By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Marking forty years since the release of the album, ‘Refavela,’ Bem and Gilberto Gil are taking up a three-night residency (Monday, May 21st – Wednesday, May 23rd) at Rio’s Theatro Net to celebrate the album’s spirit, along with help from Anelis Assumpção and Mestrinho.
The album was originally conceived when Gilberto Gil travelled to Nigeria to participate in the Festac ‘77 in Lagos, otherwise known as the ‘Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture,’ which included other international luminaries such as Stevie Wonder. At the time of its occurrence, it was the largest pan-African gathering ever.
According to Gil, “It was the time of the Black Rio movement, with funk becoming popular here, and I wanted to record something like that version of ‘Samba do Avião.’ The record was for that, to record the ‘aphorisms’ that existed at the time – such as Balafon’s juju music and the Afro-Bahian blocos (street parties during carnival) of Ilê Aiyê.”
Featuring re-workings of the album’s famous tracks, such as the title song, ‘Refavela,’ as well as ‘Aqui e Agora’ (Here and Now) and ‘Ilê Ayê,’ (a famous Afro-Brazilian group based in Salvador), the show will be an ensemble piece curated by the father and son team which will include the contributions of fellow musicians Anelis Assumpção and Mestrinho plus a full backing band.
When asked about his contribution to the show, Bem Gil commented, “Refavela is a beautiful album and I always imagined its transposition to the stage. I was not born when my father toured with this show in Brazil and I decided to join my friends in order to recreate the repertoire and the strength of this work that moves us all.”
What: Refavela 40 featuring Gilberto Gil, Bem Gil, Anelis Assumpção and Mestrinho
When: Monday, May 21st – Wednesday, May 23rd; 9PM
Where: Theatro NET Rio, Rua Siqueira Campos, 143 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22031-071
Entrance: R$90-R$100 Available here