Line-up /Orquestra Imperial
Rio's retro samba big band
Rio’s 18-piece retro samba band Orquestra Imperial makes a rare UK appearance. Their hip, young version of Rio’s golden age takes samba back to its dancehall roots. Since their first show in Brazil in 2002, the Orquestra has become one of the biggest sensations on the Rio cultural scene, playing vintage sambas from the 40s and 50s, mambos and boleros. They are credited with reviving the passion for dancehall samba which is now the latest craze among Rio’s young generation.
Orquestra Imperial features some of the best-known names in Brazilian rock, pop and electronica. At the heart of the project is Kassin, one of Brazil’s most sought after producers whose manifold successes include production for Marisa Monte and Bebel Gilberto. The line-up also includes Rodrigo Amarante [Los Hermanos, Little Joy], Moreno Veloso [+2], award-winning singer Nina Becker and the old guard is present in the shape of veteran samba legend Wilson das Neves [Os Ipanemas].
The group has played across the US and Europe, and they were a highlight at London’s Barbican Tropicalia festival in 2006, a show described by The Independent as ‘a sublime delight’. In concert, Orquestra Imperial is extraordinarily fluid – continually swapping lead vocals, roles and instruments. Their collective take on golden-age samba is not sepia toned or nostalgic – it’s kaleidoscopic and energised with a kind of nonchalant euphoria. Orquestra Imperial are true inheritors of Brazil’s incredible musical heritage and with them, it not only lives, it swings and dances cheek to cheek.
“a sublime delight” The Independent
“cool and charming” The Guardian
“a glorious celebration of old school street samba” Straight No Chaser
“Retro samba from Rio´s funkiest big-band revivalists.” MOJO
“superbly stylish…Brazil´s old-school rhythms are casting their spell on a new generation” The Daily Telegraph