How do you now when you’ve reached the upper echelons of Brazilian popular music? When Caetano Veloso wants to be your bff.
The legendary musician has a long history of boosting new talent. Back in 1980, Veloso was so taken with Rio de Janeiro singer-songwriter Marina Lima that he wrote this sultry number for her, and went on to record it as a duet for her sophomore album; the result was a huge hit that catapulted her from up-and-comer to national star status.
And that was only the beginning. While some of his contemporaries ignored or dissed the more rock-oriented generation of Brazilian musicians that came in their wake, Veloso embraced it. Whenever he admired new talent, Veloso would gush about them in the media, cover them, name-drop them in his own material, duet or collaborate with them; beneficiaries of the “Veloso boost” in the 80s and 90s included the multi-talented Djavan, blues-rocker Cazuza, avant-gardists Arrigo Barnabé and Arnaldo Antunes, and the honorary Brazilian Arto Lindsay.
And Veloso is still at it as his career enters its sixth decade. Over the past few years he has collaborated with rising artists including singer-songwriter Maria Gadú and rapper Criolo.
Now Veloso is helping introduce Teresa Cristina to the world with a short international tour. With more than 10 albums under her belt at the age of 48, Cristina isn’t exactly what you’d call a newcomer, but she’s gained a lot of visibility since releasing Teresa Cristina Canta Cartola earlier this year. Recorded live with no accompaniment other than acoustic guitar, the album is a remarkable re-reading of the legendary sambista Cartola’s songbook. Remarkably controlled yet imbued with emotion, Cristina’s crisp phrasing breathes new life into chestnuts such as “As Rosas Não Falam” and “O Mundo É um Moinho”.
Nonesuch Records, which released everything Veloso recorded since the late 80s internationally, recently picked up Teresa Cristina Canta Cartola, which set the stage for the “Caetano Apresenta Teresa” (“Caetano Presents Teresa”) tour. Veloso, who was present at Theatro Net Rio when the album was recorded, said in a Nonesuch release:
“With Cartola’s songs, Teresa’s artistry really shows. Her elegance on stage, the simultaneous spontaneity and decorum of every gesture, the humor, the tone, impeccable intonation—all combine in this true creator-singer, a genuine artist.”
Veloso also applauded Carlinhos Sete Cordas’ performance, saying that he “plays with such a richness—he has all the history of bossa nova and root samba … All Brazilians should see and listen to what happened at Theatro Net Rio that night.”
Check out the next U.S. dates on the tour:
Cover photo: Caetano Veloso and Teresa Cristina in Osaka, Tokyo/Teresa Cristina via Facebook