In 2013 I was invited by Ann Ehringhaus, one of our previous Cassilhaus AIRs, to be on the photo crew for the annual Ocrafolk Festival on Ocracoke Island, NC. I was to photograph the bands on the various stages throughout the island and it was my first time at the festival. It was love at first chord. I got some great photos and made some great new friends. I also discovered Beleza-a Brazilian/American duo playing samba, funk, soul, blues, bossa, jazz and Spanish flamenco. Beleza is Madeline and Humberto "Berto" Sales. Ellen and I looked at each other and said "ya know we haven't had a musical artist yet.." It took a while to make the stars align but Beleza joined us in July and August of 2015.
It was their first residency and they didn't quite know what to expect. The project they wanted to work on was a new youth oriented record. They had lots of creative space here and it was an incredible joy for us to hear live music coming down the hall every day. They were very focused but always left time for fun and sharing. We had a GREAT time with them.
They jumped in to help me make sticky buns one evening.
Dinner out with amazing artist Damian Stamer.
Summer fun in Ellen's ELF.
We are incredibly excited that "Just for Fun" was born here and was just released. Take a listen and pick up a copy. In a former lifetime I used to run a recording studio and it was pretty hilarious to see Berto do with an iPad what used to take me a room full of equipment to do. They were working on demos for the tunes they ultimately recorded in the studio in Charlottesville.
They couldn't resist doing a little gardening while they were here and left us some beautiful additions to the garden!
Most of our visiting artists give an artist talk. Beleza gave a PERFORMANCE. We can seat about 50 at our events and almost all of our programs eventually "sell" out. I wasn't prepared, however, for getting 120 RSVPs in 48 hours after sending the invitation-particularly from a duo almost completely unknown in the Triangle. My theory is that many folks are intimidated to come to an artist talk because they think they need some kind of specialized knowledge to appreciate the talk but everyone feels like they can appreciate new music. After a momentary panic about pissing a bunch of people off or organizing another venue, Madeline and Berto graciously agreed to do a second show and we had two standing room sets. I was swept off my feet-pure magic. Their chemistry was so electric and intimate I was almost a little uncomfortable to be so close to it. Click on these stills and videos to make them full screen.
Berto had this cool foot pedal activated looping device he affectionately calls Loopita and Madeline does live vocal looping on this song.
It's pretty quiet down the hall now. Madeline and Berto thanks for filling our lives and home with music, at least for a little while and until you return.
E aí, beleza?
Hey, what‘s up?
Beleza, which literally means beauty, nowadays has a much wider meaning. Saying beleza means things are going fine.
The expression is mostly used by young people and is very informal. It also has shorter versions like: Beleza? or even Belê?
Here are some ways to reply
1. Beleza 2. Tudo bem 3. Mais ou menos 4. Tranquilo