Brazil’s Bestest Musician

I was going on and on about how great he is to my friends seated to my left, as I sat down in the shiney new fake leather seats at the new Bimhuis last night. I barely even took notice, in between my longwinded analysis of all-time greatest Brasilian musicians, that HE and his band had quietly taken their places.

“Which one is he?” asked my Colombian buddy, scanning the crew of four now in position to start the magic. I glanced quickly at all of them… recognized Paulo Braga.. drummer…the playful genius. And there he was, long hair and already strumming in that style that so reminds me of Bill Frisell if he suddenly turned Brazilian. I also remembered that trumpet playing percussionist from when I first saw them way back in 1998 in NYC. Can’t remember what club we were at. I just remember I liked some girl who I had gone there with, and when I arrived, excited to see her, there she was, alongside the man who she would then introduce as her fiancee. Ouch.

But fortunately for me back then, as now, there’s Vinicius. Vinicius can fix anything for me. I’m working oh so many jobs lately to push my career forward and give me some extra loot to fly to Cuba in a few months, and the music of Vinicius Cantuaria takes me away from all the websites and texts and emails that need answering. From the moment he starts off with Procissão.. Im groovin and wishing we weren’t so dutch and didn’t have to remain seated to watch music that makes one’s body want to move. Anyway you all get the point. It was heaven.

And as always, I waited around with some new friends, constantly scanning the room for him. And sure enough, in a big puffy jacket and a skull cap covering his fro, I spotted Vinicius almost alone at the bar. I came over and told him “Cada vez que vóçe toca em Amsterdão, eu venho, e cada vez é o melhor prazer do ano. Muito obrigado pelo seu trabalho.” He looked at me with gratitude and slight suprise – you’ve come to see me every year? oh man.. .thank you so much for that support. thats wonderful.

That’s Vinicius. He’s the bestest.