Ipanema's Elizabeth Souza 


A huge musical wave from Brazil swept over this country in the ’60s in the form of the Bossa Nova; it changed jazz and pop forever. That musical wave is resurging again locally with the popular Brazilian jazz group Ipanema, led by vocalist Elizabeth Souza.
Ipanema, with Elizabeth Souza on the right

Now that Mardi Gras and Carnivale are here, Ipanema is at the forefront of the festivities. Ipanema will perform a marathon Brazilian Carnivale of seven non-stop hours at the Jazz Kitchen Saturday, Feb. 5.

“We are going to do a sample of it because Carnivale is such a big event in Brazil and it lasts more than a day,” Souza stated.

Ipanema started in 2002 and has steadily caught on with local music lovers. Finding musicians to play Brazilian style music was a challenge for Souza. “The tough thing about the Brazilian music is the groove. My good fortune was that I had a Brazilian pianist who knew how to teach this music to the different musicians that are new to it.”

The Bossa Nova from Brazil of the ’60s has changed according to Souza. “American popular music got in with American movies and radio from the United States and it did influence Brazilian popular music.”

Souza has some ambitious long-range plans for Ipanema. “I would like to have a year-long scala de samba that goes into the high schools. One that would pull kids from the high schools to participate in scala de samba once a year and make it a big deal that we go out either on the streets or a fiesta or even an independent carnival. I would like to see Ipanema expand and go to other cities and say we come from Indianapolis and this city is thriving in the area of supporting Latino growth.”

Saturday’s Brazilian Carnivale with Elizabeth Souza and Ipanema at the Jazz Kitchen will host a night of Brazilian music, authentic cuisine and culture from 8 p.m. to midnight under the heading “A Taste of Carnivale.” Tickets are $20 per person and that includes Brazilian appetizer samplers.

From midnight to 3 a.m. Ipanema really heats things up with “The Passion of Carnivale” as the street Samba sounds of Carnivale intensify for dancing and parading and drive the festivities well into the morning hours. Admission is $10 per person. Costumes are recommended for both “Taste” and “Passion.”

Jazz data

New on the jazz scene is the Coaches Tavern, 28 S. Pennsylvania St. They provide jazz every Wednesday from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

The Indianapolis Artsgarden’s “Art & Soul,” honoring Black History Month, will feature the Ebony Strings Quintet Thursday at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, Poetry and Jazz with Vickie Daniels and the Carl Hines Trio will b performed at 1 p.m.

Dog Talk will play Fat Tuesday at the Fountain Square Theatre for Mardi Gras, a fund-raiser for the Fountain Square Merchants Association, Feb. 8 starting at 6 p.m. Admission is $10.

Cathy Morris will host a musical journey for kids of all ages in “A World of Motions Concert” Sunday, Feb. 6 from 3 to 4:15 p.m. at the Indiana Historical Society. Costumed dancers demonstrate traditional African, Israeli, Indian and Irish dances to show their similarities. Tickets are $6 adults, $4 children and $20 for a family.

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