Today at 3 pm: Crossing Borders with Kevyn Lettau


Overview

Published: 05/17/2017

by Scott Adams

Photos

Program #1303 - 'Crossing Borders: Kevyn Lettau'

This show airs daily from 05-17-17 through 05-23-17 Monday-Friday at 7am, 3pm, 6pm and midnight Central Time (US). Weekends, too.


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This week’s show:

My Producer's Notes

Listen to The Sounds of Brazil at 7 am, 3pm, 6 pm and midnight Central Time daily.

Talk about ‘Crossing Borders’: This week, our theme kicks into high gear with several stops at passport control for our featured musician. She was born in Germany, raised in southern California and loves to sing Brazilian songs in Portuguese. Its singer Kevyn Lettau.

Kevyn began her career at about the same time The Sounds of Brazil came into being. I first met her at a storied little club in Chicago called the Jazz Bulls right around that time, and it began a friendship that continues to this day. And although she’s moved into different musical circles as her career progressed, a weekend phone call was all that was needed to catch us up again - always fun to chat! Isn’t it interesting how some friendships work that way?

And as her fans know all too well, Kevyn’s music carries that same welcoming signature; a comfortable ‘come as you are’ place that’s been part of her style from the very beginning. In fact, she got her start in southern California with Sergio Mendes (who guests on her debut CD) and Al Jarreau. "He was very, very, very instrumental in my really becoming a singer. I went to a concert of his in L.A. and somehow managed to get backstage and handed him an envelope containing a tape of jazz standards I had recorded, and lo and behold, the very next morning he called me up. He said, 'What a wonderful young talent. I'd love to come hear you sing live.' Through the years, we would rekindle the friendship, on and off, and then a tour came up - to Germany - and I got to go with my band, as an opening act and on several occasions Al invited me to come up and sing with him during his show. He's an amazing singer and an amazing musician and just has a heart of gold."

Southern California has been a hotbed for Brazilian musical talent since Carmen Miranda, Aloysio de Oliveira and Laurindo Almeida first arrived. Soon the zip codes expanded to include names like Oscar Castro-Neves, Dori Caymmi, Rique Pantoja, Yutaka, Airto And Flora Purim, Kleber Jorge, Ricardo Silveira, Ivan Lins and many dozens more. For Kevyn Lettau’s singing and songwriting skills, it was a perfect match.

I discovered this back when I was a features writer for Jazziz magazine and I filed this piece:

"As the influence of Brazilian music expands to the American pop scene, singers like Kevyn Lettau, whose new album ‘Another Season’ is now in the stores, will play an increasing­ly visible role in shaping this new marriage. Kevyn's vocal presence in this evolution is much more than just her clear, fluid voice. And like the strong tradition of Brazilian music from MPB to Forró, it’s easy to see that the real key to Lettau's success as a singer is in the stories she tells.

Boasting a Brazilian contingent that includes Dori Caymmi, Ricardo Silveira and Rique Pantoja, Lettau's latest album covers a wide range of material, from Brazilian to pop, to straight-ahead jazz with a style that is unmistakable. Listen to the melodies collected in ‘Another Season’ and you'll come away with an under­standing of the singer that is almost uncanny. 

"Kevyn Lettau's love affair with Brazil is well represented, with Dory Caymmi contributing two songs including his beautiful ‘Colors of Joy’. Lettau also delivers warmly on the Jobim/Bua­rque standard ‘Retrato Em Branco e Preto’ (Portrait In Black and White). "Isn't the Jobim song beautiful?" she said, barely pausing. "And the lyrics, they're so sad and passionate. I listened to João Gilberto sing that song so many times, but what really inspired me was Elis Regina's version. She's always been a big influence on my singing.

"For me, Brazilian music really is a love affair. Take the song ‘Ella’" that I co-wrote with Dori Caymmi. It was such an honor to write the words to his beautiful melodies. Dori has always been a guiding light, kind of a father figure for me, and it was a thrill to do the song with him." She continued: “Kleber Jorge, a Brazilian singer, songwriter had asked me to write a few lyrics for him and I ended up asking him if I could record some of the tunes because I liked them so much! It was with our tune "Another Season" that I was blessed to have a number one hit on the Pop charts in Japan!”

