Day Three: The Malandro Project Christmas Concert

Season's Greetings, everyone!

If you are in Chicago this weekend, I’d like to invite you to my annual Christmas Concert. It’s a free community event and I’ve posted the details here.

This is the fourth year that I've done a Christmas concert at the National Museum of Mexican Art. The idea was born out of my desire to share the beauty of Christmas music from Latin America to a wider audience. There are so many venues that already feature traditional American and European Christmas music during this time of the year, so I decided to be proactive and I approached the museum with my proposal for a concert of Christmas music from Latin America.

They liked the idea and have been supportive these past years in presenting my Christmas Concert.

When planning the repertoire, I wanted to choose songs that were from a variety of countries in Latin America. I began with songs from Mexico and Puerto Rico which are the most familiar to me and learned a great salsa song from Colombia. The music from Brazil has also played an important part in my growth as a musical artist. One of my goals is to introduce the huge Spanish speaking audience to the great wealth of music from Brazil.

So, I've included several traditional Christmas songs from Brazil. I sing the first verse in Portuguese and the second in Spanish with lyrics that I have translated. This gives them a chance to not only hear songs sung in their native Portuguese, but also the opportunity to understand them when they're sung in Spanish.

I'll also perform a song or two from The Malandro Project album. 'Sambista Malandro' is a song that tells the saga of the Malandro, his style of dress, lifestyle, where he lives and his joy of living. That joy is tied closely to the music of samba, even calling him a Sambista (one who plays samba). His smooth style and grace are reflected in the catchy melody of the song and in its infectious rhythm that invites all to dance in the celebration of life!

What could be better for this season of renewal?

I close the show with the song "Fim de Ano" a traditional end of the year song sung in Brazil. I teach it to the audience as a sing a long and they have great fun singing in Portuguese.

I continue to see music as a great way to bring people together from different cultures and traditions. It is through this exposure that we can find the common ground that can unite us.

I appreciate the chance I've been given to share some of the great beauty of the Christmas Music from Latin America and I hope to meet you this Sunday. You are more than welcome to share some Christmas cheer with me!

Happy Holidays,

Miguel de Leon
The Malandro Project

The 12 Days of Samba:

Day 01: An Introduction to The 12 Days of Samba and The Malandro Project
Day 02: Was Joao Gilberto a Malandro?
Day 03: Previewing Miguel de Leon's Annual Christmas Concert In Chicago
Day 04: Winter reading: 'Samba' by Alma Guillermoprieto
Day 05: Famous Malandros In Pop Culture
Day 06: A Cachaça Holiday Cocktail
Day 07: Seven Samba Stocking Stuffers
Day 08: Personal Notes: Samba Snapshots From The Malandro Project
Day 09: How To Dance Samba - Women's Version
Day 10: How To Dance Samba - Men's Version
Day 11: 100 Years of Samba and The Malandro Project
Day 12: The Malandro and 'The Lights of Christmas'

Follow Miguel de Leon and The Malandro Project on Facebook and our mailing list!

The Malandro Project was recorded in Rio de Janeiro with saxophonist Leo Gandelman and MPB’s Leila Pinheiro to celebrate 100 Years of Samba and its iconic character, the charming, roguish bad-boy Malandro. A combination of cultural myth and historic fact, the Malandro’s roots can be traced throughout the history of Samba. The Malandro Project album will be released in early 2017.

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