Formed in 2011 beneath California redwoods at a North American celebration of Brazilian music, Seattle’s En Canto was set in motion by the relentless night and day tumult of sixty-seven zabumba.
These ever-present drums, along with almost every other instrument and stage at the camp, were dominated by men; the women in attendance were expected to sing, cheer, or act demure. As the male maestros learned then and as audiences and fellow performers in Rio, Alexandre Ribeiro, and Marcelo Caldi have learned since, the women of En Canto don’t do demure.
A multi-ethnic female-led septet, En Canto is Seattle’s only Forró band. Forró music is a combination of multiple Brazilian rhythms including baião, xote and arrasta-pé. The word refers to both the musical genre and the accompanying partner dance party events where it is heard.
En Canto shows are exuberant sonic journeys, the band driving the dance floor with swirling Brazilian rhythms and irresistible melodies. The sound is fueled primarily by twin accordions and tinged with the jazz backgrounds of several of the musicians. Anchored in the classics and contemporaries of their genre, they pay tribute to influences Luiz Gonzaga, Mestrinho, Dominguinhos, Sivuca and many others. The group brings the Pacific Northwest a rare link between old and new Brazil.
En Canto performs regularly at music and dance festivals around the US and Canada. In 2018 En Canto was featured at the New York Forró festival alongside Forró In the Dark, Luic Da Silva, Vitor Goncalves and Felipe Hostins.
The members of the band include a mix of Seattle veterans and skilled imports from Brazil, with an assortment of music degrees and decades of playing experience: vocalist Adriana Giordano; accordionists Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues; bassist Mike Catts; flautist Meese Tonkin; pianist Mike Withey and drummer Adam Kozie.