Daniela Mercury and her Afro-Brazilian Dance Party will
culminate the University Musical Society’s yearlong Brazil Festival
this Saturday at the EMU Convocation Center at Eastern Michigan
University. A night of sultry vocals, samba rhythms and a Brazilian
flair that breathes life and vitality, this performance is sure to
be a powerful and electrifying event.
Singer-dancer Daniela Mercury will grace the stage with this
unique one-time performance, singing a wide range of traditional
Brazilian ballads while incorporating pop, techno, funk and
hip-hop. She is joined by a talented group of backup singers,
dancers and musicians, who collaborate in the atmosphere of an
energetic Brazilian dance party. The show resonates the sounds and
movements of Mercury’s native home in Bahia, Brazil.
A thriving multicultural center, Bahia has a distinct musical
flavor. Its traditional music, known as Ax�, combines
African and Latino rhythms and melodies. Mercury expands on this,
creating a highly diverse repertoire based on a hybrid style called
samba-reggae. While this style of music evokes a certain social
consciousness and critiques of race relations, Mercury’s lyrics
also speak of the passion, the love and the sheer joy of life
fulfilled. With such universal themes and emotions, Mercury appeals
to all audiences, striking at our needs to move and express, relax
and let go.
As one of the world’s most successful Brazilian artists, Mercury
intends to carry on the tradition of Bahian music with its
assertion of black culture and celebration of life. However, as her
U.S. manager, Leticia Montalvo notes, Mercury is “truly a woman of
the world.” She recreates herself every year, bringing fresh
elements to albums and world tours. Her most recent project is a
compilation acoustic album sponsored by MTV, which includes various
artists from Europe and South America.
While her commitment to Brazilian roots is essential to her
mission, Mercury’s presence on stage is enough to solidify an
enormous fan base. Audiences embrace her music and irresistible
energy, her graceful command of the stage and her radiating warmth.
She travels every year to adoring fans in Europe and the United
States, performing at festivals and sold out solo performances. She
is revered as the highest-selling artist in Portugal, where her
album and tour sales top that of Madonna and the Beatles. This June
she returns to the United States for a two week tour that stops in
San Francisco, Montreal and Tampa Bay, to name a few. Saturday’s
performance marks a special one-time event, as it is Mercury’s
first Michigan appearance.
Mercury’s versatility is endless, sustained by an overflowing
source of energy and passion. She is an extremely uplifting and
inspiring individual and her performances convey this dynamic
personality. Saturday night will be a “truly irresistible
experience” regardless of one’s musical tastes, and an escape into
a colorful and vibrant world.
An artist interview and reception honoring Mercury will be held
at the School of Social Work Building today at 4 p.m. The event is
free and open to public.