The eighth-annual Samba Fest took place May 3 at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza and the entire event was broadcast by WRTC
The fest featured a mix of Brazilian, Connecticut and New York artists and was co-presented by Trinity College and Riverfront Recapture.
One of the highlights of the day of music and related culture was the U.S. debut of Brazilian composer, arranger and guitarist Ivan Vilela who headlined. A virtuoso on the viola caipira, an acoustic guitar with 10 steel strings used in Brazilian folk music, Vilela has recorded 15-plus albums and performed around the world.
Vilela was one of a number of performers and participants who was interviewed by WRTC hosts who broadcast remotely near the main stage.
Sam Braga, Chris Cowles, Olivia Gibson, Wasine Mark and Sister True provided commentary and conducted a series of interviews throughout the day with guests including Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra; Trinity professor Eric Galm who produced the fest and led the Trinity Samba Ensemble which closed the day; Brazilian percussionist Nanny Assis; and drummer Scott Kettner who leads the New York-based group Nation Beat.
Other performers included the Trinity Steel Band, the Hartford Steel Symphony and Ginga Brasileira. There were also workshops featuring Maculelê, samba and capoeira dance styles.