Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

January 31, 2014

Matuto to play Milliken tonight

TRAVERSE CITY — There are many paths to exploring grass roots music.

Matuto, a New York-based band that plays tonight at Milliken Auditorium searches with guitar, fiddle, accordion, Brazilian percussion drums, plus a unique mix of rhythm that offers everything from Louisiana swamp music and Appalachian bluegrass to Dixieland beats jazz and fórro — a northeastern Brazilian music that includes many dance styles and musical beats.

“We’re part of a new generation of musicians in different countries and contexts who are mixing lots of things together,” said accordionist Rob Curto. “It’s so easy today to have contact with any kind of music in the world. YouTube and video have opened up a lot of possibilities. We try to present a show that’s really fun, uplifting and makes people feel good.”

Curto is considered one of forró’s foremost emissaries in the United States. He spent years living and playing in Brazil, absorbing and interpreting the country’s musical traditions.

“Matuto” is Brazilian slang for “country bumpkin.” The band was founded several years ago by bluegrass and jazz guitarist Clay Ross, who grew up in South Carolina, and moved to New York in 2002 as a 23-year-old jazz musician. It was in that stewpot of music influences that he met Curto and Brazilian musicians and began to immerse himself in Latin music.

Sometimes the path that takes you far away eventually can also lead you closer to home. That’s what happened to Ross.

In 2009 he and Curto won a Fulbright grant for a six-week residency in Recife, a port city along the northeastern tip of Brazil, the point closest to Africa. One day, he heard something that reminded him of a bluegrass fiddle tune. Bluegrass was something he’d rejected early in his music career as he was growing up in the South .

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl