By Nathan M. Walters, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Some voices sum up the feeling of an entire generation. It is difficult to listen to Dionne Warwick, who will perform Tuesday, August 28th, at Theatro Municipal in Rio, without being transported back to the soulful sixties. The music icon recently talked with The Rio Times about Brazil, her new album, and the Girl from Ipanema.
Warwick’s career has spanned five decades, producing a collection of timeless hits, almost 70 million albums sold, five Grammy Awards, and a devoted global fan base.
The combination has kept the legendary songstress busy recording and touring for the past fifty years. After weeks of touring in Japan and across Europe in support of her new album, Warwick arrives in Brazil, a country for which the songstress has a particular fondness.
“I find Brazil a restful place, there is a calm I find here and for anyone that can find this should consider themselves lucky. I consider Brazil my ‘stress free county,’” says Warwick.
Tuesday’s performance will included the classics for Warwick is internationally known, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”; “Walk on By”; “Say a Prayer”; “I Will Never Fall in Love Again”; and the theme from the cult classic “Valley of the Dolls” among them.
Her Rio performance will be more than just a celebration of the singer’s music, but also a commemoration of the performer’s fifty years in show business. “This tour particularly is to say thank you to all that have been supportive of these many years,” says the singer.
Another popular girl from Brazil is also celebrating fifty years in show business, the “Garota de Ipanema” (Girl from Ipanema), of course. Warwick, who performed a version of the song shortly after the Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim tune seduced a global audience, is planning to commemorate the Golden anniversary she and the ultra-popular song share on Tuesday.
“Since ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ and I have something in common, fifty years of musical popularity, there will be a reason to pay homage to her in song, as I will. The song is wonderful, as are all that Jobim wrote.”
Warwick’s repertoire is impressive, replete with solo hits and legendary collaborations – notably, the singer’s work with Burt Bacharach, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, and the late Whitney Houston (Warwick’s cousin). Her new album offers a different perspective on the singer’s classics.
“The new album is entitled ‘Dionne, Now’, which I think sums it up. These songs have been around for the past 50 years and I’ve brought them into the 21st century by changing the approach and the arrangements without altering the integrity of the songs or melody,” says Warwick.
“It is a celebration of the songs that I’ve grown to love, and one I hope others will add to their personal collection.”
As the simplicity of the sixties lures new admirers, as evidenced by the success of shows like Mad Men, Warwick is well-positioned as one of a handful of voices that still can communicate what that era meant (Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney are a few of the others).
Warwick thinks back on what those times meant for her, at the beginning of her legendary career. ”Having pleasant memories of a time that we have had is reason enough to want them back! I love the sixties, they represented a time of good music and good times.”
For Warwick’s fans, the good music didn’t stop in the sixties. In fact, it is still going. Which is why those in Rio should make it a point to catch Warwick at the historic Theatro Municipal next Tuesday. Do you know the way to Theatro Municipal?
See more information about the venue and tickets here.
What: Dionne Warwick/Emílio Santiago/David Elliott
Where: Theatro Municipal – Rua Almirante Barroso – 14/16 – Centro
When: August 28th, 9PM
Price: Starting at R$90 to R$1,680