Brazilian-born singer, guitarist, and composer Duda Lucena is on a
journey he embarked upon at the age of 12 when he began composing tunes
on his first acoustic guitar. These days, he's stationed in Charleston
and, fortunately for local world-music lovers, seems in no hurry to
take the next step down the road.
In the 1980s, Lucena studied at the Music Conservatory of
Pernambuco and started performing in theatres and clubs throughout his
hometown of Recife (the capital city of the Northeast state of
Pernambuco). In 1987, he relocated to Rio de Janeiro and studied
musical arrangement and composition and harmony at CIGAM, a school
affiliated with the Berklee College of Music. Shortly after, he began
traveling around the world, playing with various musicians from the
Americas and Europe.
Duda's own music is based on a blend of Brazilian styles — the
bossa nova, baião, and samba — along with folk, reggae, jazz, and blues
from the U.S. His recorded material features him on vocals (he sings in
Portuguese, of course) and acoustic guitar with tasteful accompaniment
(woodwind, electric bass, drums, electric guitar, vocal harmonies).
Some may simply refer to it as "musica popular Brasiliera," but the
catch-all phrase doesn't fit so easily. While his more traditional
Brazilian material grooves with an authentic syncopation, the jazzier
stuff leans toward a 4/4 George Benson style — clean, funky, romantic.
Lucena's singing style is warm (think Seu Jorge), his baritone voice
rich and almost sleepy. At his raspiest, he resembles Jonathan Richman
and Joe Strummer.
Lucena delivered a rousing set during the Charleston Jazz Society's
first anniversary event at Gallery Chuma in July. He performs a free
concert at the Jazz Vespers Series at the Circular Congregational
Church (150 Meeting St.) on Sun. Oct. 14 from 6-7 p.m. — T. Ballard Lesemann
Share this article: