By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – There aren’t many names in Brazilian music bigger than Jorge Ben Jor, and fans of his oeuvre will be delighted to know that he will be playing two nights at Circo Voador, this Friday, June 1st, and Saturday, June 2nd.
Jorge Ben Jor is best known for his hit single, ‘Mas Que Nada,’ first released in 1963, which even today remains the most played Portuguese language song in the United States. Ella Fitzgerald recorded her own version of the song, as well as other jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson.
Other classic songs written by Jorge Ben Jor include ‘Ive Brussel,’ ‘Taj Mahal,’ and ‘Chove Chuva.’ And he is well-known for his smooth voice, funky rhythms and clever, satirical lyrics. Along with Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, Elza Soares, and Gilberto Gil, Jorge Ben Jor is held up as one of the greatest living Brazilian musicians of the 20th century.
During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, a Black-Eyed Peas and Sergio Mendes cover of ‘Mas Que Nada’ became a hit song in many European countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
President Barack Obama even mentioned Jorge Ben Jor in a speech he made at the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro when he visited the country, proclaiming, “You are, as Jorge Ben-Jor sang, ‘A tropical country, blessed by God, and beautiful by nature.’”
What: Jorge Ben Jor
When: this Friday, June 1st and Saturday, June 2nd – 9PM
Where: Circo Voador – Rua dos Arcos, s/n – Lapa