By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Saturday, December 15th, marks the return of the popular Leblon Jazz Festival, which will be putting on over eight hours of top-quality jazz and jazz-inspired music from 1PM onwards. The festival will be culminating in a live tribute to jazz icon Nina Simone, performed by American singer Alma Thomas.
This Saturday the street of Rua Dias Ferreira, in Rio’s affluent neighborhood of Leblon, will be packed with jazz fans and performers alike, all gathered to enjoy this free celebration of jazz while also surrounded by some of the best restaurants and bars in Rio’s ‘Zona Sul’ (South Zone).
The festival should begin at 1PM, with an eclectic DJ set courtesy of Marcelo Tabosa. Then, at 2PM, Rio’s Digga Digga Duo will take to the stage. They are a musical duo who play songs in the style of the popular music of the twenties and thirties, such as tin pan alley songs and novelty tunes.
At 3:30 PM, the Bruce Lemos Trio will play a jazzy set inspired by some of the great names of Brazilian MPB which the group have collaborated with, such as Sandra de Sá, Fernanda Abreu, Tiaguinho, and George Israel.
At 5PM it’s the turn of the Pimenta Jazz Trio. Formed by Guilherme Pimenta on violin, the Pimenta Jazz Trio also features Pablo Arruda on double bass and Daniel Ganc on guitar. They will be playing their trademark mixture of Brazilian music and traditional jazz that won them the best group award at the II Zimba Music Festival.
At 6:30 PM, singer Analu Ferreira and pianist Gijs Andriessen will present a set inspired by Nina Simone and the music of her era. And then at 8PM, the main event of the day will take place, with a stunning tribute to Nina Simone courtesy of American singer Alma Thomas.
Born in New York, Alma Thomas met and fell in love with Brazilian pianist Pedro Milman. And since 2004 she has been living in Rio de Janeiro and performing at major music festivals such a Rio das Ostras and Bourbon Street in São Paulo.
Finally, at 9:30 PM, the evening’s festivities will be brought to a close by Bagunço, a band who describe themselves as “An irreverent sound that unites the richness of Brazilian rhythms with the energy of jazz-funk and rock.”
Bagunço is an eight-piece eclectic group composed of six Brazilians and two Frenchmen who have successfully toured around Brazil and Europe with their high-energy hybrid of jazz and rock.
What: 10th Annual Leblon Jazz Festival with Tribute to Nina Simone
When: Saturday, December 15th; The first performance starts at 1PM
Where: Rua Dias Ferreira, Leblon, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22431-050