April 5th, 2022 9pm Stage 3
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Something Here Inside Release Show: Featuring Benji Kaplan w/ Special Guest: Rita Figueiredo
Original arrangements of classic standards (by Kern, Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers & Hart and others) for solo guitar.
The son of a native Cuban percussionist father and visual-artist mother, Benji Kaplan has followed his arts-filled upbringing with a particular focus upon the classical forms of Brazilian music. Fully informed not only in Brazilian and popular music, but also by Jazz, the emerging composer crafts his own mix of Brazilian music ingeniously spiced with the full gamut of his rich musical understanding. He beautifully expresses his unique vision with ensembles ranging from string quartets to wind ensembles of varying shapes and sizes. His penultimate album – Chorando Sete Chores – features 13 pieces for acoustic guitar and wind quintet. His previous album Uai Sô vividly demonstrates his enormous scope, combining strings, brass and woodwinds in various combinations ranging from seven to twelve instruments. Benji is currently releasing his 5th album entitled Benji & Rita, this time in duo partnership with his wife Rita Figueiredo. Together they explore the intimacy of Voice and guitar, blending intricate harmonies with stories of Rita's homeland, Brazil in all of it's beauty, complexity, simplicity and irony.
The musical vein of the multimedia artist Rita Figueiredo began it’s pulse early on. At age 14, the young girl, born in São Paulo began to study voice. Graduating in 1995 from Liberated University of Music (ULM) in lyrical song(classical and operatic techniques of singing). (Linked to the Sao Paulo State Music School of Tom Jobim) (EMESP).
To further hone in her skills as a musician, she moved from the classical to the popular singing school of vocal training.
The first opportunity to launch her original work came in 2011, when she won the Cultural Action Program (ProAC) Award from the Secretary of Culture, which fully funded the creation of her first record.
Refining the stories she lived and witnessed throughout her career, Rita Figueiredo released her debut album, Brasilis, in February of 2013. In a short time, Rita had her first album featured on some important lists as one of the best records released in Brazil in 2013.
Before revealing her gift as a great storyteller through music, Rita Figueiredo had long imagined, created and reworked several other artistic projects as director of animated films. From small play chronicles to publicity ad campaigns.
The more than 20 years of Rita’s work in the area of animation include periods through broadcasting networks such as MTV and TV Cultura as well as several film producers companies. Her love of music brought her work as a videographer and animation animator/illustrator, closer to many Brazilian artists and musicians. Rita has directed music videos and made video and animations for multimedia screen backdrops for live concerts of many world renowned artists in Brazil such as Marisa Monte, Ed Motta, Badi Assad, Simoninha, Cássia Eller, Palavra Cantada among many others.
In 2015 Rita moved to New York and has since been intensely dedicated to music. In the last 3 years she has played in several cities in the USA, Brazil and Europe. In 2019 Rita releasead her second album titled "Benji & Rita" with 14 songs in partnership with New York composer, arranger, singer and guitarist Benji Kaplan. The album makes the list of Top-rated albums of Downbeat for 2019.
Figueiredo's theatrical and earthy singing make her sound like a Brazilian version of Lotte Lenya singing Kurt Weill as she winds her way through the bumpy melodies of tracks like "San Francisco e brasileiro" and "Piocera." By Jerome Wilsom (All About Jazz)
“The classically trained Figueiredo boasts a rich, powerful voice. One can easily image her cast in the comedic role of an opera buffa production.” By MARK HOLSTON (All About Jazz)