Last night, I saw Yamandu Costa at a small church in Boulder. He’s been in hero status, since I first stumbled onto his playing. I never thought I’d hear him in person, but synchronicity is always at work.
This guy has every technical ability. He’s melodic, rhythmic, and can play faster and slower and clearer and more precisely than anyone I’ve ever seen.
He was sweet, sentimental, goofy, fearless, and generous. When he’d launch into a piece, it was like he was jumping off a cliff. All of us went with him, trusting that it would work out, that he’d been there before, and wanted to show us how beautiful it was.
Vaneira de Viola
Sipping mate, between each song, like the fuel it is, he burned, he danced, he swayed, and he sometimes vocalized, behind and with the tunes.
O Baile do Zecco Pitoco
For the second encore, he gave us something beautiful that segued into a song familiar to all the Brazilians in the audience, reminding them of the home they share and love. They sang like angels, that soft sing-along chorus sound, to his perfect and responsive accompaniment.