Promoting their new album on tour around Europe, ’24/7 Valencia’ team were fortunate to catch Brazilian musicians Mario Bakuna & Edmundo Carneiro play a stunning set at ‘Cafe Mercedes Jazz’ in Valencia not so long ago. Post-show we hung out with the ‘músicos’ until the early hours and we dedicate this exclusive interview to all ’24/7 Valencia’ readers who have supported the local live music scene of Valencia over the years…
24/7 Valencia: Tell us something about your background and musical education…
Mario Bakuna:I come from a family of musicians. And I studied in a conservatory in the early part of my childhood when I lived in a city in the region of São Paulo. Then I moved to São Paulo itself and graduated from a public music university. However, my biggest formation was playing with musicians in bars and jazz clubs.
24/7 Valencia: What is it that makes Brazilian music so special? Brazilian music is very universal. There are elements from classical European music and there are elements of musicality from religions of African origin. Also, the Asian migrations in the 20th century. All this make up the elements for this distinctive sound.
How do you find living and working in Europe compared to Brazil? Brazil is my country. However, for reasons of not accepting to live in the midst of constant urban violence, I decided to move to Europe. But music is difficult anywhere. You must be persistent. You must be generous and you must study hard.
What was your impression of Valencia? I loved it. I loved the atmosphere of the city and the historic centre where i stayed, near the Torres de Serranos. The show was sold out. So, I think it was really good experience for a first time in the city of Valencia. I love Spain!
What is the concept of your latest album, ‘Where Rio de Janeiro meets Bahia?’ The album is a tribute to composers from Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. Unique cities in the artistic and historical conception of Brazil. The Afro-Brazilian elements of Bahia and the modernization of the country in Rio de Janeiro form the identity of the Brazilian in its brilliance.
Could you tell us more about Edmundo Carneiro? Ah … Edmundo is a percussionist that anyone would want to play together with. He plays very well. He has a biography that makes any musician envious. You see, we are talking about a percussionist who has played with Tania Maria, Baden Powell, Steve Gadd, Chucho Valdes, Anthony Jackson, De La Soul, Ali Farka Touré, Rosinha de Valençia , Johnny Clegg, Saint-Germain, Bob Sinclar and more. The man’s biography is heavy. Furthermore, he is a person who is very easy to work with. He goes for music first. So, that way, it is easier to get through adversity.
Please tell us something about each track on the album…
It’s a ‘Baião’ about the genius and world-class composer Hermeto Pascoal.
Poetics that translates as abandonment.
É Preciso Perdoar
Another song that also talks about abandonment. About being left by someone. About missing you.
Work that describes the sensation of what Bossa Nova is. Your melancholy and nostalgia.
The trickery of Bahian love. Baiano are a very interesting people in their way of living.
Me Deixa Em Paz
A song that deals with disillusionment in love. A frustrated idyll.
Mercador de Siri
This is more political. How the industry changed the lifestyle of fishermen in some regions of Brazil.
Samba Da Minha Terra
A relaxed attitude and the hot tropical climate make this music the entire anthropological lineage of the people of Bahia.
A tribute by Dorival Caymmi to the capital of Bahia, city of São Salvador.
About a couple’s loving & lasciviousness.
What are your plans for 2020? To record a new album with a quintet that is already in progress. I’ll leave a link for you to see. It is one of my compositions. It’s called ‘The Canto da Pomba Gira’. Pomba Gira is the wife of the devil. I love the Orisha mythology.
Mario Bakuna Quintet – O Canto da Pomba Gira (Mario Bakuna)
Interview by 24/7 Valencia team
More info: https://www.mariobakuna.com/