Still relatively fresh in my mind, before we’re off to Midem, I’ll tell some of the stories, results, reviews, highlights and talk about some of the friends; old and new, we met along the way.
Initial great new friend to BMA/BME was Pleimo, who sponsored the booth at APAP, so that Eric Taller & Geysa Castro, (Ginga P.) Flavio de Abreu, (Scubidu) Sergio Krakowski, Dauton Janota (Pleimo), David McLoughlin and I could take advantage of the BMA APAP membership renewal and register for APAP 2013. Obrigado!, Dauton and Pleimo, from all who benefitted and will benefit in the months and years to come. (Planting seeds! “Imagine” was the theme of this APAP, thanks John and Yoko!)
Each of the Brazilians attending, including the others, like Jair Oliveira, Nelson Veras and Pedro Moraes, who came here via other avenues, benefitted from the events in completely different ways and will need to tell their own stories, but this is what I gathered and apologies if I’m omitting the most important details, or, hopefully not, embarrassing some friends.
The conference and Jazz and World Music pre-conferences were held at the New York Hilton, facing The Avenue of The Americas (6th Avenue), and some of the sessions were at the NY Sheraton Hilton on 7th Avenue, very conveniently both less than a block away from Brasil Music Exchange NYC home; my office.
My office is also an office for Isabel Soffer, her promotion company Live Sounds and she, along with her associate Meera Dugal, have been very busy co-organizing the 10th Anniversary of globalFEST, (the world’s best and most influential world music one night showcase), with Bill Bragin, of Lincoln Center and Shanta Thake of Joe’s Pub, all long time Brazilian music supporters and patrons, among the top music presenters in the world.
One of the first international colleagues I ran into, at the World Music pre-conference, brilliantly conceived and executed by Dmitri Vietze, of Rock, Paper, Scissors and STORYAMP, was Frédéric Gluzman, a French agent/manager colleague of mine, who explained why he unfortunately had to postpone the only Brazilian group booked this year at globalFEST; SpokFrevo Orquestra, due to their inability to raise sufficient funds for the trip. I hope next year when they are also Kings of the Carnival in Recife, they can find the financing to come perform at globalFEST 2014! My “old country”, France, (The French Embassy Cultural Services has sponsored all of the globalFEST’s since inception), enabling globalFEST to exist and four Francophone bands each year to perform, with additional funding coming from various French government and private sources for transportation. Something for Brazil and it’s supportive states to aspire to and lobby for! Fantastic ROI for France, let’s build towards this for Brasil.
globalFEST was, once again, a fantastic event, (loved Mucca Pazza, Christine Salem and Lo’Jo, among others) and was sold out in advance. Please google to read phenomenal reviews and listen to some of these amazing groups. Another big supporter of Brazilian music, Brian Keigher, mixed the sounds as DJ, at the globalFEST after-party, at Joe’s Pub. Pedro Moraes was there with me schmoozing up a storm, (Jacob Edgar, Scott Aiges, Meera, Derek Andrews, Bill Bragin), with some Kentucky Cachaca fueling; good old American JD.
Pedro and I walked to nublu, the professional home of one of the presenters, Petrit Pula, of the Brasil Summerfest, (which Pedro performed at last July @ Joe’s Pub), but although there were still some friends there, that scene had waned by the time we arrived. Speaking of Brazil’s finest export, besides Music + Football players, (Go Santos!), we had LEBLON generously sponsor the 2nd annual Brazilian Explorative Sessions event at (le) Poisson Rouge, (thanks Eric!), more on that to come. Dauton Janota, CEO Pleimo brought 4 Pleimo branded aged Salinas bottles, 2 confiscated by US Customs or Homeland Security at JFK, alas. With one of the two remaining, we poured for friends and clients at our APAP booth, which was so out of the way, (last one available), even the hotel and conference security didn’t bother us.
We had tried to negotiate for a better spot, being nearby, or sharing a booth with our friend Leticia Montalvo, (Tempest Entertainment), manager of Daniela Mercury and agent for Gal Costa, among other artists. Leticia presented with us in Rio de Janiero at Encounters, sponsored by BMA and Sebrae in July, along with Ariel Hyatt (Cyber PR), who had also been in Rio, also had a workshop at APAP and attended the World Music pre-conference workshop, with all of us and Sergio, who had thrown a small jam session, featuring many Rio musicians at his apartment last July.
