By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Thursday, July 11th Conexão Rio began their series of free live instrumental performances that will continue daily at various venues throughout the city until August 8th. The Conexão, with its tagline, “Juntos Somos Música” (Together We Are Music), is a national program that helps to stimulate the development of the Brazilian music industry.

Victor Biglione, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Argentine guitarist Victor Biglione is one of many of the performers in the Conexão Rio free concert series, photo Divulgação.

For over thirteen years the network of musicians and creatives have promoted cultural initiatives throughout the country. Continuing in that spirit with the help of presenters Vivo and the Ministério da Cultura (Ministry of Culture), Conexão Rio is an initiative that includes a diverse array of over eighty, mostly instrumental, performances in smaller venues spread throughout the city.

The venues include Teatro Maria Clara Machado in Gávea; the Espaço Cultural Municipal Sérgio in Humaitá; Teatro Ipanema and Teatro Odisséia in Lapa and many others. The first show of the festival took place in Planetário da Gávea (Gávea Planetarium) on July 11th with Brazilian saxophonist Leo Gandelman and singer Maíra Freitas.

Maíra Freitas will perform again with the percussionists Os Ritmistas, at the Lona Cultural Municipal Terra in Guadalupe on August 3rd.

Another notable upcoming performer is Argentine guitarist, Victor Biglione. Biglione is a regular at jazz bassist Bruce Henri’s Música no Tom in Jardim Botânico’s Espaço Tom Jobim. Biglione will play as part of Conexão Rio with Brazilian guitarist Marcel Powell at Gávea’s Teatro Maria Clara Machado on Thursday, July 18th and again on Thursday, July 25th.

Walter Lang, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Walter Lang will perform with his trio on July 30th and August 2nd, photo by Oscar Henn/press photo.

“Victor Biglione is a great jazz guitarist,” Brazilian musician Le Andrade told The Rio Times. “He has a particular phrasing that’s not too cerebral. It’s from the heart.”

Andrade said that Conexão Rio’s lineup was great, especially with the inclusion of performers like Biglione and flautist Carlos Malta, who according to Andrade, “is the sort of musician who can play around being a virtuoso but chooses to use just the most beautiful notes.”

On August 1st there will also be a special benefit show at Miranda in Lagoa to raise funds for cultural producer Duncan Lindsay, who is currently suffering from a degenerative disease. There will be performances by Duncan Lindsay’s brother, Arto Lindsay and special guests Alcaeus Valencia, Vanessa da Mata, Kassin and Siba.

This show has a limited number of free tickets but the public can contribute to the fundraising by purchasing tickets here. The complete schedule of the remaining shows is listed below with date first then performer(s) followed by venue.

All shows begin at 8:30 PM and are free. To ensure entrance, register by e-mail online or arrive one hour before the shows. The shows this week are:

July 17th: Pascoal Meirelles with Mingo Araujo
Lona Cultural Gilberto Gil

July 18th: Victor Biglione with Marcel Powell
Teatro Maria Clara Machado

July 19th: Henrique Cazes Quarteto
Lona Cultural Municipal Terra

July 20th: Paraphernalia
Arena Carioca Abelardo Barbosa – Chacrinha

July 21st: Os Parafina
Choperia Brazooka

July 22nd: Baticun: 21 years with Gabriel Moura and Rogê
Espaço Cultural Municipal Sérgio Porto

July 23rd: Ricardo Silveira with Zeca Assumpção
Teatro Ipanema

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