CANTOS DO POVO: THE MUSIC OF MILTON NASCIMENTO
SEPT. 24 AT MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL
Cantos do Povo will reprise at 3:30 on the West End Stage at MJF 66!
Please join us on Sept. 24 at 3:30 at the Monterey Jazz Festival, West End Stage, for a reprise performance of this powerful show. Ticket information is HERE.
Cantos do Povo: The Music of Milton Nascimento
Feito Nós (Like Us) 1987 Milton Nascimento/Paulo Ricardo arr. Murray Low
This song remarks on the dualities and contradictions of the human condition, angel/devil, good/bad, pleasure/pain….like all of us.
Ponta de Areia(Grain of Sand) 1975 Milton Nascimento/Fernando Brant arr. Sandy Cressman
Ponta de Areia was a station on the Bahia-Minas steam train line, which connected the state of Minas Gerais in the interiorwith the coastal state of Bahia. This song laments the destruction of this by the military dictatorship of the 1964-1985, which left small towns abandoned.
Vera Cruz 1968 Milton Nascimento/Marcio Borges arr. Sandy Cressman
Vera Cruz was the name that the Portuguese explorers gave to the coast of northeast of what would come to be called Brazil. This song poetically laments the lost Brazil, during the dictatorship, as an elusive woman.
Canção do Sal (Salt Song) 1967 Milton Nascimento arr. Murray Low
This song celebrates the man working hard in the salt mine, sweating all day in order to give his family a better life, and in order that his child be able to go to school and have more possibilities.
Louva-a-Deus 1997 Milton Nascimento/Fernando Brant arr. Sandy Cressman
This song highlights Congado, the main Afro-Brazilian cultural manifestation(rhythm and religious) in Minas Gerais. Louva-a-deus means praying mantis, the insect representing peace and Harmony with the planet, but “louvar á deus” also means to praise god. This rhythm is a hybrid created especially for the song by Lincoln and Ricardo Cheib for the show and LP “Tambores de Minas”, which spotlighted the rhythms and traditions of Congado.
Cravo E Canela (Cinnamon and Clove) 1972 Milton Nascimento/Ronaldo Bastos arr. Débora Gurgel
This song was written for a film “Os Deuses e os Mortos”, written about the character played by an actress Dina Sfat, a good friend of Milton. The song uses images of spices(cinnamon and cloves) and of nature(the moon, rivers, the wind) to praise the beauty and energy of this character.
Don Quixote 1988 Milton Nascimento/Cesar Camarga Mariano
arr. Sandy Cressman
This song follows the theme of Cervantes seeker Don Quixote, questioning life, and questioning limitations of the every day and drawn to the unknown, comparing the heart of actors, dancers, musicians to this classic seeker.
Encontros e Despedidas 1980 (Greetings and Farewells) Milton Nascimento/Fernando Brant
arr. Sandy Cressman
Written for a ballet “Último Trem” about the end of the Bahia Minas Train line; greetings and departures, the loss of contact between cities… and also about the exiles of the Dictatorship from 1964-1985, folks separated from colleagues and friends.
A Festa (The Party) 1988 Milton Nascimento
Paula e Bebeto Milton 1975 Nascimento/Caetano Veloso Medley arranged by Jovino Santos Neto
“A Festa” was inspired by the traditional Mexican “La Bamba” and Milton composed the lyrics later for his friend Maria Rita. The song sets a tone of celebration and dance, but underneath lies a deeper exploration of love and connection.
“Paula e Bebeto” Was inspired by the stormy relationship of a young couple he knew in Tres Pontas, MG. Milton composed the melody as a kind of protest against the separation of the couple; he later brought the song to Caetano Veloso, who added the lyric as a tribute to the friends, who were no longer together. Because the song celebrates all kinds of love, over the years it became kind of an anthem against intolerance of different forms of love.
Morro Velho(the Old Hill)1967 Milton Nascimento/Fernando Brant arr. Sandy Cressman
This song tells the story of two boys growing up on a plantation, the son of the owner and the son of the worker, of their friendship, and of the social/racial inequality that leads to divergent futures for the two as they grow up.
Nada Sera Como Antes (Nothing Will Be as Before) 1976 Milton Nascimento/Ronaldo Bastos
arr. Débora Gurgel
This song deals with oppression during the military dictatorship. It poetically summarized the fear that was established in the country, as some young people went on the road, some wondered what was the news from the friends who were away, with the hope that things would be different.
Tudo que Você Podia Ser(All That You Could Be) 1972 Lô Borges/Marcio Borges
Arr. Natalie Cressman
The Borges brothers were integral parts of the “Clube da Esquina” collaborative, with whom Milton released a ground-breaking double album in 1972. “Tudo Que Você Podia Ser” deals with the possibilities of life, the sad and happy moments and what we can do about them, and what paths we will take in our own trajectories in the world. The metaphorical and simple lyrics speak between the lines about the political period in Brazil under the dictatorship, and about the possibilities of life.
