Yesterday, April 30, 2019 ... Samba lost another of its legends: Beth Carvalho.
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beth_Carvalho
Beth Carvalho was raised in a middle-class family in Rio de Janeiro's South Zone. Her father, João Francisco Leal de Carvalho, was a lawyer. She grew up influenced by different types of music. Her father used to take her to samba school rehearsals, and her mother was a lover of classical music who encouraged her to become a ballerina. She started playing the guitar as a teenager, and got involved with the emerging Bossa Nova movement, winning a nationwide song contest on TV at the age of 19.
Beth's first record was 1968's "Andança", carrying the song of the same name to victory in a larger festival, which brought her to prominence. Although she started her career with Bossa Nova, that was an ephemeral phase which lasted less than one year. Beth started dedicating herself entirely to samba just as her fame began, working with legendary composers such as Nelson Sargento.
Carvalho is a very important artist in the history of samba, as she celebrated and brought the spotlight to the work of legendary composers such as Cartola, Nelson Cavaquinho & Guilherme de Brito when they weren't receiving the attention they deserved. Almost all of her records have songs by these composers, among other legendary sambistas such as Nelson Sargento and the Old Guard of Portela. Her samba school was Mangueira, but that didn't stop her from recording dozens of songs from composers of Portela, the other great traditional samba school in Rio.
Later, in the late 1970s and early 80's, Beth helped bring to the public the work of other rising pagodeartists from Cacique de Ramos, such as Almir Guineto, Jorge Aragão and the Fundo de Quintalgroup. Then, in 1983, she introduced Zeca Pagodinho who would become the major samba name of the 90's. Carvalho always tried to bring underrated composers the recognition they deserve, and she is regarded as madrinha do samba (the godmother of samba). She was a driving force in the modernization of samba in the 80s, and at the same time rejected commercial pop trends in samba arrangements, preserving tradition.
In the 1990s, Beth's popularity wasn't the strongest, but she was always popular. She recorded an album dedicated to the samba from São Paulo, rejecting the famous axiom that São Paulo is the grave of samba. In 1998 she recorded an album dedicated entirely to the pagode classics, Pérolas do Pagode (Pagode Pearls).
In the new millennium, Beth worked more than ever, releasing CDs and DVDs.
With a career that spanned 40 years, she was a historical figure in Brazilian culture, and recognized as the female sambista with the most substantial opus in Brazil, without diminishing other, younger stars such as Clara Nunes and Daniela Mercury.
Força da Imaginação
Here is Beth Carvalho's original performance of the classic: "Força da Imaginação" (composed by Dona Ivone Lara and Caetano Veloso):
In homage to the greats: Dona Ivone Lara, Beth Carvalho and Caetano Veloso .... Alexandra Jackson recorded "Força da Imaginação" for her "Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy" album. Alexandra's track features the late Dona Ivone Lara herself, with special appearances by the late, great Arthur Maia ... with co-lead vocals by Pretinho da Serrinha, and accompanied by Max Viana, Ricardo Silveira and Marcelo Camargo Mariano.
Here is a video of Alexandra Jackson and Pretinho da Serrinha performing "Força da Imaginação" at the 2018 U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro annual event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7AtJ4lN63M
Alexandra Jackson: Lead Vocal
Pretinho da Serrinha: Co-Lead Vocal
Teo Lima: Drums
Andre Siqueira: Percussion
Paulo Calasans: Keyboards
Marcelo Camargo Mariano: Bass
Joao Castilho: Guitar
David Feldman: Keyboards
Jesse Sadoc: Trumpet
Darryl Tookes: Vocals
& Larry Williams: Keyboards and Saxophone
"Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy" is available globally on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon.com, iMusica, etc., and is streaming on Spotify and platforms all over the world: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/alexandrajackson4
Buy "Força da Imaginação" here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/alexandrajackson8
LEGACY AND ALCHEMY