Sounds of San Paulo 

Choro enthusiast Amy Burcham describes Brazil's national music with evangelistic zeal. "It's one of the cultural crown jewels of this hemisphere," she rhapsodizes. "It grew from chamber music and represents the musical interchanges of the civil servants, trained musicians, newly freed slaves, and European immigrants in the late 1800s in Rio de Janeiro, when waltzes, polkas, and tangos were all the rage." The word "choro" means "to cry," but the music is a joyous, swirling mix of gypsy jazz, African rhythms, and European harmonies played on guitars, mandolins, flutes, and various Brazilian folk instruments.

click to enlarge werec_sanpaulo.jpg

To help her spread the sonic gospel, Burcham has co-founded West Tennessee Choro, a not-for-profit organization with three primary goals: to promote, present, and proliferate choro music in the Memphis area. She especially hopes that local musicians will be inspired to pick up their instruments and experiment with choro. "A big focus of our efforts is going to be in appealing to young adults and also older amateur musicians who maybe put their instruments under the bed as they got into their working lives," she says. Although the compositions can be intricate and tend to encourage improvisation, Burcham believes choro music is accessible to musicians playing at every skill level.

Presenting live concerts is another big part of West Tennessee Choro's mission. "You've really got to see it live," Burcham says. This week, Choro das 3, a popular Brazilian family band, make their third trip to Memphis to play at the Buckman Performing Arts Center.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment



News Blog

Trial on Memphis Activists Surveillance Begins

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Stephen Chopek

From My Seat

Stubby's Stretch Run

Music Blog

Jose Feliciano Plays Unannounced Memphis Gig

Hungry Memphis

Welcome back, Restaurant Iris!

Music Blog

Gillian Welch Wows GPAC

Film/TV/Etc. Blog


Intermission Impossible

In Praise of "Love and Murder" at Playhouse on the Square


More by Chris Davis

Readers also liked…

© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation