Tuesday, 05 November 2019 10:55

New Faces For The Old School: Trio de Couro e Cordas Renews The Brazilian Samba Tradition

Written by Geisa Fernandes


Vinicius Oliveira is only 30, but he´s definitely got an old soul. No wonder this autodidact musician/singer/songwriter felt just at home at the Trio de Couro e Cordas, revisiting traditional Brazilian samba and making it sound brand new.

(GF) How was your first contact music?

(VO) Since my childhood I listened to my mother´s the old records, but I became very interested in it when I was 15 and I got my first instrument as a birthday present: a ukulele. From this day on, I´ve been intensively researched the history of Brazilian music, focusing on samba and Candeia, one of the icons of the genre, was the subject of my undergraduate thesis in History.

(GF) What are your references?

(VO) I´ve been influenced by various genres and I love samba and jazz. Tom Jobim, Johnny Alf, Paulinho da Viola, Joao Nogueira, Joao Donato, Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Custódio Mesquita, Nelson Cavaquinho, Dorival Caymmi, Radamés Gnattalli, Gershwin and Cole Porter are among my many references. As an interpreter, I try to leave a personal signature, focusing on rhythmic division and cool, organic singing, without excesses.

(GF) Tell us about the Trio de Couro e Cordas:

(VO) The group was created in 2011 by percussionist Rodolpho Dutra, who wanted to put up a samba repertoire for a trio. One year later I was invited to join its second line-up and became responsible for selecting the songs. The idea was to reach out for   the audience, avoiding the most frequently repeated tunes, but rather through a more daring repertoire. Our first prize came in 2013, when we won the Soulvision Festival in São Paulo with one of my songs. In the same year we were selected to take part   in   the project “Samba rundt bordet" (Samba around the table) in Norway, where we presented a little bit of Brazilian music to children and teenagers. This project was a milestone for the Trio. It brought us not only a lot of experience, but also showed us   how far the love for music could take us. Learning how to perform in a musical play was very challenging and we had to sing some songs in Norwegian too, but it all went very well. The show was such a success that, although only two tours had been   initially planned, we made four tours between 2013 and 2015. Bruno Campos has been the guitarist since 2014. He is also co-responsible for the arrangements.


(GF) Future projects?

(VO) The Trio is currently performing a tribute to the great poet Vinicius de Moraes and I am working on my first solo album. It is influenced by samba-jazz and bossa nova, but most of all, it reflects my idea of Brazil. I wrote all the songs and amazing musicians, such as Roberto Menescal, Arthur Maia, Humberto Araújo and Kiko Continentino are taking part in it. The release is planned for the first half of 2020.

Written by Geisa Fernandes - Brasil / Rio de Janeiro

The repertoire of this jazz singer and awarded songwriter from Rio de Janeiro reveals influences of Brazilian popular music, the French chanson and Latin American rhythms, but most of all, Geisa Fernandes is a jazz singer. Billie Holiday aficionada (back in college folks used to call her "Lady Doc"), this PhD holder and Comics researcher was a former vocalist of several bands in São Paulo. 

Hire Geisa to review your band or your new album.

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