Concert “The Mermaid´s Feet”

Concert “The Mermaid´s Feet”

Singer-songwriters Catarina dos Santos and Raquel Z. Riverawill presented their show “The Mermaid’s Feet” as part of The Young Roots Performance Series at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture. 

“The Mermaid’s Feet” is a collaborative effort between East Harlem-based vocalists Catarina dos Santos and Raquel Z. Rivera who draw on roots music of the Afro-Ibero-American world, highlighting women’s experiences. The project title makes reference to the female-centeredness of dos Santos’ and Rivera’s music and to the ocean that touches all the countries whose musical traditions they draw from: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Portugal, Cape Verde and Angola. Rivera is a practitioner of the Caribbean salve, bomba and jíbaro traditions; Dos Santos’ work blends Portuguese, North East Brazilian, Cape Verdean and Angolan musical languages such as samba de roda, afoxé, batuku, and semba, in a innovative collaboration with Brazilian, Portuguese, and African musicians.

Catarina dos Santos will be accompanied by her band featuring Marcos Vigio (guitar), Zé Rui de Pina (cavaquinho), Leco Reis (bass), Mick Trovoada (percussion), Gil Oliveira (percussion), and of course, Raquel Z. Rivera. Special guests capoeiristas Contramestre Alemão and Graduado Rã.

Raquel Z. Rivera will be accompanied by Ojos de Sofía featuring Bryan Vargas (musical director, guitar and cuatro), Yasser Tejeda (guitar), Donald Nicks (bass), Camilo Molina-Gaetán (percussion), Jonathan Troncoso (percussion), Kaila Paulino (background vocals) and, of course, Catarina dos Santos.

The Young Roots Performance Series showcases emerging artists experimenting with the artistic roots of Afro-Latino traditions to create new branches that reach into the future. The series was made possible by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s highly selective New York City Cultural Innovation Fund 2010-12, which supports creativity and the arts, with an emphasis on innovation.

dos Santo
s was born in Barreiro, Portugal.  From 1999 to 2003 she studied at Lisbon’s Conservatory of Music, and in 2003, she moved to New York to complete a BFA in Jazz Performance at The City College of New York, graduating Suma Cum Laude. In 2006 she studied Orchestration at the Juilliard School. Her experience as a musician in New York goes from jazz to Brazilian music, and also Puerto-Rican and Cuban music.  Between 2005 and 2007 she was the lead vocalist of Nation Beat, a band that plays a blend of North Eastern Brazilian rhythms such as Maracatu, Coco, Baião,-with the New Orleans Second Line, and funk.  One of the tracks co-written with the band leader, Scott Kettner, “Old Wooden Chair”, wins first place in World Music in Rolling Stone Brazil. With Nation Beat she travelled the U.S.A., and played in great New York venues such as Blue Note, Joes Pub, Makor, The Stone (John Zorn), Barbes, SOB’S, Drom, etc. in February of 2007 she performs at Festival Porto Musical, in Recife, and at Festival Nova Consciência, in Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil. It’s in Recife that Catarina builds bridges of friendship and music work with important traditional music Masters such as Dona Duda Cirandeira, Mestre Naná (Samba Galeria do Ritmo), Dona Aurinha do Côco, Mestre Salustiano (Casa da Rabeca), Cila do Côco, Siba Veloso (Siba e a Fuloresta, Mestre Ambrósio), Jorge Martins (School of Percussion and NGO Corpos Percussivos).  Other collaborations in New York include among others: Los Pleneros de la 21 (Puerto Rican traditional music), Eduardo Nazarian and Quizomba, Billy Newman and Brazilian Acoustic Ensemble, and she is a soloist at Pregones Theatre Music Ensemble, directed by Desmar Guevara. In Lisbon she works regularly with Miroca Paris (Cesária Évora), Jon Luz, Paulo Temeroso, Marco Santos, with her own band and her side Project, Tambor de Três, with Mick Trovoada (Angola) e Oswaldo Santos (Grupo Tempo, São Tomé). In May 2009, Tambor de Três is invited to perform at CINEPORT Festival in João Pessoa, Brazil. In her debut CD, “No Balanço do Mar” (2009), she is the composer and lead vocalist, offering a blend of Portuguese, North East Brazilian, Cape Verdean and Angolan music languages.  The album was released in New York and in Lisbon Portugal where she was invited to perform at Festival CCB Fora de Si, where other greats like Branford Marsalis, or Seon Kuti (AfroBeat’s legend Fela Kuti’s son) were featured. In 2010, Catarina presented her new works at Festa do Avante! and at San Jose Jazz Festival.”

Raquel Z. Rivera is a singer-songwriter whose debut CD Las 7 salves de La Magdalena / 7 Songs of Praise for The Magdalene (2010) weaves together Dominican salves, Puerto Rican jíbaro music, bomba and other Caribbean roots genres. Her Caribbean neo-folk approach is playful, heartfelt and filtered through a quirky New York City urban aesthetic. A founding member of New York City roots music groups Yerbabuena, Alma Moyó, and Yaya, she has performed with internationally-renowned Dominican fusion artists Luis Dias and Xiomara Fortuna. Rivera is also an accomplished author with a Ph.D. in Sociology. She is co-editor of the anthology Reggaeton (Duke University Press 2009) and author of New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone (Palgrave Macmillan 2003) as well as numerous articles on Caribbean Latino popular music and culture. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she has lived in New York City since 1994.  Her CD Las 7 salves de La Magdalena / 7 Songs of Praise for The Magdalene (2010) is currently listed on the Top 20 World Music Charts Europe.