Culture, Music

Yamandu Costa: “I grew up playing tango and milonga and the guitar is part of my body”

His virtuosity as a guitarist in the interpretation of various styles of performance including chorinho, bossa nova, milonga and tango was confirmed during the festival of disco, which recently took place in Cuba.

Yamandú Costa

Reina Magdariaga Larduet

This is corroborated by the words of the Cuban singer songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, when he said that “the Brazilian from Rio Grande do Sul, as he rightly said, has been exposed to many musicians. Because of this his hands play with extraordinary fluency; chamames, paraguayan polcas, cuban afros as well as choros and sambas”.

Yamandu, from Brazil, played concerts on the island and gave lectures on the seven stringed instrument.

Regarding the connection between Brazilians and Cubans he said that “perhaps due to the fact they are both Latin and for the resemblance of Brazilians to the idiosyncrasy of Cubans, sometimes it is difficult to ascertain that they are people of two different nationalities”.

The truth is that the existing relationship between Cuba and Brazil is positive, and this is according to declarations made to Prensa Latina by the man considered to be one of the greatest Brazilian guitar talents of the guitar and a world leader in the performance of Brazilian music.

Experts believe that his musical creativity unfolds quite freely with an absolutely precise technique, exploring all the possibilities of the seven stringed instrument.

Thus renewing ancient themes and presenting original compositions of an intense brilliance. A profound intimacy with his inseparable companion and a musical language without borders, toured the most important stages in Brazil and the world, performing at important gatherings and festivals (you can find more information on his website www.yamandu.com.br).At these meetings the young guitarist gathered many awards. To mention a few, in 2010, the CD “Luz de la Aurora”, with Hamilton de Holanda was nominated for a Latin Grammy and this year he won two prizes in the 21st edition of the Brazilian Music Awards.

Silvio Rodriguez

Defending the tradition

The son of artists, he taught himself to play the guitar. He shares in an interview on www.rfi.fr that, “it was an instrument that I feared at home because my father was very protective about his guitar, which was something forbidden.

The 32 year old says “I grew up playing choro, chamame, tango and milonga. For me the guitar is not a job, it is enjoying life. It is part of me.”

During a visit to the United states in the 1990s and seeing jazz take root there, the publication points out, he understood that the great musicians always had a a foot in tradition, including classical composers.

“This is beautiful. It is the naivety, that of the heart, that you only have when you are on your own land” who now feels great admiration for the Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia.

According to www.emol.com, for 15 years Costa’s only influence was the traditional music from the south of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. However he says that after hearing the work of Radames Gnatalli, he decided to put himself in contact with other renowned Brazilian artists, such as Baden Powell, Tom Jobim and Raphael Rabello, among others.

Hamilton from Holanda

Unity of Latin American guitarists

During a recent visit to the island he told Prensa Latina about his intention to join with guitarists from populations from south of the river Bravo, as part of the actions through Latin American integration.

“I strongly believe in the fusion of these guitars because they converge a lot,” he stated during a lecture given in the Habanera venue of the Casa del Alba Cultural.

Costa, known for reviving Brazilian guitar music, pointed out that for this reason he wants to investigate, even more, Cuban, Colombian, Venezuelan music and of the whole region, to translate these influences to the Brazilian style.

In praise of Cubadisco

Speaking about the first international prize given to his album “Mafua” during the International Cubadisco Festival 2012, he expressed his delight at the award.

Mafua, he explained, was recorded in Germany in 2008 and released in Brazil 2 years later. “This CD has brought me much happiness”, he stressed.

He emphasised that last year he had done a promotional tour in various countries and has now received this nomination for the Prize of Brazilian Music as best artist. During his lecture given on the guitar, the artist said that contact with his Cuban contemporaries had been wonderful.

“I have looked for my own style since I was very young, therefore I was creating a way of sharing with people, playing popular music. I like being in contact with the public, being able to enjoy and share, this is also a privilege.” he reflected.

Praising Yamandu Costa, website www.zimbojam.com applauds his incredible skill in the dominion of the instrument saying that Yamandu Costa is a very special musician.

During his stay on the island the young performer showed that in Brazil there are young people who defend tradition and who are making top quality music. (PL)

(Translated by Harriet Payne)

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