Sergio Mendes in Singapore

After four decades of being in the music industry, 67 year old Sergio Mendes is still going strong with award-winning collaborations while capturing both the older and younger audiences. It must be difficult for a musician to stay relevant in changing times for today’s young generation. It takes a true master to mix new into classics. What is his secret to success? ArtZine finds out as Sergio Mendes drops by Singapore for a one-night only concert at the Esplanade as part of the Singapore Sun Festival.

Born in Brazil, he is a Grammy Award-winning musician who has released over 35 albums throughout his career so far. Expect bossa nova beats crossed with latin jazz and funk. Behind every successful man is a successful woman and indeed his wife, Gracinha Leporace has been very supportive and even sings backup for some of his songs! “She has a great sound. That’s why she’s singing so many songs on this album. She’s a super professional and just a great singer.”

Who is Sergio Mendes?

I think that great songs are the key of music. You want to hear those melodies that you don’t forget.” – Sergio Mendes

Some may reply, “He’s from Brazil 66!” while others may yell “Mas Que Nada!”. Both answers are important milestones in his life. From the days when he was a band member of Brazil 66, “Mas Que Nada” (More than Nothing in Portuguese) was the song that catapulted the group to fame. Almost 40 years later, the brilliant Sergio Mendes revived that popular song by collaborating with The Black Eyed Peas to create a mixture of old and new.

Sergio Mendes + Will.i.Am = Latin Jazz with Hip Hop and Rap

Will invited me to play a song on his album Elefant, which I did. I really enjoyed that so I told him “Why don’t we make an album together? Bring back the great Brazilian melodies and marry that to the hip-hop world and re-introduce those wonderful melodies to the new kids. It’s the best way to present old tracks to a whole new generation, that probably wouldn’t be able to listen to that kind of music. I like the adventure of trying to re-introduce in a different way but keeping the melody, which is essential.” – Sergio Mendes

Keeping up to date with current music is how he keeps his music young and fresh. He co-produced an album with Will.i.Am from the Black Eyed Peas, which resulted in hits that will surely be played at latin jazz dance competitions for many years. His music continues to bridge the generational gap and remain timeless.

Here’s the result of that clever collaboration.

In 2004, Mendes told The Star. “I had a wonderful time the last time I played in KL and would love to come over again. I could come over after Singapore, in fact.”

Well, we’re glad he’s finally dropping by to perform in Singapore on Oct 22!

Sergio Mendes – Infectious Rhythms, Irresistible Melodies
Date: October 22 , 2008, Wednesday
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall
Tickets: $48, $68, $88, $128*, $148*
Concessions are available for students, NSF and senior citizens

Sergio Mendes – Infectious Rhythms, Irresistible Melodies is part of the Singapore Sun Festival.
Read about Jazz Musician Peter Cincotti here.

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