OK, let’s get this out of way up front: Brazil tanked in the World Cup.
Can we move on?
Because there’s good Brazilian news — especially for music lovers.
Thanks to the support of Pedro Costa, the Honorary Consul of Brazil in Washington State — and the grass roots elbow grease of vocalist Adriana Giordano of the local group En Canto — Seattle is hosting three top-notch concerts at the Triple Door this summer and fall.
Called Brazilian Nights, the series is a coproduction of the Honorary Consul, Giordano Productions and Morningstar Productions. It starts Friday, Aug. 8, with the Alessandro Penezzi Trio.
“I think Brazilian music is the best export product we have,” says Costa, who has served here five years.
North Americans are familiar with bossa nova, of course, but Brazil has a rich array of regional music beyond that well-known genre. Choro, for example, an early 20th-century style that originated in Rio de Janeiro, is a sort of parallel to American ragtime or New Orleans jazz — upbeat, happy and sparkling.
Penezzi (guitar) and Alexandre Ribeiro (clarinet), exemplars of the style, perform here with violinist Ted Falcon, doing originals as well as classics such as Luiz Gonzaga’s “Araponga” and Sivuca’s “Um Tom para Jobim.”
The latter is a pun on the name of one of Brazil’s most famous composers, Tom Jobim (“Tom” also means “tone,” or “key” in Portuguese). Coincidentally, the opening act for Penezzi’s group, Seattle’s En Canto, has also recorded the tune, but as a fetchingly slow ballad. Giordano plans to invite Penezzi’s trio to join them for the tune.
En Canto formed three years ago and has become a familiar fixture at Columbia City’s Royal Room, Capitol Cider and at festivals such as Northwest Folklife. The septet specializes in forró, from Brazil’s Northeast, a music that features accordion and flute and has a kind of honky-tonk bounce.
The second concert presents vocalist Paula Santoro, who sings in the tradition of Elis Regina and Maria Bethânia. Seattle’s EntreMundos (also featuring Giordano) opens that show.
The third program offers jazz-influenced singer-guitarist Filó Machado and Seattle’s own Brazilian keyboardist and composer Jovino Santos Neto.
Brazilian Nights reflects Seattle’s expanding Brazilian scene. This fall, for example, the greatest Brazilian singer-songwriter of all, Caetano Veloso, plays Seattle for the first time (Sept. 16 at Benaroya Hall), which suggests there are finally enough Brazilians here to support such a show. In April, Veloso’s partner from the late ‘60s Tropicalia movement, Gilberto Gil, plays Meany Hall.
“Brazil’s relationship with Seattle is booming,” says Costa. “All the Seattle big companies — Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Paccar, Inrix — plus the Gates Foundation, have good business in Brazil.”
There are more Brazilians living here now, too.
“We don’t have official numbers, but there are probably around 5,000,” estimates Costa.
The census data for 2012 says 4,422 people who were born in Brazil live in Washington.
No doubt a lot of them will be there for Brazilian nights.
Alessandro Penezzi Trio, En Canto
7:30 p.m. Friday Aug. 8, the Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $25 (206-838-4333 or (thetripledoor.net).
Paula Santoro, EntreMundos Quartet
7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, the Triple Door; $25.
Filó Machado, Jovino Santos Neto
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, the Triple Door; $25.