The 10th-annual Samba Fest takes place May 7 at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza in Hartford and will be broadcast live by WRTC.
The fest — co-sponsored by Trinity College and Riverfront Recapture — featuring a mix of Brazilian and Connecticut artists, kicks off rain or at 11 a.m. and is expected to run until at least 6 p.m. Admission is free.
WRTC coverage starts at noon with Sam Braga, Chris Cowles, Olivia Gibson, Wasine Mark and Ronnie Sanders interviewing artists, organizers, dignitaries and spectators as well as providing an overview of the proceedings.
“The 10th anniversary celebration of Samba Fest is a virtual panorama of Brazilian music and culture,” says Eric Galm, the creator and producer of the event. “There will be everything from the refined strains of contemporary jazz-influenced melodies and harmonies, the hard edge of grit and perseverance from working class communities and exciting dance workshops.”
Galm continues to set the bar high, always trying to outdo the previous year’s festival by bringing in top international, national and local musicians.
“The optimistic musical carnival-like atmosphere,” says Galm, “is a great way to sample the flavor and feeling of Brazil.”
The Gilvan de Oliveira Trio, hailing from Minas Gerais, Brazil, will be headlining with “Pearls of Brazilian Masters” — their interpretations of the works of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Luiz Gonzaga, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento and Dominguinhos, among others.
Latin Grammy award-winner de Oliveira, one of the most prolific Brazilian guitarists in the world, is joined by contrabassist Ivan Corrêa and percussionist Serginho Silva. The trio are professors of music at the Universidade de Musica Bituca in Minas Gerais, which was founded by the legendary singer-composer Milton Nascimento.
Galm, an associate professor of music and ethnomusicology at Trinity, where he directs the Samba Ensemble and is the coordinator for the music track of the Trinity in Trinidad Global Learning Site, will lead the ensemble during the festival, including the opening samba parade at 11 a.m.
Before the de Oliveira-led trio takes the stage, the Afro-Brazilian pop band Banda Brother Camarada performs, featuring guitarist/vocalist Berico who has appeared at previous Samba Fests with the band Berimbrown.
Also appearing will be Ginga Brasileira, Sambeleza, Sambusa Band, Grupo Ghettos, Conjunto Antillano featuring Ray Gonzalez, Hartford Steel Symphony, Hartford Hot Several Brass Band, Trinity Samba Ensemble, and Trinity Steel.
Produced by Trinity College in partnership with Riverfront Recapture, Samba Fest is supported by the Hartford Arts Heritage & Job Grants Program, Luke Bronin, Mayor; the Consulate General of Brazil in Hartford, the Secretary of Culture of Minas Gerais; and Trinity College (Austin Arts Guest Artist Series, Department of Music, and Center for Urban and Global Studies Arts Initiative).
For directions and parking information, visit Samba Fest. For general information, call 860-297-2199.