caravanBrazil Meets New Orleans
Nation Beat Carnival Caravan Featuring Cha Wa
Artists: Scott Kettner (drums and percussion), Fabiana Masili (vocals), Mark Marshall (guitar), Chris Venditti (bass), Fernando Saci (percussion), Joe Gelini (Cha Wa and drums, vocals, percussion) and Irving “Honey” Banister, Jr. (Cha Wa and vocals and tambourine)
Nation Beat Music 2015
5 Tracks
Running Length: 22 minutes
Two performing groups, Nation Beat (Brazil) and Cha Wa (New Orleans Mardi Gras) have combined for this album of five songs. The sound is a combination of Brazil and New Orleans, or the rhythms of South America and zydeco of Louisiana. Band Leader Scott Kettner teaches maracatu percussion classes in New York to introduce people to the Carnival sound, which is sometimes known as “the turned-around beat.”  In Brazil bands, there are percussion instruments of a wooden rope-turned drum, cowbell, gourd shaker and a metal cylinder shaker filled with dried seeds. National Beat and Cha Wa use contemporary instruments, and the rhythm is happy, ready for dancing and Carnival/Mardi Gras time.
Music is usually a statement by the singer and repeated by the chorus, as found in Track 3, “Golden Crown,” one of the songs in English. This song references the centuries old tradition of Portuguese kings and queens that influenced native culture then.
Track Two, “Vou Cantar Esse Coco” has a wonderful arrangement that flows from instruments and back to vocals. Track Four, “Canto Da Ema” features Fabiana Masili on vocals, and “Liza Jane” (Track 5) takes an American folk song and adds Brazil to it with a tuba solo and you think Bourbon Street is just down the block.
One wishes this CD were longer than 5 songs and 22 minutes. The two bands work well together and you can detect a bit of Dixieland here and there, with zydeco, and the beat familiar as “Carnival” with guitar and drums. My favorite is "Liza Jane." The group is touring this summer so check the web sites for a location near you.
Copyright 2015 Marie Asner