ORQUESTRA IMPERIAL Their slogan is: “Old Classics in New Arrangements. New Sounds, New Grooves”.
Originally conceived from a meeting of some friends from different scenes of the Brazilian pop music environment, the “Orquestra Imperial” is the result of each member’s old dream: to be part of a typical Brazilian traditional music orchestra with a “something else”. The group congregates special names of the Carioca (from Rio de Janeiro) musical scene in their different styles: the singer-actress Thalma de Freitas and Nina Becker singing sambas, Moreno Veloso and Rodrigo Amarante (from the rock group LosHermanos) singing boleros and salsas, besides great instrumentists, such as the pop music producers Berna (keyboards and samplers) & Kassin (bass), theguitar players Nelson Jacobina, Bartolo and Pedro Sá, percussionists Domenico, Stephan San Juan and one of the biggest Brazilian music masters, legendary singer and drummer Mr Wilson das Neves, from the old gard of Brazilian samba and soul, among others. Since its first appearance on summer 2002, the ORQUESTRA became more and more one of the biggest sensations of the recent Carioca cultural scene, attracting and livening up great public, with a growing up audience During the performances, everybody dance and have been gifted withspecial appearances of great Brazilian names, like Caetano Veloso, Marisa Monte, Jorge Mautner, Fernanda Abreu, Ed Motta, Zeca Pagodinho and international stars as all such as Chrissie Hynde and much more.
In 2005 the group achieved a huge public success with it’s Pre-Carnival Balls in Rio de Janeiro, bringing a crowd over than 5,000 people in each performance. The same project was made in the next years.
The big band has been participating in important music festivals worldwide such as the huge Festival Sudoeste, in Portugal, and their first US Tour, with great concerts such as the one at the Chicago’s Millenium Park inside the World Music Festival (along with Seu Jorge, one of the band’s founders, being one of the biggest Brazilian music names nowadays). On 2006, the group performed at the Barbican Center Theatre (London) during the exhibition about the TropicáliaBrazilian cultural movement achieving a big success of critics and public.
In 2007, five years after its first show, the group launched it’s first CD, ‘Carnaval So Ano Que Vem’ in Brazil, Japan and Europe by Totolo Records: At the same year, the group recorded at the next release, Momento, of the great Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto in the track ‘Tranqüilo’, composed by one of the bigband members, Kassin.
In 2008, Orquestra made their European tour debut doing some of the best summer festivals: Roskilde (Denmark) and Cartagena (Spain), with audiences unusually happy and dancing cheek to cheek.
In 2009, directed by their French drummer Stephane SanJuan, Orquestra Imperial produced and performed the show GAINSBOURG IMPERIAL – a tribute to the French artist Serge Gainsbourg, this show putted together the musical director Jean Calude Vannier alogn with Jane Birkin and Caetano Veloso. This event won the Bravo! (Brazilian magazine) award as the best musical show of the year.
In 2010 the big band played for a multitude in the streets of Lisbon celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Portugal for a crowd over than 20 thousand people (photo below)
In 2011 the band performed JORGE MAUTNER IMPERIAL. A special show celebrating 70th birthday of great singer, composer and guru Jorge Mautner, in an event featuring special guests Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso.
In 2012, Orquestra launches its second album “Fazendo as Pazes com o Swing” and “Ao Vivo”- CD and DVD live recorded in a 2007’ show in Rio. And the second album of their career, celebrating 10 years of ORQUESTRA IMPERIAL – the most funny bigband of Latin America!
Some names in the ORQUESTRA IMPERIAL:
MORENO VELOSO - Son of the great singer and composer Caetano Veloso, he launched the album "Music for Typewriters", achieving excellent reception of public and critics all over the world;
DOMENICO - Drummer and singer, he just launched his first album "Sincerely Hot" in Japan and in the US, in partership with Moreno Veloso and the bass player and producer Kassin;
WILSON DAS NEVES – A Brazilian music legend, the greatest drummer with his unique style of singing sambas, he inspires the group with his funky-samba-style performing classical sambas and other Brazilian grooves.
NELSON JACOBINA - Partner of Jorge Mautner, he is one of the most important musicians of the MPB (Brazilian Popular Music), composer of hits such as " Maracatu Atomico "; he died on May 2012 fighting a cancer for many years. He left a legacy of beautiful compositions, arrangements and love for the group. His face (in a funny picture took some years ago) is the cover art of the brand new Orquestra’s album:” Fazendo as Pazes com o Swing”.
THALMA DE FREITAS - daughter of Laércio de Freitas, famous Afro-Brazilian pianist and producer of the 70's, she’s a great actress (she may be seen on the soap-operas ‘O Clone’, ‘Comecar de Novo’ and the movies ‘Xangô de Baker Street’ and ‘Filhas do Vento’ – feature film which she was awarded as ‘Best Support Actress’ in Gramado Film Festival, the biggest Brazilian movies award) and singer.
BERNA CEPPAS & KASSIN - both producers and great musicians. Besides playing in the orchestra (that they founded together), they work with important names of the Brazilian musical scene like Marisa Monte, Caetano Veloso and Adriana Calcanhoto. In the ORQUESTRA Berna takes care of of the synthesizers and percussions and Kassin plays the bass. Berna is the music director of the latest Cirque Du Soleil spectacle, “O Ovo”.
THALMA FREITAS - vocals
MORENO VELOSO - percussion and vocals
DUANI MARTINS - vocals and guitars
WILSON DAS NEVES – vocals and percussion
NINA BECKER - vocals
RODRIGO AMARANTE – vocals
BARTOLO – electric guitar
PEDRO SA - eletric guitar
RUBINHO JACOBINA - electric piano
BERNA CEPPAS - keyboard and percussion
KASSIN – electric bass
ALTAIR MARTINS- trumpet
BIDU CORDEIRO - trombone
MAURO ZACHARIAS - trombone
FELIPE PINAUD - flute
DOMENICO – drums and vocals
LEO MONTEIRO - electronic percussion
STEPHANE SAN JUAN - percussion
THIAGO SILVA – percussion
SERGIO GALVAO – sax and flute
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