July 31, 2008

Tunes: Caji, Salome Bring Afro-Brazilian Beats

By Angela Simental, Las Cruces Sun-News, N.M.

Jul. 31--Caji is a long way home from the ocean that hits the scenic city of Salvador in Bahia, Brazil, but his influences travel with him wherever he goes.

For the first time, Caji, accompanied by his partner of three years, Salome, will bring to Las Cruces a performance that displays in all its splendor the sound of acoustic Brazilian and Portuguese music.

The show combines Caji's original compositions from his first solo album, "Caji da Bahia," and songs from their duo album, "Cart--o Postal Acustico" (Acoustic Post Card), which is a compilation of compositions from some of the greatest Brazilian composers such as Tom Jobim, Caetano Veloso, Dorival Caymmi and Gilberto Gil.

Although Caji is from Bahia and Salome from the islands of Azores, they find common ground the African influences that Portuguese and Brazilian music carry in every drum stroke.

"The more we perform, the more we fall in love with the roots of our music," Caji said. Both Portugal and Brazil share a strong African and European influence that Caji and Salome blend into their music, with, of course, some modern reggae and jazz sounds.

Together they extend the musical language to a multicultural expression. They represent and explore

a vast universe of musical styles that are interconnected. While the main influence is Afro-Brazilian, which includes bossa-nova, samba and afoxe, they incorporate reggae and other world music styles such as bolero, morna and fado into their unique sound.

With Salome's ability to sing in four different languages (Portuguese, Spanish, French and English), and Caji's sensitivity to musical language and rhythms, they are able to combine music from cultures such as Brazilian, Cuban, French, Peruvian and Portuguese, to demonstrate the beauty of these cultures.

"Our music has strong African influence of Portugal -- and Bahia that has the most African influence in Brazil -- and that combines our personalities," Caji said. "We want to bring a little taste of Brazil and Portugal -- the street sounds of Bahia."

Angela Simental can be reached at [email protected]

If you go

Who: Caji and Salome

Where: The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Downtown Mall

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

How much: $10

Info: (575) 523-1223


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