Last week I sat down with Jerusa Leão to talk about her work as an artist, musician and DJ. A native Brazilian, she moved to Toronto two years ago and now performs as DJ Jerus Nazdaq, and lead singer of Maria Bonita and the Band.
This video, featuring footage from the weekly Fedora Upside Down concerts at the Cameron House, captures the magnetic energy and spirit of Jerusa and her bandmates. Playing Forró Pe de Serra from Brazil’s northeast, Maria Bonita and the Band warms even the coldest nights.
Forró (pronounced “foh-ho”) is a regional dance and music rooted in African and European traditions. With its soulful mix of accordion, fiddle, guitar, flute and percussion, Forró has become the craze of a nation, sweeping across Brazil’s cultural landscape and inspiring a new generation of musicians.
Maria Bonita and the Band includes Jerusa Leão [Guitar & Voice], Kelsey McNulty [Accordion], Graham Campbell [Guitar], Kelly Lefaive [“Rabeca” fiddle], Jessica Hana Deutsch [“Rabeca” fiddle], Carlie Howell [Bass], Amy Medvick [Flute], Alex Bordokas [Zabumba Drum], Rodrigo Calabria [Triangle] and the CORO [Eve Schweichler, Flávia Oliveira, Angelica Barbosa, Priscila Moreno and Licianny Matos]