Alceu Valença plays Northeast Brazilian pop (MPB) for Brasil SummerFest at Central Park SummerStage on Saturday, July 27, 2019 from 6-10pm. Free
The show includes Cordel do Fogo, Encantado, Labaq and DJ Grace Kelly.
Valença is a Brazilian singer-songwriter who makes Brazilian pop grounded in the folk music of Northeast Brazil. Always a bit of a rebel, he’s been called the “Brazilian Bob Dylan.”
Northeast Brazil is one of Brazil’s cultural heartlands. It was where Brazil’s colonial period began. Brazilian music legends Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso are also from the region.
Valença was born in São Bento do Una, a town in the interior of Pernambuco state in 1946. Recife, the state capital, was the first slave port in the Americas and is still Northeast Brazil’s main commercial center. It also has a famous carnival. Valença grew up there.
Although he started making music as a child, Valença actually became a lawyer in Recife. He is kind of a genius and his music career began just before Valença graduated from law school.
The big breakthrough came in 1975 with his rock album Vivo. Years of recording, touring and appearing on television made Valença one of the elder statesmen of MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira), or Brazilian pop.
His 2014 album Amigo da Art earned a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Brazilian Roots Album. No matter how you describe Valença, you have to say he plays the music of Pernambuco, Brazil.