The Story Behind The Sergio Mendes Alumni Reunion

by Brazil Club - Let The Music Take You There on 11/29/2017 - 10:58 am

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Sergio's Start

Taking the cable car ride up to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain will give you a great view of the bay that defines Rio de Janeiro. It’s called Guanabara and back in January 1500, Portuguese explorers thought it was the mouth of a great river – a moment out of time that gave the city its name: River of January.

A sharp eye will pick up on the eight-mile bridge that spans Guanabara Bay, connecting Rio to its sister city, Niterói, which began its life as a fortress manned by local Indians to protect Rio from would-be attackers. But Niterói’s claim to fame would come much later - several hundred years later.

Niterói was the birthplace of Sergio Mendes in 1941. The bridge came along in 1974. So, as a late 50’s teen, Mendes would traverse his way across the bay to Rio’s Zona Sul and the clubs which lined the beaches districts of Copacabana and Ipanema; adding to the energy that would ignite the world’s six-decade love affair with Bossa Nova.



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From Ipanema's clubs to the world stage

Mendes found a mentor in Antonio Carlos Jobim, played Carnegie Hall’s legendary Bossa concert in ’62, and two years later moved to the U.S – first to New York, then snowy Chicago (where he met singer Lani Hall) and finally to Los Angeles, where his group Brasil ‘66 took shape – with some help from Herb Albert.

Just about every song in this week’s show has a Mendes connection: a song, or former band member, songwriter, musical director, arranger or special guest affiliated with Sergio Mendes at some point in his career. With an RSVP list that reads like a musical ‘who’s who’ for the hemisphere, this is a not-to-be-missed occasion, with several surprises in store.

Simply put, Sergio Mendes remains today as Brazil's best known musical personality and no matter if Rio, Tokyo, London or Chicago is where you call home, Sergio Mendes is a household name.


Playlist Highlights 

On the playlist: As we enter the home stretch for our yearlong 25th Anniversary celebraton, we'll touch on a few more fan favorties from Stacey Kent, Oscar Castro-Neves, and guitarist Ricardo Silveira.

There's new music from Jose Marinio (leader of the supergroup Velas) and I'll bring you breaking news on plans for another Sergio Mendes album in 2018. Season Sambas come to us from Steve Barta with Herbie Mann, Don Grusin with Natali Rene and Joao Bosco, too.

More? You can hear many more songs from our Sergio Mendes Alumni list on The Sounds of Brazil’s live stream daily.

Happy Listening,

Scott Adams

Top - Cafe Copa


This Week on The Sounds of Brazil : 'The Sergio Mendes Alumni Reunion Show'

Featured Station Broadcast dates:

11/29 3:00 pm CT Wednesday: Streaming debut at Brazil Club

11/29 5:00 pm ET Wednesday: Brasil Radio 93.1 FM + 810 AM (encore)

12/01 8:00 pm ET Friday: Jazz City Radio

12/02 6:00 pm CT Saturday: Chat Box 'Meet Up',

12/03 10:00 am ET Sunday: Mix 105

12/03 12:00 pm CT Sunday: Smooth Jazz Expressions

12/03 2:00 pm CT Sunday: WDCB 90.9 FM Chicago

12/03 5:00 pm ET Sunday: Downtown Dayton Radio

12/03 7:00 pm ET Sunday: Brasil Radio 93.1 FM + 810 AM

12/03 8:00 pm ET Sunday: WHJZ New Buffalo

Daily @ 7 am, 3 pm, 6 pm & midnight CT:

View our complete daily broadcast schedule here. Listen to all of our award-winnning streaming Brazilain channels at AccuRadio. Apps for Apple, Android and more here.