When: Sat., Feb. 23 2013
A NIGHT IN RIO Hosted by the Latin American Coalition, this samba party-cum-Carnaval celebration offers a colorful and visceral taste of Brazilian culture and has sold out two years running. Everything from free samba lessons to authentic regional cuisine is in the mix, and the musical draw includes Malandro Soul and Reinaldo Brahn interpreting the familiar fare of Antônio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto and Sérgio Mendes. The evening’s festivities also include local Mestre Esquilo — aka Bruno Melo — performing with percussion wiz Davey Blackburn of the Charlotte trio Moenda (and ex Calabi-Yau). The pair have teamed up for an upcoming LP, Toca Tambor (recorded in part by Bo White), that combines the traditional style and instrumentation of capoeira — a multidisciplinary Afro-Brazilian art that blends music, movement, history and language — with Blackburn’s polyrhythmic attack. (Mestre Esquilo is the only top-ranking capoeirista in North Carolina.) Esquilo and Blackburn’s sneak-peek promises to be one of the evening’s highlights, and anything that transports you from the winter humdrum of Charlotte to warm tropical climes has got to be a good thing.