Music

Homegrown ensemble Brazilian Voices celebrates the natural world through song

Written By Rebekah Lanae Lengel
October 17, 2023 at 11:27 AM

Brazilian Voices, performs Friday, Oct. 20 at the Sandrell Rivers Theater in Miami in “Amazonas, The Rhythm of Nature”  (Photo courtesy of Eduardo Schneider/Brazilian Voices)

Twenty-two years ago, a group of women came together, united by homesickness, a love for music and a mutual desire to develop deeper connections to their community. Designers, lawyers and teachers, music lovers but not yet professional singers, gathered in weekly meetings around the piano of Brazilian Voices co-founder Beatriz Malnic’s Weston home in fellowship and song. From these meetings have emerged seven original CDs, opportunities as artists-in-residence in area hospitals, a performance last year at Carnegie Hall accompanying Brazilian composer Guilherme Arantes, and a celebration of Brazilian culture.

On Friday, Oct. 20, their new show at the Sandrell Rivers Theater in Miami, “Amazonas, The Rhythm of Nature,” celebrates and brings attention to the natural world and the importance of conserving it, according to the co-founders.

Brazilian Voices co-founders Loren Oliveira and Beatriz Malnic (Photo courtesy of Eduardo Schneider/Brazilian Voices)

“We started singing this one song called ‘Amazon River,’ composed by Dori Caymmi, and we fell in love with that,” says Malnic. “So, we decided to gather a lot of songs that talk about nature, that talk about forests. What gave us the inspiration was nature and the elements of nature the rhythm of nature, we came from the four elements, air, water, earth and fire, and how without them world could not function in the perfect and orderly fashion that it does.”

They see this as an opportunity to not just advocate and celebrate the Amazon rainforest, but also bring the focus locally, finding synchronicity in the Everglades that they hope will resonate on a personal level with Miami audiences.

Co-founder Loren Oliveira, who like Malnic was born in Brazil before relocating to South Florida, adds, “We have amazing musicians that will be playing with us, and we put together something that will be very inspiring. We thought, how can we inspire, awaken this connection that all of us interconnected with nature and we think that music is such a great tool to inspire people to awaken that poetic spirit.”

Brazilian Voices members Sue Scaglione, Carla Zackson Heller, Dilvar Muñoz, Isabel Escosteguy and Eliana Figueiredo. (Photo courtesy of Eduardo Schneider/Brazilian Voices)

Beyond celebrating nature, they also aim to educate audiences musically, by inviting audience members to participate in the music.

“One of the things that Brazilian Voices does that’s become our mark is weave through our Brazilian instruments,” says Malnic. “We distribute shakers, we invite them to go up on stage to play triangles and we show them about rain sticks. That way they can really feel the rhythms, because once you are able to play the instrument, then you can really feel the rhythms and be part of this.”

A full sensory experience, audiences will enter the theater where a lobby exhibition of work from Brazilian artist Clara Piquet’s paintings of native Amazonian tribes. Once in the hall, they will be immersed in the sounds of the rainforest and will be invited to participate in a call and response with the performers.

The company hopes this immersive experience will resonate with the local community and inspire a deeper connection with nature.

Brazilian Voices ensemble in concert (Photo courtesy of Eduardo Schneider/Brazilian Voices)

As Oliveira says, “From this little seed that we’re planting, many ideas and movements will be able to blossom from there. This is our contribution, a small contribution to our community that we have so much appreciation for, South Florida, it’s like our family.”

WHAT: Brazilian Voices “Amazonas, The Rhythm of Nature”

WHERE: Sandrell Rivers Theater, 6103 NW 7th Avenue, Miami

WHEN: 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20

COST: $28, general admission, $8, 2 to 17 years old

INFORMATION: 305-284-8872 or sandrellriverstheater.com

ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit media source for the arts featuring fresh and original stories by writers dedicated to theater, dance, visual arts, film, music and more. Don’t miss a story at www.artburstmiami.com.

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