From her early days as lead vocalist of Banda Eva, Brazilian songstress Ivete Sangalo has enjoyed a solid, steady career, becoming her home nation's biggest-selling solo artist with a string of axé music hits aimed not only at the four-day Carnaval holiday but also the perennial micaretas, which are weekend festivals that tour around the country the entire year.
Sangalo, however, has cleverly branched out of the genre by reaching for other musical styles. And in 2012, she even released the Latin Grammy-winning Ivete, Gil & Caetano, a live collaboration with Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso that featured key songs by the two Brazilian legends alongside other classics.
"They certainly are from a different generation, but their music is so representative of my own music," Sangalo tells Crossfade. "I grew up to their songs. Their music to this day is very present in my life - I have a very personal relationship with them that it is almost on a family level.
"When it came the time for the rehearsal," she adds, "there were no questions either from me or them. Everything was very natural; it just flowed well because I have lived with these tunes from the crib."
Meanwhile, on her latest solo album, Real Fantasia, she blends dance floor-ready songs such as "No Meio do Povão" and "Essa Distância" with elaborately arranged ballads like "Só Nos Dois" and "Eu Nunca Amei Alguém Como Eu Te Amei," the latter of which features a jazz-like piano accompaniment.
After doing a handful of shows outside her native country over the years, Sangalo finally launched a full-scale international career during a mini-tour of the U.S. in 2010 that culminated with a sold-out appearance at New York's Madison Square Garden and the concert documentary, Multishow ao Vivo: Ivete Sangalo no Madison Square Garden, released later that year.
Now on her first major U.S. tour, Sangalo will be performing a modified version of the show in support of Real Fantasia, featuring a larger number of tunes from her catalog as a way to better connect with expatriate fans that might not be up to date with her career back home.
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"I have lots of love, lots of respect for them and the saudade they feel, " Sangalo says of her Brazilian expat fans. "They miss the land, the habits, the food - and this is a way that I have to give back to them."
-- Ernest Barteldes
Ivete Sangalo. Sunday, August 18. American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $49.50 to $103 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. Call 786-777-1250 or visit aaarena.com.