Though the idea of summer travel may appear hopelessly distant to some, this weekend offers a trip to Brazil without leaving the valley. “Evening in Brazil” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the USU Performance Hall. The event will highlight various rhythms unique to the South American country, said Christopher Neale, professor of engineering and guitarist for the “Evening in Brazil” ensemble. This year’s concert, like the three before it, will feature bossa nova, a form of jazz music unique to Brazilian culture. Friday’s performance will also incorporate the Humble Roots Capoeira group, “Baianas de Logan,” a female dance group, and guest percussionist Marcus Santos, Neale said. During the second portion of the program, Santos, a native to the Bahia province of northeastern Brazil, will showcase the rhythms and percussions of his birthplace, Neale said. Although final preparations occur just weeks before the show, planning for the event began months in advance, said Linda Ferreira Linford, a junior majoring in vocal performance who sings with the jazz ensemble. “We started practicing at the beginning of spring semester,” she said.“(We’ve) had our set list ideas (since) before Christmas.” Linford said she was selected as the lead singer when “Evening in Brazil” began in 2009. “We needed a female singer because bossa nova is a style that requires a nice, smooth voice. Linda is a vocal performance major, has Brazilian heritage and speaks Portuguese,” said Neale, also from Brazilian descent. Because Linford is the only student in the ensemble, she said she had mixed feelings when she initially joined. “At first I felt intimidated and very privileged, because they are some of the most talented musicians that I know,” she said. “I felt like the pressure was on, and I had to keep up. They have been so patient with me, and I’m so grateful they gave me the opportunity to do this.” With Linford singing and Neale on guitar, the original ensemble consisted of two additional members: Michael Christiansen, director USU’s guitar studies program, and Eric Nelson, a middle school band teacher who plays saxophone and clarinet.
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