About Milton Nascimento:
Milton Silva Campos do Nascimento was born in Rio de Janeiro on Oct. 26, 1942. He is a
Brazilian singer , composer and multi-instrumentalist recognized worldwide as one of the most influential and talented artists of Brazilian Popular Music. Although he was born in Rio, he is Mineiro at heart (raised in Três Pontas in the state of Minas Gerais.) Milton became known nationally when the composition "Travessia" (by himself and Fernando Brant ) occupied second position in the 1967 edition of the International Song Festival. In the pension where he lived in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Milton met the Borges brothers, Marilton , Lô and Márcio . From these meetings on the corner of Divinópolis and Paraisópolis streets, came the chords and lyrics of songs such as "Cravo e Canela", "Trem Azul", "Nada Será Como Antes", "São Vicente" and "Cais". The boys who were fans of The Beatles and The Platters were joined by Tavinho Moura , Flavio Venturini , Beto Guedes ,Toninho Horta . In 1972 EMI recorded their first LP, Clube da Esquina , which was a ground breaking double LP.
Milton’s songs have been recorded and performed by important artists from Brazil and around the world, including Elis Regina, Wayne Shorter, Sarah Vaughn and Esperanza Spalding, to name a few.
Many of Milton’s songs were composed during the dictatorship in Brazil from 1964-1985. Milton’s and his lyricist partners often spoke of social inequality, working people, rejection of oppression and of censorship. Milton’s amazing voice was sometimes described as “a voz do Deus”, what God’s voice would sound like.
More info at http://miltonnascimento.com.br/ing/
Sandy Cressman’s Homenagem Brasileira embraces the diversity of Brazil’s musical traditions. Cressman is well known for her passionate and rhythmic singing of the repertoire of the great composers and performers of Brazilian Jazz, and for several critically acclaimed CDs, “Homenagem Brasileira“ and “Brasil-Sempre no Coração”. Her devotion to and study of the music of Brazil have led to a number of musical friendships with notable contemporary Brazilian musicians. In 2017, Sandy released a CD of all original Brazilian Jazz compositions, created in collaborations with such notable musicians as Jovino Santos Neto, Spok, Antonio Adolfo and Ian Faquini. In 2015 and 2017, Cressman was a featured vocalist on the main stage of Carnaval in Recife, Brasil. Sandy and her husband Jeff also performed and taught as part of an exchange project called “Do Jazz ao Frevo” sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of state in 2017. Sandy has performed her repertoire with Brazilian, European and American musicians across the U.S., Europe and Brazil.
Homenagem Brasileira's musicians have shared the stage with Carlos Santana, Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh, Taj Mahal, Guinga, and many more. Personnel: Sandy Cressman, voice/percussion; Jeff Cressman, trombone
Natalie Cressman, trombone/voice; Murray Low, keyboards; Ian Faquini, guitar; David Belove, bass
Dillon Vado, drums; Ami Molinelli, percussion
jul.sophie dance is a contemporary dance trio led by dancer/choreographer Julianna Cressman. jul.sophie dance is led by dancer/choreographer Julianna Cressman. Julianna grew up dancing a variety if styles in the San Francisco Bay Area. Following graduation from UC Irvine, she returned to the Bay Area, joining Alayo Dance Company in 2018, and Sarah Bush Dance Project in 2019. Julianna has studied dance in Cuba and Brazil, and has performed through the US. She is an originating cast member of Paul Flores’ 2019 premiere of We Have Ire at YBCA, which resumes its run in September 2023. Julianna currently teaches a weekly intermediate contemporary dance classe at City Dance Studios in San Francisco, and would love to dance with you. Samara Atkins is an Oakland native and has been dancing, performing, and teaching hip-hop since 1999. Her mission is to utilize dance as a somatic tool for expressing, coping, addressing, connecting, celebrating, translating, and healing from our lived experiences. Samara is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Mix'd Ingrdnts, with a mission to educate, inspire, and empower women, youth, and the community. She's also lead choreographer, member, and singer/songwriter of the GRAMMY-winning children's music group, Alphabet Rockers. Molly Levy (she/her) is a performing artist drawn to the heart and humanity of dance making. Her training has included classical and contemporary ballet, Horton, Limon, Graham, Piso Movil floorwork, Jack Cole-based jazz, and improvisation. She has performed with independent artists and companies throughout the Pacific Northwest, East Coast, and Bay Area. Her collaborations include Cantankerous Creatures, Seattle Opera, Katie Scherman + Artists, Post:ballet, Sharp & Fine, and Paufve Dance. Her work has also brought her into live theater, movement direction, burlesque, visual art, and teaching dance to many generations from creative movement for toddlers to classes for seniors with Parkinson’s.
Thank you to
SF Arts Commission, ANNE TRICKEY
Tim Jackson, Monterey Jazz Festival,
Special thanks to Arturo Riera
Linda Liteheiser, Friends of the Amp, SF Parks Alliance,
Intermusic SF SF Rec and Parks,
Nick and Tainah at Brasarte….
And big love to my family and to my stellar band and dancers!!!