A poetic, dynamic and energetic interpreter and innovator of Brazilian popular and folkloric culture, Lenis Rino is the musical producer of several current artists in a fertile Belo Horizonte music scene. But Lenis’s special relationship to Toronto is through his work as one of Maracatu drumming’s greatest ambassadors, in Minas Gerais state and around the world.
Lenis has produced music by Marina Machado – Quieto um Pouco, Kdu dos Anjos – A Cidade Azul, Matheus Brant – A Semana, Zimun – Compacto, Nathy Faria – Saindo do lugar, among others. He also plays as the drummer for Brazilian artists Fernanda Takai, Pedro Morais and Marina Machado.
Lenis’ first disc was with Orquestra de Percussão Elefante Groove, in which he acted as director and bandleader. It’s in this context that he demonstrates his amazing creativity, the quality that most characterizes Lenis and his work. He blends roots and Brazilian folkloric traditions with modern influences like hip hop, rock and jazz, yet somehow manages to give it a non-cliché edge and come off wholly original and raw.
It was around this time that he also led the Maracatu group Trovão das Minas, of which Aline Morales was a member before she moved to Toronto.
[Editor’s note: Lenis wrote to us to add to this post with his words about his experience with maracatu, his visit to Toronto and the album Mais Um Grito. His words have been added to the post below.]
Then last year, invited by Aline, Lenis made the first of what appears happily to be an annual visit, teaching maracatu and rhythm & percussion improv workshops hosted by Baque de Bamba. He also played a Toronto release for his latest work, Mais Um Grito, as part of the group’s anniversary party. [Ed. Lenis writes about this in Portuguese, see update below.]
Here’s part of that album, live in 2014 with Os Tropies and featuring Aline Morales on percussion and vocals, and Chris Butcher on trombone.
Lenis produced his album Mais Um Grito along with Bruno Buarque, a percussionist/producer and member of Barbatuques who has visited Toronto as Céu’s drummer, among other projects. The disc is Lenis’ visceral, passionate cry for the struggle to survive; not only his own struggles but those of the many who struggle to thrive and raise their families … while metaphorically rising above the muck (and chaos). [Editor’s note: In Portuguese, the Soundcloud album info alludes cleverly to the 1994 Chico Science & Nação Zumbi album Da Lama Ao Caos (“from the mud to chaos”). It loses something in translation, perhaps.]
[Português (do release do album Mais Um Grito, na bio de Soundcloud do Lenis Rino): São oito faixas que resume o momento de vida de Lenis ,falando sobre a sua verdade ,a sua luta e a luta dos povos para sobreviver, para permanecer vivo criando seus filhos, com o pescoço sempre no limite da lama e do caos. … Essa amostra de um coração que não cabe mais em um corpo,que tem a necessidade de sair e vazar entre as mãos, submerso ao amor, e a angustia. Não há mentira em seu grito, é visceral!]
While the Toronto launch for Mais Um Grito was last year, Lenis and his band will perform a “show do disco,” playing the album’s songs again for his set at Lula Lounge on Sunday, October 18th, as part of the Community Cultural Fair.
For the afternoon Coco de Roda workshop, Lenis will also be a special guest along with Aline Morales, leading members of Maracatu Mar Aberto and Baque de Bamba and all the participants in everyone’s favourite circle game/interactive dance. [Ed.: This is always all-ages, all-smiles fun!]
Lenis’s second show nearly a year after his first makes this return to Toronto in less than a year — seja bem-vindo de volta, Lenis! — it will be really cool to have him around. Welcome Lenis Rino back to Toronto!
Lenis Rino performs Sunday, October 18th (after 8 p.m.) at the Community Cultural Fair at Lula Lounge.
[Ed. Here’s more from Lenis in his own words, in Portuguese. ]
Sobre Mais Um Grito/About Mais Um Grito
Lenis Rino: Mais Um Grito é um album com musicas autorais e com letras vicerais que resume o momento da musica atual na minha vida sao letras com as minhas verdades,falo dos mestres,dos amigos,dos povos e a necessidade de sobreviver de musica. Pode ser a sobrevivencia de qualquer um de nos no dia a dia de uma cidade ,com o trabalho diario para ganhar dinheiro e pagar suas contas,,ou a luta dos povos tradicionais como os indios,,que perdem a cada dia mais suas terras para a criação de gados,nao e importante preservar nossa cultura,,parece que o mais importante é ganhar dinheiro a qualquer custo.
Sobre Toronto e o Maracatu/On Toronto and Maracatu: