$10 Cover @ the Door / Start 6:30pm / Doors 6pm
“Benji Kaplan and Rita Figueiredo are two well-respected Brazilian jazz musicians, though their approach is quite different. Kaplan, a New York native, is an intimate songwriter who gently strums the guitar, sings poetic lyrics, and harmonizes gorgeously. Rita Figueiredo, who hails from São Paulo, Brazil, has similar traditional Brazilian music-meets-jazz influences, but with a much more theatrical approach. Her talent as a composer with her fierce singing style gives her music unbridled passion. You really can't do better than these two when it comes to current players of this genre.”
By Aaron Carnes - East Bay Express.
The son of a native Cuban percussionist father and visual-artist mother, Benji Kaplan has followed his arts-filled upbringing. Fully informed not only in Brazilian and popular music, but also by Jazz, the emerging composer crafts his own mix of Brazilian music ingeniously spiced with the full gamut of his rich musical understanding. He beautifully expresses his unique vision with ensembles ranging from string quartets to wind ensembles of varying shapes and sizes. His penultimate album – Chorando Sete Chores – features 13 pieces for acoustic guitar and wind quintet. Benji is currently releasing his 5th album entitled Benji & Rita, this time in duo partnership with his wife Rita Figueiredo. Together they explore the intimacy of Voice and guitar, blending intricate harmonies with stories of Rita's homeland, Brazil in all of it's beauty, complexity and irony.
Rita is a classically trained singer who shifted to popular forms, recording a 2013 debut album rich in stories that made numerous “best of” lists. (She has dedicated decades to animation and illustration, with works featured in more than 20 international Festivals, had cartoons and vignettes featured on MTV Brazil and USA, Nickelodeon, TV Cultura and many other networks. She has worked with artists such as Marisa Monte, Ed Motta and Cássia Eller, among others). In 2015 Rita moved to New York and has since been intensely dedicated to recording and performing new repertoire in partnership with Benji Kaplan. In the last 3 years she has played in several cities in South and North America and Europe. She is now releasing her 2nd album entitled Benji & Rita.