When a theatre has a history as deep and vast as The Paramount, one comes to expect entertainment of a higher caliber. All this time, the venue has never disappointed. Heck, viewing superior talent just comes with the territory. But lest we become content, even The Paramount kicks things up a notch every so often by bringing in honest to goodness legends.
Coming Soon: Sérgio Mendes
The next performer is just such a man and living legend: Sérgio Mendes.
A Brazilian musician with nearly 50 years in the business, Mendes is a pianist and pioneer in Latin Jazz and Bossa Nova. Originally trained as a classical pianist, he became influenced by jazz and began to play nightclubs and lounges. His reputation grew as he played with nearly every American jazz musician that toured through Brazil in the late 1950s.. After forming the Sexteto Bossa Rio in 1961, Mendes toured Europe and North America before finally moving to the U.S. in 1964.
After that, things really blew up for him. The Bossa Nova scene really took off, and Sérgio helped lead the way towards its prominence in the U.S. in the 1960s with his new group, Sérgio Mendes and the Brasil ’66.
Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, surely you are familiar with the music. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you know this tune. It’s a staple of the Bossa Nova era, “Mas Que Nada,” released in 1966.
In the decades since, Sérgio hasn’t slowed down one bit. He’s recorded and released over 35 albums over his career, and is constantly striving to reach new audiences with the timeless sounds of Brazilian music and culture. The late 1990s saw a revival of the retro lounge music genre, and Mendes’ riffs captured a whole new generation. Regardless, he is never afraid to evolve his music, and even infusing it contributions with modern artists. His latest album, Timeless, features an impressive lists of collaborators: Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, India.Arie, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Q-Tip, Stevie Wonder and Pharoahe Monch.
To underline his ability to evolve, here’s a modernized version of “Mas Que Nada,” this time with the Black Eyed Peas.
¿Impressionante, que no? Sérgio Mendes continues spreading the influence of Latin jazz, one set of ears at a time.
Doesn’t this just want to make you just get up and dance? Go ahead, I won’t tell anyone. But be sure and dave some of that groove thang for November. It’s not everyday that someone of Mendes’ caliber graces Austin, but when he does, it’s only appropriate that he appear onstage at The Paramount Theatre. After all, legends play here.
Sérgio Mendes will be appearing live at The Paramount Theatre on Wednesday, November 2 at 8:00 p.m.