That success led to ‘Universal Language’ which holds one of my all-time favorite songs from Kevyn and Kleber. It would be her last US based label release for ten long years. She’d go on to explore jazz, pop and R&B, record an excellent tribute to The Police, and finally a collection of American standards arranged by her long-time friend Dori. So, is there another Brazilian project stirring?

“Well, I don’t know. I’m currently playing more with my songwriting partner Peter Sprague and I always make a point of asking the audience which songs of mine they like the best, and Brazilian always seems to show up the strongest. So maybe, I’ll have to do some thinking about that!”

By the way, Kevyn’s website is well worth a visit when you have some time to explore her stories and lyrics. And apparently, she is a cat person.

How about that?

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‘Crossing Borders with Kevyn Lettau'

Hour 1:

Set 1: The Sounds of Brazil Opening Theme

Nago Buddah<>Gilberto Gil/Parabolic

Ilha Dos Frades<>Velas/Velas

Scarbourogh Fair<>Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66/Greatest Hits

Welcome to the Lounge              

Your Smile<>Kevyn Lettau/Kevyn Lettaau

Special Announcement

Nua Idea<>Gal Costa/Plural

  

Set 2:

Introduce Next Set

Nos Dois<>Milton Nascimento/A Barca Dos Amantes

Midnight Words<>Torcuato Mariano/So Far From Home

Introduce Next Song

Underneath The Face of the Moon<>Kevyn Lettau/Universal

One Note Samba<>Antonio Carlos Jobim/Composer Plays        

É Preciso Perdoar<>Emilio Santiago/Nossa Onda É Essa

 

Set 3: Brazilian Minute: ‘Manaus’ (Copa Air)

Introduce This Week’s Spotlight Song

Forever Lover & Friend<>Kevyn Lettau/Acoustic Live Sampler

Passarim<>Manfredo Fest/Oferenda 

Brisa Mar<>Sabrina Malheiros/New Morning

Ventou-Ventou<>Jorge Vercillio/Como Diria Blavatsky

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Hour 2:

Set 1:

Your Smiling Face<>John Pizzarelli/Bossa Nova

Return To Rio<>Oscar Castro-Neves/Brazilian Scandals

Welcome To Our Second Hour

Maria Ninguem<>Joao Gilberto/Legendary Joao Gilberto

Te Querendo<>Azymuth/Brazilian Soul

Whenever Your Heart Wants To Sing<>Kevyn Lettau/Lettau

Special Announcement

Antes Tardes<>Nelson Faria/Ioio

 

Set 2:

Introduce Brazil Back2Back: Leo Gandelman

Inquietação<>Leo Gandelman & Zelia Duncan/Lounjazz

Lancamento<>Leo Gandelman/Vip Vop

Introduce Next Set                                                                                                       

Meu Bem Querer<>Will Dowing/Euphoria

Jazzil<>Corcovado Experience/Bossa Now #6: Rio After Dark

Bonita<>Les Sabler/Jobim Tribute

 

Set 3:

Muito Mais<>Velas/Velas

Use Your Head<>Money Mark/Redhot + Rio


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Next Week: A show you won't want to miss: We'll celebrate the music of Sergio Mendes. I'll have the full story behind this amazing and legendary band leader and pop star.  

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Always a pleasure,


Scott Adams

The Sounds of Brazil!

 

Featured Station Broadcast dates: 

05/17 3:00 pm CT Wednesday: Streaming debut at Brazil Club

05/17 7:00 pm ET Wednesday: Brasil Radio 93.1 FM + 810 AM

05/19 8:00 pm ET Friday: Jazz City Radio

05/20 11:00 pm ET Saturday: Lite Mix 105 HD2 Indianapolis

05/21 10:00 am ET Sunday: Lite Mix 105 HD2 Indianapolis

05/21 10:00 am ET Sunday: Mix 105

05/21 12:00 pm CT Sunday: Smooth Jazz Expressions

05/21 2:00 pm CT Sunday: WDCB 90.9 FM Chicago

05/21 5:00 pm ET Sunday: Downtown Dayton Radio

05/21 7:00 pm ET Sunday: Brasil Radio 93.1 FM + 810 AM

05/21 8:00 pm ET Sunday: WHJZ New Buffalo

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