Another friend of Brazilian artists, John Hammond was sharing a panel there, whose Missing Piece Group now promotes the Six Degrees Records (more friends of Brazilian music) signed artist; Dom La Nena. One of the NY TImes writers, Jon Pareles, who has given her new album Ela an excellent review, also attended the Brazilian Explorative Music Sessions, writing feverishly (he was at my table) for the entire 6 bands performing, but eventually decided, alas, to focus an article on Pedro Moraes, when Pedro releases his next album and when Jon/Times had more space (and I imagine, time.)
Pedro’s publicist, Fiona Bloom (Bloom Effect) did a fine job and had photographers, journalists, VIP friends, label execs, etc. out for the show, and I must have invited well over 2,000 people myself, through handing out hundreds of beautiful flyers at APAP, social media, my big mouth, and the show was pretty crowded, if not sold out. Most importantly, it was a beautiful night of music and all were happy, although it went very late on a “school night”. Especially after the long days at the pre-conferences, APAP conference and nights of globalFEST, and the two nights of the NYC Winter Jazzfest, conceived, produced and promoted by the same person, Brice Rosenbloom, who booked the second annual Brazilian Explorative Music sessions, (thanks Brice!), it was an excellent turn-out. Many VIP’s were in the house, including WBGO’s Tim Wilkins, who gave Pedro his best “plug” of the year in the US, writing for National Public Radio, listing Pedro, with a full article, as one of the 10 musicians you should have known in 2012! Thanks Tim! He also assisted in having Pedro be the WBGO Artist of the Month in December, which is fantastic, as WBGO is mostly an extremely well-respected Jazz radio station. We saw Patrick Darby of Montreal, Derek Andrews of Toronto, Brian Keigher, from Chicago, Current NY’ers David Hazan, Tom Silverman (Tommy Boy), Donna D’Cruz (Rasa), Jennie Harper (WBAI), Brazilians Dauton Janota, guitarist/composer Nelson Veras, Fernando Grecco, (Boranda), Flavio, Eric and Geysa, Frenchmen Mohamed Ghastli, (Bee Jazz), Jean-Christoph Maillard (Richard Bona, Grandbaton), Laurent David (Yael Naim, Eol Trio…), quite an international great “hang”, in the parlance. Here’s the link with all info on six of the featured musicians, Sergio Krakowski, Elissa Cassini, Pedro Moraes, Ivo Senra, Gabriel Santiago, and Mozik, who performed that night, please check them all out, as they are all extremely talented, moving the adjective (and new sub-genre?) Explorative more into the vocabulary of all the audience. Sergio’s show was a record release party, with his debut cd Carrossel de Passaros arriving just a few days before the concert.
On the Saturday night, @ SOB’s, Leslie Malmed Macedo of Mamadele Productions (she’s going to be a mama soon, congrats!) and her Dende crew, with Larry Gold, longest running venue supporter of Brazilian and other great music in NYC, put together another strong night of Brazilian artists, and/or artists playing Brazilian music. Dende, who performed at the first Brazilian Explorative concert in 2012, headlined with Matuto and NY Choro and then left the next day for Bahia. Last year, he left soon after his show! It was Leslie’s last show with the band before she welcomes the next generation of percussionists, Leslie told me their baby was dancing!
There was much business done, too, by all the Brazilians present, beyond the showcases and meetings. Many meetings were set up in advance and many other meetings came during the conference. The most important, perhaps for all is what occurs after the conferences, the showcases, with the follow-up of all present, both the Brazilians and all the others we met and furthered conversations with there.
Now, David and I, along with others from BMA and the BME, and Dauton Janota, from Pleimo, who joined at APAP, and many other Brazilian executives, are off to Cannes, France for the next chapter in helping create and forward opportunities for all Brazilian music artists and professionals, in the best manner we can. The opportunities at Midem are also huge for all Brazilian participants and we’re looking forward to assist.