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Sample Track 1:
"India Song by Mariana Montalvo" from Women of Latin America
Sample Track 2:
"Todo Sexta-Feira by Belo Velloso" from Women of Latin America
Sample Track 3:
"Yo Me Llamo Cumbia by Toto la Momposina" from Women of Latin America
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The African Drum, the Swing of Bossa Nova, & the New Voice of Belô Velloso Brazil’s Singer Joins “Putumayo Presents Latinas: Women of Latin America” Tour & CD

Every Friday in the Brazilian region of Bahia, most people dress in white in homage to Oxalá, an African god from the candomblé religion, a faith followed by more than half of the people in Bahia. This is the subject of “Toda Sexta-Feira (Every Friday)” performed by Belô Velloso on the upcoming Women of Latin America CD on Putumayo World Music. Velloso is sure to perform the song while on tour October and November 2004 as part of the Putumayo Presents Latinas: Women of Latin America, also featuring Chile’s Mariana Montalvo and Colombia’s Totó La Momposina.

Every Friday / Everybody is Bahian / Everyone is dressed in white / Every skin is black, and everybody sings / Every sky is magenta / Every song, every girl, every wave is sparkling / Every Friday / All the world is Bahian together. – Belô Velloso’s “Toda Sexta-Feira (Every Friday),” featured on Putumayo Presents Women of Latin America

“Oxalá, is the god of the pureness, beauty, peace, joy, friendship, harmony and union,” explains Velloso, the niece of two of Brazil’s most popular musicians, Caetano Veloso and Maria Bethânia. “Adriana Calcanhotto was moved when she saw the Bahian people dedicated to celebrating peace on a weekday, in simple, natural form, without fanaticism. So she composed this music.”

As a child in the state of Bahia, the Brazilian region with the most profound African cultural influences, Velloso was exposed firsthand to the work of some of the greatest names in MPB, or popular Brazilian music, as well as samba, bossa nova, and other traditional Brazilian styles. She moved to Rio at the age of 19 to pursue a career in music, and was helped by her famous aunt and uncle through guest appearances on her first album.

“Bahia is a place full of rhythms with very original sounds,” says Velloso. “It is a mix of the African drum with the swing of the Brazilian samba. This gave to Bahia originality and a great cultural importance. I grew up with the poetry from Bahia. A place that values the culture, the composition, the melody, the rhythm. A place full of natural beauty from the sea.”

“I started recording at a time when few Brazilian artists were paying attention to all of Bahia’s rhythms,” Velloso says. “So the influence of Bahia’s rhythms, like axé and ijexá have been significant for the mixture of pop, rock and the style of MPB that I was doing.”

Velloso grew up watching the charismatic stage performance of Bethânia and is clearly influenced by her aunt’s choice of singing lyrics of importance and with positive messages to the Brazilian people. From her uncle, whom she calls “the Brazilian music philosopher,” the younger Velloso learned “musical importance and the melodic quality to touch the heart of his audience.”

In a review of her second CD, the New York Times praised her work saying, “Belô touches the melodies as if they come straight from the heart.” She is sure to do the same during the Putumayo Presents Latinas: Women of Latin America tour this Fall!

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