By Mark Bialczak
LPL Communications Specialist
The beats will fill the Carman Community Room with a fine acoustic touch.
Samba Laranja directors Josh and Elisa Dekaney will make sure that the student members of the Syracuse University Brazilian Ensemble will take care to entertain and educate during the second installment of the Latin Rhythms series, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, at the Liverpool Public Library.
Since 2001, the ensemble has been performing maracatu, samba reggae, choro, música popular brasileira, samba funk and original music. They’ve toured to prestigious halls and cities, including Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. They’ve recorded three albums and won Syracuse Area Music Awards for all of them.
Expect an exciting sample that will include their voices as well as their noted percussion work. Maybe even some piano, Josh Dekaney said in a recent phone interview.
“There will be singing and playing the cajón. Myself and one other will be playing the bass drum. But lightly. For sure we can’t be doing the big drumming pieces meant to be done outside.”
Oh, there was a time, Josh recalled, when he and Elisa had first founded the group …
“We did a tour of Brazil and Japan, and we had over 50 people in the group. Everybody wanted to be in the ensemble. We had to beg, borrow and steal the instruments back then. Now if we average 12 to 15 [members], that’s good for us,” he said.
Some of the students have returned from last semester, he said. That helps Josh and Elisa more quickly shape their playlist.
“We have a lot of music,” Josh said. “From the Amazon region. The Forest region, what’s left of it. So we consider, who do we have? What do they play? Say we know we have five flautists and several clarinetists, that shapes what we will play.”
And Josh and Elisa might pull out a whiteboard and a writing instrument.
“If there’s a place to tack a map of Brazil, that would be fantastic,” Josh said. “We could teach the crowd a few Portuguese words. I think this audience is there because it wants to learn.”
The Latin Rhythms series will continue with concerts at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15, by Colleen Kattau, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 19, by Grupo Pagan.