Boca Do Rio – Saturday, Sept 22 @ 8pm


On July 1, 2018 By admin

Boca do Rio is musicá organica — live music played live! It is inspired by the thousands of musicians and the music lovers that have gone before us and laid the rhythmic foundations of samba, baião, samba-reggae, the dances for the orishas, and all that gives homage to the beats. It is the African diaspora alive through rhythms and pulses – it is the commonality that binds humans to the air we breathe, the food from which we nourish, the water we imbibe, and the love through which we flourish. Boca do Rio exists to share and celebrate music and everything that it brings to our lives through the cross-pollination of the Americas. It’s the water that flows from mountains to oceans, from inside to out. It’s the earth beneath our feet, the soil beneath the concrete, the minerals from the stars that grace each of our cells.

The San Francisco band Boca do Rio takes its name from the Portuguese “mouth of the river” – the place where myriad streams and sources converge into one powerful, flowing, physical energy. The band started flowing when Kevin Welch and Alex Calatayud formed a musical partnership in the late nineties that would redefine Brazilian music in the Bay Area. The musical collaboration was founded in deep respect for past traditions, steeped in the sambas and choros (Brazilian ragtime of a bygone era) that echoed through the Brazilian favelas, while always evolving forward to create an organic sound that is decidedly modern and funky.

Kevin Welch, Boca’s founder, composer, guitarist, and vocalist, has a rich personal and musical history that became entwined with Brazil during an extended ecological research trip in the Amazon. There he became transformed by the spirit of the people sharing in the rhythms of daily life and reflecting this joy in the sambas. Welch then landed in California to cultivate the inspirations that were planted in Brazil and began creating a community that spanned the Americas. In 1995 he started the innovative group Vivendo de Pão, which became a mainstay on San Francisco’s club and festival scene and opened for touring acts like Gal Costa, Macy Gray, Poncho Sanchez, Sergio Mendes, and Los Van Van. Boca do Rio began as a trio offshoot of Vivendo in the late 1990s, then expanded into the principal vehicle for Welch and Calatayud’s evolving creative vision, exploring the synergy between soul jazz and Brazilian roots music.

Alex Calatayud, a native son of Goiania, Brazil, ignites the fire and passion of his land and people. In his hands beat the pulse of a nation – his signature groove is a distilled drop of Brazil so pure and true that masters far and wide call on him for his unique swing. After living in California for 14 years, Alex developed a style that is a uniquely syncretic blend of the Americas – funky and fresh, heavy and deep.

For the band’s self-titled recording debut, Boca do Rio assembled a superb team of Brazilian and American musicians to give voice to the original vibrant compositions. From the baião rhythms of the opening track “Time Alone” to the cross-cultural illumination articulated in “My Samba” (“whoever joins in with swinging feet in this samba … understands my happiness”), to the universally irresistible samba rhythms of “Beija Quem” and “Mulher Preguiçosa,” the music on Boca do Rio has been club-tested before demanding Bay Area audiences and showcases many of the band’s great songs.

Boca always had a jazz sensibility – “Improvisation is a huge part of what we do,” Welch admits – but samba is at the heart of the band’s music. “I think Americans need to hear samba as much for its spirit as its musicality,” he says. “It started in favelas, with African roots and rhythms blending with European parlor music, but the thing that’s important for Americans is not just the carnival aspect, but its spirit of celebration. The roots of samba are about community in the groove, just as jazz is about musicians coming together. There’s a tremendous synergy between jazz and Brazilian music.”

Find out more at their website or listen to their music here.

Tickets only $15 (Buy Now!)
Show starts at 8pm. Doors open at 7:30.