Concert of the Argentine-Brazilian Brotherhood: songs for the future

The day that marked the beginning of a new stage in relations between Argentina and Brazil ended with music. All an omen. In the evening of the day that the Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his pair Alberto Fernandez signed a joint declaration on -among other things- the need for Latin American integration, after mutual cooperation agreements on health, science, economic and financial integration were signed during the day the songs appeared as declarations of closeness, stealth and harbinger of a common destiny.

On Monday night, in the National Auditorium of the Kirchner Cultural Center, León Gieco, Teresa Parodi, Rodolfo Mederos, Ligia Piro, Sandra Mihanovich, Nahuel Pennisi, Nacha Guevara, Juan Carlos Baglietto and Flor Bobadillatogether with the notable Brazilian singer Theresa Christina, some of the most deeply rooted voices of the Latin American songbook made their own, from Violeta Parra to Gieco himself, going through Silvio Rodríguez, Chico Buarque, Homero Manzi and Cartola, to name a few. Song by song they drew an affectionate and colorful map of the joys, pains and hopes of a continent. It was also the preamble to the seventh edition of the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which from Tuesday will take place in Buenos Aires, with the participation of representatives of the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Around 8:00 p.m., the leaders, their retinues and some choleros entered the great Cultural Center through the stairs of Sarmiento street, the Juana Azurduy entrance, where the statue of Néstor Kirchner is located. Shortly after, thunderous applause greeted them as they entered the National Auditorium. “Olé, olé, olé, olé… Luuula, Luuula”, sang the entire audience.

While the mixture of enthusiasm for what is to come and fatigue from the busyness of the day charged the air of the packed room with expectation, Flor Bobadilla was in charge of opening the meeting. Under the severe flags of each country that guarded the back of the stage, the missionary singer, composer and pianist addressed a bilingual version “A new time”, by Ivan Lins and Vitor Martins. It was the first hug of the fraternal concert. A band led by Lito Vitalewhich included Martín González on drums, Juan Pablo Rufino on bass, Emiliano Álvarez on clarinet, Paula Pomeraniec on cello, Irene Cadario on violin, Víctor Carrión on flute, Ernesto Snajer on guitar and Facundo Guevara on percussion, left them arranging well to second each singer.

Nahuel Pennisi, with “Sueño con serpientes”, by Silvio Rodríguez, and Sandra Mihanovich with “María María”, by Milton Nascimento and Fernando Brant, perfected the emotion with their personal styles, before Nacha Guevara shuddered with her version of “I love you”, Alberto Favero’s theme on the poem by Mario Benedetti. The tango erudition that Rodolfo Mederos put on “Sur” -with the subtle accompaniment of Vitale on piano and echoes of “O que será”-, and the inexhaustible energy of Juan Carlos Baglietto to fill a song like “Preludio para el año 3001” with motifs, by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer, they rounded off a finale looking south for the first part.

The central moment of the program, precisely, it was for the guest: Teresa Cristina, one of the voices that by color and consistency manage to prolong the rich Brazilian tradition of samba and its satellites. The singer from Rio, who a few years ago was presented to the Buenos Aires public by Caetano Veloso In a show at the Teatro Gran Rex, he began his performance with “Alvorada”, by the great Cartola -Angenor de Oliveira-, for many the greatest sambista in the history of Brazilian music to whose work Teresa Cristina dedicated an album –Sing Cartola– in 2016; and he said goodbye with “Foi um rio que passou em minha vida”, by Paulinho da Viola. After the versatile Ligia Piro made her interpretation of that melodramatic prodigy which is “Construcción”, by Chico Burque, another of the great moments of the night –there was the encounter in the right sensibility between a great singer, a great song and the attentive arrangement of Popi Spatocco–, Teresa Parodi and León Gieco marked the end of a match played more on emotions than on noise.

The creator from Corrientes traced achieved symmetries with the expressive universe of Violeta Parra, sculpting with his voice, with delicacy and wisdom, the verses of “Volver a los 17”. For this reason, and perhaps for much more, he received one of the great applause of the night, which lasted with the beautiful and forceful “Memory”, from and by Gieco. The final greeting was with everyone on stage to do “Solo le pido a Dios”, a continental anthem for a long time, and the audience singing standing up, among them Evo Morales.

“Olé, Olé, Olé, Olé … Luuula, Luuula”, kept resonating. “After a show like this, there is no room for speeches,” said the Brazilian leader invited to go on stage and yet He spoke for a long time about democracy, continental unity and dreams to fulfill. The day that Lula returned to Buenos Aires, night fell with songs. Songs of brotherhood, the kind that for a long time have proposed their own north, closer to the North.

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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