Go with OOA: Brazilian Concert at 92Y

Go with OOA: Brazilian Concert at 92Y

Hunter College students at 92Y before the concert. Photo by Livia Horn-Scarpulla.

I was awoken by an older lady tapping my shoulder, “Would you like to sit down?” I had apparently fallen asleep standing up on the bus on my way to 92Y for Saturday night’s event: a Brazilian music concert.  I had spent the day showing a friend from home around the city and was exhausted from all the walking we had done earlier. For the evening though, I had made the commitment to the Office of the Arts to come see Yamandu Costa and Renato Borghetti in concert. I wished to myself that I wouldn’t doze off during the performance.

I didn’t blink an eye the entire time. The performance was exhilarating, joyous, and engaging. You couldn’t help to smile and want to get up and dance. Yamandu Costa and Renato Borghetti are a dynamic duo. Costa plays the seven-string guitar and as one of my fellow Hunter students remarked “is a beast– the good kind.” Borghetti plays the dialectic accordion, and the sound was nothing like I had ever heard before in concert. The pairing of these two unique instruments, that rarely collaborate, was really wonderful as the sound produced was upbeat and rhythmic. The music had a familiar bluegrass sound, but with a clear Brazilian flair. It was captivating and engaging to see how joyful the musicians were on stage. Their bodies moved to the flow of the music, in a trance like state, with great enthusiasm. When they took a break, in between each piece, they passed mate, a traditional South American drink, and shared smiles.

Music has the power to transport you to a different time and place, helping you to imagine what it might be like in another part of the world. As the melodies flowed from the musician’s instruments, I imagined what it might be like to be in the South of Brazil. The musicians spoke Portuguese on stage, to each other and the audience. It made me smile, because it reminded me that music transcends language when many other means don’t. Music has the power of bringing people together, even when what we have in common may seem small.

The musicians received a standing ovation and the audience successfully chanted for two encores. I would like to think that the encores were chanted for because the music provided the audience with what we needed: joy and a sense of our togetherness. In today’s day and age with everything going on in our own country, things may seem irreconcilable and the division between peoples may seem pervasive in every part of society, yet we must remember that we have at least one uniting force: music, and the arts.

I didn’t know what to expect at Saturday’s performance, and often times when going to a performance, I experience something completely new. Sometimes you may even be hesitant about attending, but I encourage you to go anyway. Lucky for us, the Office of the Arts always has free tickets for performances and shows around the city. Step out of your comfort zone, and go see a modern dance show, or maybe even a Brazilian music concert. It is in music and art that we can find solace, and the courage to stand in pursuit for a better world.

Want to join Office of the Arts for our next Go with OOA outing?