, 1969) has been awarded with two Grammys and Rolling Stone’s Artist of the Year 2003. While his music is most popular in the United States, Europe and Australia, this tour is an opportunity to boost his popularity in South America.
Harper is a songwriter and musician from California who began playing the guitar at a young age and learned slide guitar in his teens, an instrument he still uses in his shows today. His music spans many genres such as the blues, soul, reggae and rock, but he has had his most popular hits through folk music.
It is widely published that Harper was inspired by his grandparents, who owned a music store aptly titled The Folk Music Center and Museum. This influence carried him to his first gig at the age of twelve.
Before the show in Rio, Harper will begin his trek in Porto Alegre on December 3rd, Florianopolis on the 4th, Belo Horizonte on the 6th, Brasilia on the 7th, São Paulo on the 9th and caps off his South American tour in Rio.
Tickets are selling from R$90 to R$175, and while expensive, are not as high as many international acts that come through the HSBC in Rio. Claudia Mascarenhas says, “I want to go although tickets are expensive. I will find a way to purchase them.”
Harper has strong roots in Brazil as a collaborator with the Brazilian artist Vanessa da Mata. The song, “Boa Sorte (Good Luck),” was well received in Latin America, peaking at number one and winning Best Song 2008.
The song was part of Mata’s album, “Sim,” which won Best Contemporary Brazilian Album by The Latin Grammy Awards.
This trip will be Ben Harper’s second through Brazil. Even with “Boa Sorte” being one of the most circulated songs of Brazil in the past five years, Harper had local recognition with his 2007 tour, “Both Sides of the Gun.”
This tour brought an icon voice full of personality, bursting guitar solos and everything else folk rock has to offer.
Bia Torquato says, “I would love to be there because it’s going to be awesome. His voice is so unique.”
Ben Harper has formed several other bands and has worked with many others, including recording albums with the Innocent Criminals, and the “Give ‘Till it’s Gone” album contains recordings with the Relentless 7. He and his bands have appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.
Ben Harper’s international influence is growing so grab a ticket now or be prepared to wait another five years for his return to Brazil. Be sure to check Benharper.com for more information.