Brazil Club Review: Sergio Mendes at City Winery Chicago

by Brazil Club - Let The Music Take You There on 06/01/2016 - 03:40 pm

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If you asked him, Sergio Mendes might say that he’s always been on the cutting edge of mainstream. At least for the past five decades.

That’s why his two sold-out Memorial Day shows celebrating ’50 Years of Brasil 66’ at City Winery Chicago was a musical thrill for several hundred of his biggest fans in the US city where it all began for Brazil’s best-known musician.



Coming Up: Céu at City Winery, Chicago on June 24th

Céu means 'Heaven' or 'Sky' in Portuguese and this Sao Paulo-based singer mixes a sultry, electro-Bossa vibe with breezy boleros and 'Brazil After Dark' rhythms.

Learn more about Céu and catch her new song 'Sangria' here!


“Chicago was my first city” he said. “I moved here in February 1964. My first steady gig was at a club called Mother Blues on Wells Street. I lived on Elm Street so I walked to work every night that winter. It was cold for a Brazilian!”

A year or so later, he’d return to Mother Blues to hear a young Chicago singer perform. That’s how he met Lani Hall.

So, in a big way, Chicago played a part in creating the legendary groups’ signature sound. And it created an emotional connection with the audience.

From the opening batucada of ‘Cheche Magalena’ to the final encores, nine-piece ensemble covered the musical landscape, moving from strength to strength during the 90-minute set. Early favorites including ‘Pretty World’, ‘Fool On The Hill’ and ‘The Look of Love’ were faithful to the original vocal sound and style courtesy of Gracinha Leporace and Katie Hampton.    

A cavalcade of Brazilian hits was folded into the mix: ‘Desafinado’, ‘Waters of March’ and ‘Samba da Minha Terra’ highlighted a brace of Bossa Nova hits. ‘Never Gonna Let You Go’ (featuring Hampton and saxophonist/singer Scott Mayo), Gilberto Gil’s ‘Pais Tropical’ and Chico Buarque’s ‘O Que Serra’ highlighted decades of ‘Brasil’ itinerations, while ‘Sou Eu’ was included from Sergio’s current album, ‘Magic’, and rapper H2O updated ‘Mas Que Nada’ from 2006’s ‘Timeless’.   

And then there was Sergio Mendes with Antonio Carlos Jobim’s famous song: “Back when I was in Chicago, I used to call this song ‘The Girl From Cicero’. I love that word... Cicero,” he laughed. “I think I’m going to have to move back here, because of you”, he told the audience.

Anyone here have an apartment available near Elm Street?  You'll find the Set List below.

Thank you! Your entry has been received at Winners of the Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 CD collection will be notified via email and announced on The Sounds of Brazil streaming station at 11 am Central, Monday June 20th. Boa Sorte!



Set List

Cheche Magalena

Pretty World

Waters of March

Ela e Carioca

Girl From Ipanema

Promesa do Pescador/Samba da Minha Tera/Aqua de Beber

Sou Eu

O Que Sera



Tico Tico Na Fuba


Never Gonna Let You Go

Goin’ Out Of My Head

Fool On The Hill

Look of Love

Mas Que Nada

Pais Tropical




Monday, May 30, 2016

5 pm and 8 pm

City Winery Chicago