When Luisa Maita’s debut CD “Lero-Lero” first dropped in the U.S. in 2010, she joined the roster of many talented young Brazilian artists (Bebel Gilberto, Ceu, Seu Jorge—to name a few) to make it into the world music scene. Back then, she did a mini-tour that included small venues in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles that helped solidify her career and generate a buzz about her.
Maita’s sound is a mix of samba, rock and Afro-Brazilian influences. The title song (and lead single) from that first CD is evidence of that: A cavaquinho (a four-stringed instrument similar to a mandolin) gives the song a samba feel as the bass, percussion and electronics take it in different directions. “Alento,” on the other hand, is a love letter to the hectic lifestyle of her native city of Sao Paulo—which doubles as the country’s financial and cultural center. The video for the song, which contains breathtaking sights from the city’s diverse neighborhoods, sounds like an update to the more daring compositions of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil with its smart balance between digital and organic sounds.
This being her first major U.S. tour, Maita will be playing several outdoor festivals, which will give new fans a chance to get to know her sultry voice and swinging, jazz-inflected tunes—and this includes a two-day stop in town, so there is no real excuse to miss out on this one. (Ernest Barteldes)
September 20 for a Continental Drift Live Radio Broadcast, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington, noon, free and at Lincoln Hall, 2424 North Lincoln, 8pm, $15.