Most of the Brazilian music that makes it up to the U.S. is rooted in the samba and bossa nova traditions, which thrive in big southern cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. But this young all-female quartet, from the northerly Atlantic seaport of Recife, concentrates on forro (pronounced faw-haw), the best-known tradition of the northeastern region of the country, which stretches from the lush, verdant coastline into rocky, desolate hinterlands. There are a number of variants of forro--among them coco, xote, and xaxado--but they're all driven by pumping accordion riffs, which makes the form sound something like a more dynamic, polyrhythmic polka or zydeco. Artists like Luiz Gonzaga, Jackson do Pandeiro, and Dominguinhos have been popularizing and hybridizing the music since the 40s--the latter two incorporated strains of rock and funk. But on its eponymous CD, not yet available in the U.S., Comadre Florzinha takes a rootsier approach, emphasizing soulful call-and-response vocals and heavy percussion even when covering a rocker by the late great Chico Science. Thursday, July 27, 7:30 PM, Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park, Michigan between Harrison and Balbo; 312-742-4007. PETER MARGASAK
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.